COVID – 19 (Coronavirus) Dinas Lane Medical Centre Update (26/3/20)

Over recent weeks we have been planning for the situation which we all find ourselves in, and we are aiming to provide patients with a weekly update.

As part of that planning we are step by step putting this plan into action so that we will continue to deliver Urgent General Practice to all of our patients.

We are open  and we will continue to remain open. However, the way that we work and deliver healthcare has had to change due to the current emergency.

The surgery door is now locked due to critical staffing levels but we are still taking phone calls. You will not be able to enter the practice unless you have an appointment that has been triaged by a Clinician. We now have a Prescription collection point at the side of that building that is clearly sign posted. We will not be dealing with any queries at the Prescription collection point – If you have a query please go home and call 0151 489 2298. We will review the situation daily.

These changes will allow us to continue to give our patients Urgent care when it is needed. It will also allow us to protect our most vulnerable patients and our staff from COVID – 19.

One of the problems of COVID-19 is that around 1 in 5 people who have the illness will show no symptoms and yet still be able to infect other people. Just because you feel fine, that does not necessarily mean that you are safe to attend Dinas Lane Medical Centre without posing a risk to other people.

The Prime Minister has now announced that people should start to put in place social distancing, avoiding non-essential travel and only using the NHS if it is essential. Dinas Lane Medical Centre is included in these measures.

Cold and flu like symptoms

If you have cold or flu like symptoms, are worried you may have Coronavirus or simply want to know the current NHS guidance on Coronavirus please follow the advice at NHS – Coronavirus.

If you have followed the advice and NHS 111 do not feel you are likely to have Coronavirus and do not need to self-isolate and are concerned about your condition or your family members’ condition, please follow the advice below around Urgent Appointments.

Telephone Lines

As we encourage people not to routinely visit Dinas Lane Medical Centre in person, the Practice is seeing a high level of phone calls and there may be a delay in answering your call. We would like to apologise for this and advise that all calls will be answered in turn. Please think twice about whether you need to contact the surgery or whether the problem can wait or be dealt with in another way (Please see the section on routine appointments below).

Routine appointments

We have stopped taking bookings for routine appointments. This is to allow us to have the capacity to treat all urgent needs. If you have a pre-booked routine appointment, this will currently go ahead but may become a telephone appointment where the Doctor will phone you instead. We are in the process of informing all the patients that this applies to.

If you have a routine matter which you think is very important that it is dealt with now and cannot wait a few weeks, then please go to https://dinaslanemc.webgp.com/  and complete the eConsult form giving as much detail as possible and we will endeavour to deal with these as and when we can. Please note there may be a considerable delay in response. Please think twice as to whether it is necessary to do this at this time. NHS Community Pharmacies are able to provide care and advice on multiple minor conditions and self-care. More information can be found at NHS Care At the Chemist.

Urgent Appointments and Home Visits

We will continue to accept bookings for urgent ‘book on the day’ Appointments and Home Visits for the housebound, where clinically safe and necessary to attend. However, we are moving to a Total Telephone Triage system. This means when you phone reception (please do not attend the surgery in person) to request an Appointment or Home Visit, your name will be added to a list and the doctor will contact you at some point during that day. As such, it is important we have your correct contact details; unfortunately, we cannot give you an exact time when you will be contacted. If you contact the surgery before 2pm then we will respond to you the same day. We will try to sort the problem by phone and if not, then we will arrange a time when it will be safe for you to attend the surgery.

Prescriptions

We are only currently able to issue a one-month supply of medications due to local pharmacies potentially running out of stock, much in the same way that supermarkets are noticing supply problems through people stock-piling. We will, however, increasingly be issuing a 2-month supply of POST-DATED prescriptions, where this is safe to do so. We will also be relaxing the rules for people over the age of 70 to order the medication by phone if self-isolating.

If you have not already done so, we would strongly recommend signing up for ONLINE prescription ordering, and having a nominated chemist where your prescription will automatically be sent to when ordered. If you have an underlying health condition or are elderly and may have to self-isolate, then consider nominating a chemist who delivers prescriptions or make some other arrangement to have your prescription collected and delivered.

By following this advice it means you do not have to come to Dinas Lane Medical Centre to obtain prescriptions and thereby put yourself and other people at risk.

Midwife Appointment

These will continue as normal until further notice.

Phlebotomy

Unfortunately, due to the safety of our patients and staff alike, we are having to temporarily close our phlebotomy service. You will still be able to source a blood form from us and have your bloods undertaken at the local walk-in-centre, if essential, until further notice.

Childhood Vaccinations

These will continue as normal but for operational reasons these appointments will be in the morning for the time being.

As time goes by and the situation changes, we may have to change these measures and we would recommend checking on this page at regular intervals for any updates.

During this difficult time we really appreciate your understanding and support in helping us to continue to deliver urgent healthcare to all our patients. Please take time to look after people in your community who may need help and support. Working together we are much stronger than individuals working alone.

Many thanks,

All the Staff at Dinas Lane Medical Centre.