Feldon Practice Update August 2020

Staff Changes

As you may be aware, Dr Minton has now left the practice for pastures new in Somerset with his family. He will be starting his new job on 1st September. We will miss him and wish him well.

Dr Fox is taking up the role of Partner to replace Dr Minton, alongside Dr Mandiratta, and Dr Lewis (who will now become senior partner). We are looking forward to working together.

Dr Leeanne Minto (our current GP trainee) is taking up the role of full time salaried GP on 21st September to complete our team. We are glad she has chosen to stay on with us and we are sure she will bring new ideas to our team.

Dr Grewal (current salaried GP) will be taking on the minor surgery and joint injection roles. We are looking to recommence some joint injections and minor surgery in the next few weeks (subject to risk assessments and social distancing) and we will be contacting patients to book injections for those most in need.

We have a new trainee GP, Dr Ayesha Ishaq replacing Dr Banday and we continue to train students from the University of Birmingham.

Telephone System Upgrade

We are in the process of upgrading our telephone system to create a queuing system and a better experience for our patients. We are looking to install a telecom door system at both sites to make it easier for patients to enter the building for pre-booked appointments.

We are in the process of restoring clinics to our Hawne Lane Branch over the next few weeks as services there have been significantly reduced over the last few months. We are hoping to soon start releasing some pre-bookable online telephone consultations.

COVID-19 Update

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our patients for their ongoing support and stoicism during the last few difficult months. The pandemic is not over yet. During these times, we have been working to the model NHS England (NHSE) have put forward for primary care in England. This is a total telephone triage model.

This means that we (as GPs) are required to speak to all patients on the telephone before offering any appointment within the surgery. The nurses continue to offer smears, immunisations, and face to face appointments for things which cannot be dealt with on the telephone (dressings and injections for example).

The Doctors are telephoning patients and offering Face to Face or Video Consultations only for those problems which we feel cannot be dealt with by telephone.

There are three reasons for this:

  • So we can be sure that those with suspected COVID are not entering the surgery.
  • So we reduce footfall in the surgery so those who may have asymptomatic COVID (up to 70% of cases) are not putting everyone at risk.
  • To protect our most vulnerable patients (for example those receiving chemotherapy) who may have been asked to come into surgery.

We do understand that it can be frustrating for our patients, who are used to open surgery, to now have to ring and wait for a call back, but this is the current model across all GP surgeries in England as instructed by NHSE, for the foreseeable future, whilst COVID is still with us.

Please be assured that if we feel you need to be seen, we will arrange this. Our receptionists are working very hard to signpost patients appropriately to other services (minor eye service, practice pharmacy, minor ailments and self-care) where appropriate. This is not to try to stop patients seeing the GP, but it is to ensure those requiring advice are being directed to the service most appropriate to their needs, this may not be a GP appointment.

Once again, please be reassured we are “open” core hours as before (08:00 – 18:30) and the telephone lines are open during this time. The front door of both sites will remain closed until further instruction from NHSE so please ring the bell when you arrive for your pre-booked appointment.

Help Us Help You

Please do not arrive more than 5-10 minutes early for your appointment as we have social distancing in the waiting room and can only accommodate so many patients.

Please wear a face covering when in the surgery where possible. We understand not everyone can, for medical reasons, but please try to if you feel able, we cannot give out masks as we need them for the clinical staff as part of our PPE.

Please communicate with us electronically where possible so that we can keep the telephone lines as free as possible.  You can use your App to order repeat medication.

Please try to ring us later in the week if your problem is non- urgent. All the GPs have pre-bookable call backs available when they are on the premises which can be accessed via reception. Monday morning is always very busy so please avoid this time if you can wait until later in the week to call us. Please ring before 11:00 if you feel you require a same day call back.

Please access advice, and testing for COVID on the Gov.uk website. It is very helpful.

And finally, please answer your phone if you have called to ask for a ring back please ensure reception have up to date contact details for you. Our calls tend to come through as a withheld number and we will only try a maximum of twice. It is very frustrating for everyone when we try to ring you back (after you have requested a call) and then the call goes unanswered. We are all busy and will try to state whether we will call am or pm but it is a terrible waste of everyone’s time and appointments when those who have asked us to call them, then do not respond when we ring!

Once again, many thanks to our patients and staff at this difficult time.

If we all work together to support the NHS and our practice, we can all get through this together.