Message to patients
General practice staffing has been devastated by the impact of COVID-19; both self-isolation and the need to protect high risk members of staff. We will therefore only focus on urgent patient need.
It is imperative the general public work with us to protect the NHS, not just for unwell patients with COVID-19 but all other urgent conditions e.g. heart attacks, car accidents, cancer care.
- DO think before ringing any services; use online services first. General practice does not have the capacity to field minor queries for well patients.
- DO NOTuse services unless absolutely necessary
- DO NOTrequest Med3s / reports / Holiday Cancellation Letters for COVID-19
- YOU MUSTfollow self-isolation/social distancing guidance
- DO use Electronic Prescribing Service to order NORMAL QUANTITIES of repeat medications
- DO be patient with all staff – everyone is doing their bit and working flat out
Arthur Medical Centre has moved to a total triage system. This means that all calls will be put through to a GP who will either:
- Give advice by phone on how to manage a problem
- Book a routine telephone appointment with the most suitable clinician within a suitable timeframe (this may be several weeks down the line)
- Arrange a face to face appointment with a clinician
Please do not come to the surgery if you do not have an appointment, you will be sent away. This is to protect both patients and staff.
Patients needing information to support their self isolation can either:
Use their Systmonline access to get written information about conditions that they can print off or use Engage Consult to ask for a summary to be attached.
Click on the link below to see a list of conditions:
Information is changing all the time. Please check our website along with NHS online or gov.uk website for the most up-to-date information.
Novel Coronavirus: Advice for the NHS in England – 13th March 2020
We are now in the delay phase of our response to COVID-19. This entails significant changes to how we identify and manage potential cases of COVID-19. Advice for NHS organisations is now as follows:
1. From today the public are being advised to stay at home (self-isolate) without any testing for COVID-19, regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if they have: a. A new continuous cough
b. High temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher)
2. The geographic element of the case definition has now been removed. Travel and contact history are no longer important for diagnosis, which is on the basis of symptoms alone. If people who have travelled do not have symptoms they do not need to stay at home, regardless of their travel history.
Individuals should stay at home (self-isolate) for 7 days from the onset of symptoms following the current advice. If someone has serious symptoms they cannot manage at home they should use NHS 111 online (people should only call NHS111 if they cannot get online).
The NHS in Derbyshire and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.
Anyone who has travelled to China or places listed above in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, should immediately:
· Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
· Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country
Information for the public is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the GP practice and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
· Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Dr Andrew McKenzie - Retirement Notice
On 31st May, after enjoying 27 years of being a GP partner at Arthur Medical Centre, I will be retiring. I am looking forward to the opportunity of having more time with my family and friends, along with increased freedom and flexibility to pursue other interests and activities.
I have been so fortunate to have been able to spend the greater part of my working career as a GP partner at Arthur Medical Centre. It has been highly rewarding and stimulating to work alongside such a dedicated, conscientious and forward-thinking practice team.
Most importantly, it has been a privilege and pleasure for me to have been the GP for so many patients at Arthur Medical Centre. Over the years numerous people, along with their children and even their children’s’ children, have shared with me their trials and tribulations, along with their sorrows and joys.
With this in mind, I would be delighted if people have any amusing, meaningful or significant anecdotes that they might consider sharing. A book to write these down will be made available at Reception from mid-March onwards. I will cherish your stories and comments, since it is all of you that have helped make my time here as a GP partner so special.
Update to above Retirement Notice.
Whilst, on 31st May, I am still retiring from the GP partnership and relinquishing all my management responsibilities, I am delighted to announce that I will now be returning to the practice in a salaried GP capacity. This will mean I will continue to work in a purely clinical role at Arthur Medical Centre for two days per week, commencing 23rd June.
Are you taking gabapentin or pregabalin?
The law is changing from 1 April 2019; pregabalin and gabapentin are being reclassified as controlled drugs.
There will be some changes to the rules:
- Up to 30 days’ supply is normally allowed on one prescription.
- You must collect medicines from the pharmacy within 28 days of the date on the prescription (which is not always the date the prescription was signed).
- Any medicine ‘owed’ to you by the pharmacy must also be collected by that date.
- For some GP practices it may no longer be possible to send prescriptions electronically to the pharmacy. This does not apply if your GP practice uses the electronic prescription service for controlled drugs.
- All patients will need to request repeat prescriptions each month from their GP practice. It will no longer be possible to get your medicine from the pharmacy using repeat or ‘batch’ dispensing.
- If your GP practice does not use the electronic prescription service for controlled drugs, you or your representative (or prescription collection service) will need to visit the GP practice in person to collect your prescription each month. To set up someone as your representative, please contact the practice.
- You or your representative will need to sign and show proof of identity at the pharmacy to be able to collect your medicine.
- If you run out or need an emergency supply, you will need to phone your practice or GP out-of-hours service.
We wanted to let you know about some changes the Practice will be making as a result of new guidance introduced by NHS England in March this year. The guidance made recommendations that GPs and other healthcare professionals should no longer routinely prescribe medicines which can be bought over the counter for minor and self-limiting conditions. These conditions include hay fever, cough and colds, temperatures/fevers, indigestion and headaches.
We have attached an information leaflet which provides help and advice on being self-care aware. It also tells you how best to treat yourself if you do suffer from a minor illness.
We would also like to remind you of the valuable service your community pharmacy offers. They are trained professionals who are able to talk through your symptoms, offering advice and reassurance on how long these may last and what to do if these continue or get worse.
We encourage you to visit the Stay Well Derbyshire website (www.nhsstaywellderbyshire.co.uk) to find out more information on how to self-care.
Self Care Patient Information Leaflet