Services Update – June 2020

Posted by: Mark - Posted on:

The Coronavirus Pandemic has meant that our service provision has had to change

NHS England have instructed GP practices to suspend pre-bookable face-to-face appointments indefinitely.  This is a significant and important measure in preventing the spread of coronavirus and protecting patients as well as NHS staff.  However, this means that patients are not able to access their primary care service in the usual way.

Here is more information about how the practice has changed it’s service provision during the pandemic.

Remote Working

Clinical and administrative staff are working from home where possible in order to maintain safe social distancing.  This is the same for most if not all practices across the UK.  Leeds CCG have provided laptops and software to uphold timely and confidential access to patient records and the practice staff are meeting regularly via Microsoft Teams to manage the daily running of the practice.

Telephone Triage

GP telephone appointments can be booked at 8am for the morning clinic or at 1pm for the afternoon clinic, Monday-Friday.

Because of remote working and the need for reducing the numbers of people (staff and patients alike) attending the practice, GP clinics have now been changed to telephone triage.  This means that when required, your GP will phone you instead of seeing you in person.

GP telephone appointments can be requested by submitting an eConsultation or by calling reception at 8am for the morning clinic or at 1pm for the afternoon clinic, Monday-Friday.  Once the appointments have been filled in each clinic then no more will be made available until the next clinic.

Reception staff have been trained to take some confidential information from you regarding the nature of your enquiry.  This will help the GP determine the urgency of the problem but might also help reception re-direct your enquiry to a more appropriate member of staff (eg speaking to the secretary about a referral or to the nurse about an asthma review or pill prescription).

If the GP determines during your consultation that a face-to-face appointment is essential then they will organise an specific time slot for you to attend.

accuRx

Like many practices across the country the GPs at KLMC have been using IT software called AccuRx that links text messaging to your computerised medical record.  Using this the GPs can make video calls, send Med3 certificates (sicknotes) or leaflets and receive images (eg skin conditions) in order to communicate with you remotely.

Your GP might request that you send some information like a blood pressure reading or a picture of a skin problem to them ahead of or after your appointment.  Any such information you send to the GP (including images) is received by them directly and then saved to your medical record.  If you would like more information about this feature then please see www.accurx.com.

If an appointment is booked for you to attend at the surgery then you will be sent a survey via accuRx ahead of your appointment for the staff to ascertain whether you are experiencing any symptoms suggestive of coronavirus.  We thank you in advance for taking a moment to complete this survey.

eConsultations

The new “Digital Reception” feature has been activated so that you can easily request a GP callback, a medication or a sicknote in addition to submitting other administrative or clinical enquiries without having to call through to reception.  We aim to process eConsultations within 2 working days.

Please consider using this feature before calling the practice, especially if your enquiry is non-urgent or relates to a medication or sicknote request.

Care Homes

Kirkstall Lane Medical Centre has patients living in several care homes in the area and continues to provide regular pro-active patient care during the coronavirus pandemic.  Because of remote working the GPs and nursing staff have adapted how this care is being provided.

A weekly multi-disciplinary team meeting with the care homes and district nursing teams is being held in addition to a daily consultation between GP and care home in order to maintain high levels of care for this population of patients.

Face-to-Face Appointments

If you have been booked into a face-to-face appointment with the Nurse, Healthcare Assistant or by a GP to see them in clinic then you should follow the specific instructions provided.  Appointments are being allocated with social distancing in mind so as to reduce the number of patients attending the practice at any one time.  It is vital that you attend your appointment on time and if you are running late or can no longer attend, please inform reception immediately.

Patients who are displaying symptoms of possible infection (including coronavirus) will be directed to the “Hot Zone” of the practice, which has been cordoned off from the main waiting area and other clinical rooms.  Careful infection control measures are being adhered to at the practice for all consultations and you should expect the clinician to be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your appointment.

Screening

Cervical Screening remains available at KLMC so if you want to book are due a smear test or are uncertain, please contact reception to make an appointment for a smear test.

The NHS provides Screening for a number of important conditions including some cancers.  Screening means inviting specific population groups to have a test (usually for cancer) in the absence of any symptoms.  The usual programmes run by the NHS screen for cancer of the cervix, bowel and breast and also for AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm) and conditions related to diabetes.

As of March 2020 most of the NHS screening services have been temporarily suspended owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cervical Screening remains available and we would encourage anyone who is due or overdue a smear test to contact the practice to arrange an appointment with the Practice Nurse.  Careful infection prevention measures have been established to ensure that this service is provided as safely as is possible.

Immunisations

Childhood Immunisations, Shingles and Pneumonia vaccination programmes are still running as normal so please contact reception to make your appointment if this is has been advised.

Immunisations for infants and for patients who fall into specific risk groups (such as shingles, pneumovax) are still being provided as usual.  NHS England have tried to communicate to practices and patients regarding the importance of still bringing your child for their routine immunisations.

For patients who are shielding or who would rather not enter the surgery building it is still possible to receive your immunisation so please contact reception to arrange our appointment.  If you are not sure whether you are due a Pneumonia or Shingles vaccination then please contact reception to enquire.

Submit an eConsultation hereeConsultation