Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update - September 2020
We would like to thank all of our patients for their understanding and patience whilst we have made essential changes to cope with the current pandemic. We are aware this is a very different model for accessing medical care, however it has been received very well and has made our job easier. Please remember it is now a requirement that anyone coming into a health centre should wear a face covering (except those who are exempt).
We understand that a small number of patients are becoming frustrated with the limitations in place - however, it would be unsafe of us to return to normal at this stage. As patients attend the practice when they are unwell, this could very quickly lead to virus hot spots, putting the whole practice/ building at risk of closure, not to mention risk to the vulnerable patients who also attend here for medical care.
What to Expect when Accessing Healthcare
The practice is still operating a telephone consultation service as first line. In most cases, consultations can safely be undertaken in this manner, however we are bringing occasional patients down to the surgery who do need to be seen face to face. If the GP feels your symptoms require a face to face consultation, they will make this arrangement with you during your initial telephone consultation. This allows them to risk assess each patient before bringing them in, use protective equipment, plan the safe use of our designated consultation room, allow for physical distancing inside the health centre and also for any appropriate cleaning in between patients.
The nursing team are undertaking face to face appointments for bloods, some injections (childhood and necessary therapeutic injections) and urgent reviews. These appointments are booked either by the nurse herself, a clinician following a consultation, or by the admin team (for INRs/ DMARDs and other regular bloods). You will be given instructions about what to do when you come for your appointment (see below). If you have been given an appointment, and you become unwell with any symptoms of Covid in the interim, please do not attend without contacting us first/ cancelling your appointment.
When you attend
The front door of the health centre remains closed. Patients who are asked to attend Duns Medical Group are asked to wait in their car and to telephone us (if they can), to let us know they have arrived. The admin team will advise you to come to the front door, or wait in your car until the clinician is ready for you. If there has been a delay, we will phone you back when the clinician is ready to see you. This avoids several patients congregating at the front door, or patients standing outside in adverse weather. We politely ask that patients do not huddle round the door. There are patients waiting for many different departments; doctors, nurses, hospital departments or visiting relatives in the ward and we need to safely manage how many people are waiting at one time and enforce social distancing.
At the moment, patients are escorted into the practice and back out again. Please do not come in until you are invited in by a clinician.
All clinicians are wearing PPE when they see you (mask/ visor/ apron and gloves).
Items to Hand In/ Collect
We would be grateful if you could post in items which need handed into the practice. Most (if not all) hospital discharge letters are received electronically so do not need to be handed in. Items which you would normally collect from the practice (fit notes, letters etc) will be posted out to you.
We are accepting samples (if these have been requested by a clinician only). Please contact us by telephone first to arrange dropping off your sample.
Hearing aid batteries can still be obtained from the practice. Please contact us by telephone first to arrange this.
Preparing for Remobilising
The practice are having discussions with other users of the health centre about the safe reopening of the building. This is being done in collaboration with NHS Borders who have also redesigned access arrangements to the BGH to make it as safe as we possibly can for patients and staff. This is to ensure that health centres and hospitals do not become hot spots for virus transmission. Waiting areas are likely to remain closed in the meantime. There has been signage installed around the health centre, reminding patients of the 2 metre physical distancing rule. Some chairs have been closed off so that patients do not sit together (for when waiting rooms eventually reopen) and also asking patients to follow strict hand hygiene and to wear a face covering (if they are able to do so).
For the most accurate up to date information please click on NHS Inform
Text Message Appointment Reminders
We are now up and running with text message appointment confirmations and reminders. We may also use this service for health promotion and practice news including e.g. flu vaccination campaigns at appropriate times. Consent forms will be available from reception when you next attend the health centre or complete the online form on the text messaging page.
Please keep mobile numbers up to date with the practice.