I would like to thank you for supporting the changes that the Shore Medical group of Practices have made since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, with further changes anticipated as the outbreak develops.
Shore Medical is doing everything that is possible to maintain essential Primary Care Services during this time. We absolutely understand the uncertainty and anxiety that is being caused by this unprecedented global health emergency.
In line with national guidance that you will be aware of through the media PLEASE DO NOT VISIT YOUR USUAL PRACTICE unless you are told to do so by one of our clinicians. For anyone with symptoms that could be related to the Coronavirus please use the NHS 111 symptom checker https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/, or telephone 111 if necessary.
If you have any other medical concern that you feel requires assessment, then please contact your usual Practice. We would urge you to try to do this initially using the E-consult system which will receive a response within 24 hours (excluding weekends). If this is not possible, or you perceive a greater urgency, then telephone your Surgery.
The administrative team will record your details and will ask for a summary of your medical need so that the clinical team can prioritise their response. You will then be contacted by one of our healthcare professionals who will either deal with your problem over the phone wherever possible or arrange for you to attend for assessment. This assessment will either be at your usual surgery or at our designated infection control site. We will seek to manage your problem without bringing you to the surgery when possible and safe.
Primary Care across the country is already under pre-existing significant pressure and our workforce is depleted due to illness, self-isolation and from now because of school closures. Please be mindful of this when contacting us.
For administrative tasks such as repeat prescription ordering please do this on-line where able. You can sign up to the NHS app on smart phones if you don’t currently have online access. This sign up can be verified without visiting the surgery. Please do not over-order medications. There is no capacity to allow “stockpiling” and it serves no beneficial purpose as we strive to support your care.
Please do heed the public health advice that is updated very regularly. We know that hand washing and social distancing does work to slow transmission and “flatten the curve”. We also know which groups of patients are most at risk, and there is good on-line guidance for all these groups available at Gov.uk. Unfortunately, being older does increase your risk even if you count yourself as one of our super-fit brigade. In the words of the chief medical officer, if you are a smoker, then now is a good time to stop. I assure you strongly that this advice is valuable and not being “over-hyped” by the media.
Our response to the pandemic is based on National guidance, supported by collaboration with local Networks of Practices, Dorset CCG and NHS England. Shore Medical has a dedicated “Covid response team” that is meeting (by video) regularly to assess the situation.
In summary, therefore, Shore Medical to date has:
- Stopped the booking of routine and online appointments to move to a telephone and E-consult based service
- Aimed to restrict unnecessary administrative work
- Set up a dedicated site to assess patients who may be contagious
- Set up a multi-disciplinary Covid response team.
These measures are all aimed at facilitating the continued provision of the highest level of healthcare possible for all our patients in the circumstances, and allow us to adapt further as the pandemic progresses.
I am immensely proud of the whole team across our five Practices and am grateful to you for recognising the current pressures when you need to contact us. These are exceptional times.
I wish you all well, and reassure you that we, as a small cog in the NHS wheel, are as well prepared as we can be to provide healthcare during the potentially challenging times ahead.
Dr Andy Rutland,
Clinical Director Shore Medical
On behalf of the Partners of Heatherview Medical Centre, Lilliput Surgery, Parkstone Health Centre, Poole Road Medical Centre and Wessex Road Surgery