Woodland Road Surgery

57 Woodland Road, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 2HZ

Current time is 06:32 - Sorry, we're closed

NHS

Telephone: 0121 475 1065

Fax: 0121 475 6179

Out of Hours: 111

PATIENT SERVICES 2020 – CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC

CURRENT PRACTICE SERVICE UPDATE

What follows is a lot of detailed information on our new way of working and how you access care which will start on Monday 5th October 2020.  If you would like your own copy of what follows then please email us  – woodlandroad.surgery@nhs.net  

Since the pandemic forced us to cancel open surgery in March 2020 we have worked very hard to maintain our same day access but instead this has been via telephone.  However since the end of lockdown we have seen overwhelming numbers of patients contacting us for same day telephone consultations and as the schools have gone back this demand has increased further so we now find ourselves in an impossible situation of trying to respond to 150+ on the day contacts alongside face to face appointments, home visits, medication requests and much more besides.  We have always taken great pride in being easily accessible but we now feel we must change the system to ensure patient safety and to ensure our clinical team can work in a way that ensures all patients get the response and follow up they need.

By changing the system we will be able to respond more quickly to genuinely urgent problems while ensuring those needing routine care receive this is a pre-planned manner.  At the present time the GP’s are trying to work through a long daily list of varying problems and sometimes patients with urgent issues are waiting while the GP’s are dealing with routine issues that did not need a same day response.  We simply can’t allow this to continue into a probable second wave of the pandemic and the further increase in demand that we expect.

Prebooked Telephone/Video Appointments

With effect from Monday 5th October 2020 we will be moving to a prebooked system, where patients will book ahead for a routine call back from a GP and depending on the nature of the call this will then take place over the phone or via a video consultation (the Dr will always phone you in the first instance and then move to a video consultation if your condition would benefit from that).  All patients will be able to prebook a call back from their preferred GP.

This system will allow the GP’s to book ahead for follow ups to discuss ongoing conditions, provide test results and arrange face to face consultations for those conditions which cannot be managed by telephone or video consultation. Telephone/video appointments will be available to book up to a month in advance and it means patients will know when to expect a call from the GP down to an hour slot on the designated day.

Hourly slots will be available throughout the normal working week and there will also be extended hours availability earlier in the morning or later in the evening.

By booking you into an hourly slot on your preferred day you can go about your normal business and you only need to keep your phone at hand for one hour as you know your GP will be calling you at some point within that sixty minute window.

Face to Face Consultations

Many of you will be aware that we have been open to our patients throughout the pandemic and this has included carrying out face to face consultations every day, as needed.  Due to the prevalence of Covid within the community it is still necessary for us to limit face to face access to only where the GP deems it essential and safe.  For the time being we will not be allowing patients to book face to face consultations, if you believe you need to be seen in person then you must first arrange to speak to a GP by telephone and they will make the arrangements where appropriate.

Same Day Emergencies

In addition to the prebooked appointments we will be running 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 call back.  These on the day call backs will be with any available GP and you will no longer be able to ask to speak to a specific GP as different GP’s will be covering this clinic according to availability.  If a problem is urgent then ensuring you get medical input is the priority, if you feel the problem can wait until your preferred GP is available then we ask that you prebook accordingly.

Reception Level Triage

To underpin the above changes we will be undertaking some additional training with our reception team who will be supporting the GP’s to prioritise the same day call backs.  Our receptionists are not clinicians but they are all experienced and trained to be able to identify which problems might be more urgent than others.  We are now asking that ALL patients requesting a same day call back disclose the nature of the problem to enable safe prioritisation of call backs.  We are not asking you to provide any great detail; just a simple one word description or symptom is all we need.

This additional level of information will also enable our receptionists to signpost you should the same day emergency call back clinic not be appropriate.  For example we are not able to help you with Covid testing so asking for a GP to call you back about this wastes time you could be using to access the testing system.  It also means we can redirect people with minor illness to self-help guides or the local pharmacy if they have not already tried these routes before contacting the GP.

‘Personal’ Problems

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, prebooked call back.  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 call back 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.

Missed Calls

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.

With effect from 5th October 2020 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.

 Online Consultations

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

Medications Requests

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 or by emailing us at woodlandroad.prescriptions@nhs.net 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.

With effect from Monday 5th October 2020 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.

Medication Reviews

All patients receiving repeat medication will need a review AT LEAST once a year, often this is done every six months.  The date this 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 prebook a telephone consultation with your preferred GP.  A medication review is NOT an emergency and does not need to be done via a same day call back.  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.  We are in the process of establishing better isolation space so we can monitor oxygen levels and breathing rates for those known to have Covid, until now we have been doing this in the car park which becomes impossible as the autumn and winter weather sets in.  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 and 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 –

  • High Temperature (above 37.8)
  • New, continuous cough
  • Loss of smell and/or taste

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.

Home Visits

You will still be able to arrange a home visit if you are housebound or during periods of shielding for those on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) list, please call us before 10am whenever possible. Home visits aren’t offered to normally mobile patients so please don’t ask.  During the pandemic you may be visited by a Dr or Paramedic who do not work at the surgery as during busy periods we are working with our local colleagues to maintain this service.

Nursing

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 only when it is safe and feasible to do so.  If you have a specific enquiry please email us – woodlandroad.surgery@nhs.net

Email

Our main email address is woodlandroad.surgery@nhs.net 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.

Isolation Consulting

As previously mentioned we are in the process of securing a separate consulting space which will probably be sited on our front car park.  This will enable the GP’s to see any patients with Covid or Covid type symptoms whilst protecting the main building from any possible contamination.  If you are asked to attend for an isolation consultation you will be given clear instructions about what actions to take – PLEASE DO NOT COME INTO THE BUILDING IF YOU ARE ATTENDING DUE TO COVID TYPE SYMTOMS.

 

Opening Times

  • Monday
    08:00 until 18:30
    (doors open 08:20am - 18:00pm)
  • Tuesday
    08:00 until 18:30
    (doors open 08:20am - 18:00pm)
  • Wednesday
    08:00 until 18:30
    (doors open 08:20am - 18:00pm)
  • Thursday
    08:00 until 18:30
    (doors open 08:20am - 18:00pm)
  • Friday
    08:00 until 18:30
    (doors open 08:20am - 18:00pm)
  • Saturday
    CLOSED
  • Sunday
    CLOSED