We are here to help!
In the COVID and post COVID world that we now all operate in, we wish to make it clear how we, as a practice, intend to operate safely but also how we expect our patients to act in their contacts with the surgery.
For us at Summercroft Surgery and also for GP’s nationally, how we deliver patient care, is different to the previous traditional model of face to face appointments with doctors and nurses.
We book for face to face consultations as and when necessary. The appointment will be booked by your clinician following a telephone or video consultation, having taking the details and history of your problem. In some instances, a face to face consultation is not required, since a physical assessment would not change the management plan of your care based on your presenting symptoms. Treatment, investigations, referrals or other follow care can still be made for you.
It is important for the practice to continue to reduce footfall into the practice in order to maintain social distancing and infection control measures for some of our more vulnerable patients. This is in line with national guidelines for health care settings. It is for this reason that face to face appointments are clinically prioritised for patients where an assessment is required.
There have been misconceptions in the media that GPs have not been open, offering appointments or wanting to see patients.
Please be aware that this is not true. We have always been open, seeing patients, and we are here to help you.
There have been changes to the way that we work, in order to ensure that we can continue to keep our patients safe and the service operating. We would like our patients to know the transition of change has not been an easy process for our team. There can be difficulties in working remotely, and we have found that telephone consultations are taking longer because it takes more time to ask and explain things. In many instances, GPs are also limited in access to further investigations because of time impact that the pandemic has had on the wider healthcare community. This can be very challenging for us all.
The changes made in the practice are made in accordance with guidelines and in the interest to keep our service open and running. We recognise that demand has increased since the pandemic, and are working with NHS England as well as our Patient Participation Group to see how our practice can continue to evolve to meet the needs of our patients.
Please find below some resources that may help you make the most of your telephone or video consultation.
Starting a video consultation
Difficulties of telephone consultation
We have found that we cannot assess the same volume of patients by these methods as we did in the past. Consequently we will ask patients to make better use of other care pathways, particularly those where you can self-refer and don’t need to see a GP first. You will prevent delays by contacting these services directly yourself, and these services also have access to specialist tests and investigations that will help your problem.
- Talk Together Bromley https://www.talktogetherbromley.co.uk/
- MSK/Joint Pain (knee/back/neck/ankle) – Physiotherapy Bromley https://www.vitahealthgroup.co.uk/nhs-services/nhs-physical-health/bromley/
- Minor Eye Conditions Service –Bromley https://www.bbbc.org.uk/health-centres/minor-eye-conditions-service-mecs/
- Midwife referral https://www.kch.nhs.uk/forms/pruhantenatal
- Bromley Well https://www.bromleywell.org.uk/
What we will do
- We will continue to strive to provide the best quality care we can for our patients.
- We will endeavour at all times to maintain the best possible infection control procedures within the surgery building.
- We will not routinely see patients unless they have been prior assessed by a member of our team.
- We will wear appropriate levels of PPE as advised by World Health Organisation, Public Health England and NHS England.
- Unless we are seeing a child or vulnerable adult who needs carer support, we will only provide a face to face appointment with the patient alone. Where a chaperone or assistance is needed this will be offered and discussed with the patient.
What we expect our patients to do
- Patients will adhere to social distancing whilst in the building.
- Patients will wear face coverings whilst in the building.
- Patients will work with our practice team and be polite and respectful to our practice team following the zero tolerance policy.
Thank you for your continued support and for working with the practice team to help provide safe services to our patient population.