57 Woodland Road, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 2HZ
Telephone: 0121 475 1065
CURRENT PRACTICE SERVICE UPDATE
As the UK slowly starts to contemplate a return to something closer to the pre pandemic ‘normal’ we are committed to ensuring that we adapt accordingly. The pandemic has accelerated progress within all healthcare settings towards services that better utilise technology. We have learned that we can consult and treat patients very safely without always seeing them in person. These systems also mean we can actually offer far more appointment slots and by working with our local network we can offer more specialised care with a wider variety of healthcare professionals.
We plan to use everything we have put in place during the pandemic and combine this with a greater variety of restored services, many of which have been paused for at least some of the last two years. We plan to have greater availability of appointments for sexual health, minor surgery, joint injections, spirometry and many more.
Our promise to you is to always provide face to face consulting when needed but we do not anticipate a return to open surgery.
Booking Telephone/Video/Face to Face Appointments
There are a variety of appointment types available to prebook throughout the week, including a some face to face consultations. As we exit the pandemic we might have to pause prebooking periodically depending on absence rates within the team. If you check our home page here you can see any current service alerts which might be in force.
Same Day Emergencies
In addition to the prebooked appointments we run a system for those of you who need urgent contact with a GP for a new or worsening problem which cannot safely wait for a routine consultation. We view this system as the core of our services and it is this that will be protected at all times.
If you advise one of our receptionists that the problem the condition you wish to discuss with a GP is ‘Personal’ then you will be offered the next available routine consultation. We have had to implement this rule due to the increasing number of people using ‘personal’ as a means to speak to a GP urgently only to then ask for a prescription or a fit note. For details of how to appropriately request prescriptions or fit notes please read the relevant sections below.
We do understand that some people feel uncomfortable disclosing the nature of their illness to the reception staff but we can assure you that anything you disclose will only be used to prioritise call backs and all information is confidential from the minute you make a call to the surgery. Alternatively if you do not want to disclose anything but you don’t feel that you can wait for a routine consultation then we ask that you use the Online Consultation system, again this can be prioritised in the same safe way without you needing to discuss anything with a receptionist. You can also put your request into an email if you find that easier than talking on the telephone.
Every day we are wasting up to an hour of GP time due to patients who request a call back only for the call to then go unanswered. The patient then calls us back again to rearrange, the GP again gets no answer and so the cycle continues. We simply do not have the capacity to continue with this. It is not every patient, but it is an increasing minority and we have to take steps to prevent this lost appointment time.
The GP will call you no more than TWICE, if the call remains unanswered on the second attempt the appointment will be closed and you will have to arrange a call for another day.
Also patients should be aware that we will only leave a message on your voicemail if there is a personalised message clearly identifying that the phone number belongs to the patient. We risk breaching confidentiality if we leave a message on voicemail when we cannot verify we are calling the patient direct.
This remains the most efficient and effective method to access care, including where you believe you need to speak to a GP. The system can be accessed from the home page of our website and we respond to all online consultations within 2 working days (often it is much quicker than this) – www.woodlandroadsurgery.nhs.uk
We ask again that patients stop requesting urgent call backs to arrange a prescription. This is not appropriate use of GP time. We ask that you order your prescription 2 working days before you are due to run out either via the online system, calling the POD (number at the top of the home page) or by emailing us at email@example.com If you are going to run out of medication or have another query related to your regularly prescribed medication please also use the email address above. This inbox is checked throughout the day and the reception team can help with most issues and can also arrange an urgent prescription when necessary.
Anyone who uses the on the day/emergency call backs to ask for a prescription will find their request is declined and they will be asked to order the prescription in the correct way.
All patients receiving repeat medication will need a review AT LEAST once a year and we are continuing to catch up with routine medication reviews that have been delayed during the pandemic response. We are prioritising this work very carefully to ensure that those with the most complex medications receive reviews as a priority. The date your review is due is printed on your prescription or can easily be obtained by emailing us to ask. If you know your medication review is due please ask one of our reception team to book you in for a review with one of our clinicians (this might not be with a GP). A medication review is NOT an emergency and does not need to be done via a same day call back and in most cases it does not require GP input. We will always provide a prescription to patients who have gone beyond their review date as long as there is a review booked to take place within the next few weeks.
Fit Note (also referred to as a Sick Note or Med3)
We are not able to provide notes to those self-isolating or in quarantine related to Covid. To get an isolation note please visit – https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
For all other illness you should treat the first 7 days as the self-certification period. You only need to contact us if you feel you will be unable to return to work after this initial 7 day period. As this will usually be a new or urgent problem you can ask for a same day call back to get clinical input on your condition as well as arranging a note.
Where you are asking for a continuation of a long term Fit/Sick Note then we ask that you do this via an online consultation, by speaking to a receptionist or by emailing us. Please do not ask for a same day GP consultation for this purpose and anyone who does use this route will find they are signposted back to the correct process.
We cannot back date a note for a condition that you have not already spoken to a Dr about and we cannot postdate notes in any circumstances.
Covid and Covid Testing
Unlike earlier in the pandemic during the working week we are now looking after all patients who are experiencing Covid or its related symptoms. Many of you will have seen the portakabin outside the practice and this is used for isolation consultations, ensuring that nobody with Covid, or symptoms that might indicate Covid, needs to come into the main building. Patients are asked to contact us in the first instance during opening hours and we will do all we can to support them to self-care through their illness, access home oximetry monitoring and we can also guide them should they need to attend hospital.
Unfortunately we do not have access to Covid testing, patients displaying any of the below symptoms –
will need to make their own arrangements for tests via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
or by dialling 119
Please only book a test if you are experiencing symptoms.
You are still be able to arrange a home visit if you are housebound, please call us before 10am whenever possible. Home visits aren’t offered to normally mobile patients so please don’t ask. You may be visited by a Dr or Paramedic who you do not know, but please be reassured that they will become familiar with your medical history in readiness for the visit.
Throughout the pandemic we have maintained most of our services; others have been reinstated as lab services have allowed. Please understand that all services must be risk assessed and reinstated/delivered only when it is safe and feasible to do so. If you have a specific enquiry please email us – firstname.lastname@example.org
Our main email address is email@example.com and you can email us with any queries you may have. For example you could ask for test results, a medical report, arrange online access to your records, chase up a referral or just ask for non-clinical advice.