You may have seen on the news that from Monday 17 May, doors at GP practices are ‘re-opening’. As you will know, our GP practice has been open throughout the pandemic, offering patients telephone appointments, with face -to-face consultations available for those who need them. Our nursing team are operating with face-to-face appointments and reception is open even though we ask you to obtain admission via the intercom. This is necessary to keep our patients and staff safe. All of the measures introduced were in-line with national requirements to keep patients safe, whilst COVID infection rates were high and before the vaccination was widespread.
We need to consider if we can offer more face-to-face appointments safely. Our waiting areas are small and to enable social distancing we can only have limited numbers of patients in the building at any one time. The waiting areas are also shared with Highview which reduces the numbers safely allowed in the building by each practice even further.
With infection rates rising and uncertainty surrounding the transmissibility of the new variant, we must keep the safety of our patients and staff at the forefront of everything we do.
As we wait for further national guidance on doing that, we ask that patients continue to contact us by phone as you have been doing. We are facing unprecedented demands for our services and will need to continue to adjust how we use our clinicians’ time to best support our patients – particularly those who need us the most.
Our reception staff are under immense pressure due to increased call volumes, and we ask you to respect the fact that they are doing a very tough job in a very pressurised environment. They really do the best they can for you and deserve to be treated with respect. Please do not take you frustrations out on the staff.
As we have already mentioned, general practice is facing unprecedented levels of demand and the whole team are working very hard to provide you with the outstanding service you are accustomed to and deserve as safely as possible.
Thank you for your support.