Access to GP services during the Covid 19 Pandemic

During the Covid 19 pandemic you are now unable to book a routine appointment.  We have moved to a ‘Telephone First’ Model were you will be added to the GPs telephone call back list.  They will discuss your problem over the phone and deem whether they would need to see you as a face to face consultation.  They may leave a prescription were it will be sent to a pharmacy and any sick lines will be posted to home.  This greatly reduces the foot fall coming to the practice surgery.

If you need to be seen you will be ask to wear a mask to the surgery.

Prescription Advice

Repeat prescriptions should be ordered seven days in advance of the need for a re-issue.

Please allow 48-72 hours before you collect your prescription

Telephone numbers should be given to the pharmacy so they can contact you once your prescription is ready to collect

Pharmacy opening times will be from 10am-1pm and afternoon opening times as normal. Some may also close slightly earlier. These times may reduce further so local flexibility will be required.

Social Distancing

We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

This group includes those who are:

Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice about the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.

People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:

  • people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
  • people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
  • people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

GETTING ADVICE / APPOINTMENT

• No patient should call to the reception desk regarding medical queries or symptoms • We understand telephone access is extremely difficult at this time. Please keep trying, we will answer. We are open from 8.30am-6pm, closed Wed from 1pm • We will update this page daily

Think you might have Coronavirus? Follow up to date advice from the government and public health websites:

gov.uk

Public Health Agency Northern Ireland

See our summary of this advice below

• If you need advice or wish to see a GP or nurse about other medical problems unrelated to Coronavirus, please telephone the surgery to arrange a telephone consultation or to book an appointment.

• Patients who are being asked to practice social distancing will be seen exclusively from 9-10am. This includes people over 70 years, pregnant ladies and anyone who is invited for the annual flu vaccination. This allows patients in the higher risk groups to be seen whilst keeping infection risk to a minimum.

GETTING YOUR PRESCRIPTION

• The practice has had to reduce all non-essential foot-fall to a minimum to reduce spread of Coronavirus and to protect vulnerable patients and staff

• All prescriptions will be sent to the pharmacy, please allow an INCREASED TURN AROUND TIME OF 2-3 DAYS as advised by our pharmacy staff

• Urgent prescriptions, only at the GP’s discretion, may be faxed on the same day

• Please do not allow your medications to run out – this will not be considered an emergency

• Do not come to reception to collect prescriptions unless arranged with the GP


CORONAVIRUS SUMMARY OF ADVICE

Anyone with symptoms of Coronavirus :

• a new continuous cough and/or • a fever

However mild, you should stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

• If you have mild symptoms, you do not need to be tested. Please do not contact or go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

• If your symptoms worsen during your home isolation or you are no better after seven days, seek medical advice by telephoning NHS 111

• If you have an underlying health condition and develop symptoms do let your GP know.

• Please only call 999 if it’s an emergency

Social Isolation

• If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill

What is social distancing?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). They are:

1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough

2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible

3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information

4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs

5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media

6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic

Medicines for Minor Conditions and self limiting illnesses

Guidance from the Department of Health NI and the HSCB advises GPs not to prescribe medicines that can be purchased over-the-counter.

This GP practice will no longer prescribe medicines that can be purchased over-the-counter by patients when they are being used to treat minor conditions or self-limiting illnesses where their is no evidence base for their use.  The practice promotes self-care and patients should be advised that their local community pharmacist can provide advice and help to manage minor conditions and self-limiting illnesses. 

Updated news

The practice staff at Bernaghmore would like to wish all our patients Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.   We have had a few changes in 2019 and currently are hoping to recruit a new female GP in 2020 as Dr Lisa Adams was offered a full-time post and left the practice.  We will update any information as soon as we can.