COVID-19 Updates

Face to Face Appointments

We are now requesting that all patients wear a face covering, eg. mask or scarf, when they attend for an appointment. This is for the safety of staff and all other patients attending the surgery who may come into contact with them.  Young children and people with breathing difficulties are exempt.   

Before your appointment the clinician will send you a text message, advising that you reply when you arrive.  If you have replied to the text, please do not ring the bell, we are sending these text messages to avoid this.  The clinicians are looking out for your reply, which automatically pops up on their computer screen.  As our doors are currently locked this saves you having to wait in a queue and limits the number of patients gathering around the door waiting to ring the bell.  Additionally, our Receptionists may not be able to answer the door straight away as they are also dealing with phone calls. 


Since the start of the COVID19 Pandemic we have been following national guidance.  We shut our doors to protect our patients and staff, but continued to provide a service to our patients. We cancelled all our routine appointments but continued to see patients for urgent and essential medical needs.  For the last 4 months our Reception and Admin staff have worked tirelessly booking appointments, issuing prescriptions and dealing with a constant stream of patient queries on matters completely new to them.  All staff have had to learn quickly how to use new systems and keep up to date with constant changes to procedures and guidelines. Our GP’s and ANPs have been busy doing telephone and video consultations as well as some face to face appointments where necessary.  Our Practice Nurses and Health Care Assistants have been busy answering queries via email and telephone and have continued to see patients for appointments which could not be postponed such as cancer, contraception and baby injections, INRs, urgent smears and urgent blood tests.

As the number of COVID19 cases is dropping and regulations are starting to be relaxed somewhat, we feel we can safely start to see more patients. We are, therefore, introducing a phased return towards normal working.

Although we are starting to see more patients, we are still unable to resuming a totally normal service. Government Guidelines are still to maintain social distancing and therefore for the time being, our doors will remain locked and you will have to wait outside until a Clinician collects you for your appointment. We are looking to install a screen at the Reception window and once this is in place, we will look at opening our doors to a very limited number of patients.

GP’s and ANP’s will continue to provide telephone/video consultations where possible. Our Clinicians still need to observe strict infection control precautions and will still be wearing full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – gloves, mask, apron and sometimes a visor. They will also need to wipe down any items a patient has come into contact with such as chair, examination couch, door handles etc. Removing and reapplying PPE and cleaning between each patient adds a considerable amount of extra time to each consultation and, therefore, Clinicians are not going to be able to see the same number of patients they were seeing before COVID19. Urgent needs will be prioritised and most routine annual reviews will continue to be postponed for the time being.

We will continue to provide the best service we can under the circumstances. We would like to thank everyone for all their kind words and appreciation over the last 4 months and would be grateful for your continued understanding and co-operation during these very difficult times.

Please see the information below for more specific updates and information

The Case Definition for COVID19 has now changed and includes a change of smell or taste as well.  You now need to self isolate if you have a high temperature, cough or change of smell or taste.

Testing for COVID19

Testing is now open to any member of the public with COVID19 symptoms by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119 to book a test.

Social Prescribing Link Worker – Sharon Burton

We have asked Sharon to contact patients who we think may benefit from extra support during this time.  She can help with many things including shopping, medication, befriending etc.  Sharon is employed by Voluntary Action Rotherham to work for GP surgeries across Maltby and Wickersley.  If you would like extra support, please contact the surgery and we will pass your details on to Sharon.

COVID-19 Privacy Notice

Click on the link below for information on how your data is being processed to support vital Coronavirus planning and research

Transparency Notice for data for pandemic planning and research (COVID19)

Dental Care

Dentists are still available for dental care. They are providing advice and triage over the phone and can arrange face to face appointments if necessary.  If you are not registered with a Dentist, please phone your local dentist who should be able to offer advice.  If you require urgent dental care out of hours, please phone NHS111.

Pre-School Booster Vaccinations

Pre-school Booster Vaccinations are being booked in as normal

Drug Monitoring

Patients who undergo routine drug monitoring blood tests (DMARDs), if you take Methotexate, Leflunomide, Azathioprine or Sulfasazalazine appointments are being booked as normal.

B12 Injections

B12 injections are being booked in as normal.

Coils/Implants

We have received guidance to say that implants will work for 4 years instead of 3 years and coils will work for 6 years instead of 5 years. 

Ear Problems

The Rotherham Ear Care Service has set up a new advice tine to help you.  You can ring on the following numbers 01709 423145 or 01709 423207 or 07775 852096 and a specialist nurse will speak to you. You will be seen face to face if this is needed.  You have to be over the age of 18 to use this service.

Bloods

Phlebotomy clinics will be starting again from 2 June.  We are working through the hundreds of bloods which are overdue and will be inviting patients in prioritising the most urgent.  We will only be able to see about a third of the patients we were seeing previously and therefore, for now, routine bloods will continue to be postponed.  

Anxiety/Depression

This is a very difficult time for everyone and it is quite normal to be feeling down or anxious.  If you would like to talk to someone then you can contact the Rotherham IAPT team by calling 01709 447755 or you can self-refer through their website here.  You can also access Rotherham RDaSH website to find many more resources to help all your family, including your children, with their mental health needs here.

There is also a new website Rother Hive – this is an online platform which has been developed by NHS Rotherham CCG to provide a range of verified practical advice and accurate contact details for local, national and online mental health and wellbeing services for adults in Rotherham.   www.rotherhive.co.uk

Weight Loss/Quit Smoking/Alcohol Support

Get Healthy Rotherham is still offering telephone support with all these.  You can self refer through their website here.  There is also a Quit Smoking for COVID campaign that has been launched and you can join that here if you like.

Domestic Abuse

During the COVID Pandemic there have been reports of an increase Domestic Abuse. 

The NHS website has advice online for the public on spotting the signs for domestic abuse and domestic violence and where to go for help. The NHS also has a help page for those who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

The Home Office have launched a national campaign to raise awareness of the dedicated support available. The campaign will highlight that isolation rules do not apply in the case of domestic abuse and that police response and support services remain available.

The Home Office is promoting the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number is 0808 2000 247 and associated online support available at nationaldahelpline.org.uk

As part of the campaign, the Home Office has produced detailed advice for those experiencing domestic abuse and domestic violence. In addition, Respect is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. The helpline also takes calls from partners or ex-partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators. A webchat service is available. 

Smears

National smear invites are starting to be send out again and we will begin booking in routine smears again from 8 June 2020.

We have heard reports of a cervical screening text message scam.  If you receive a text message asking you to click on a link or phone a number which is anything other than the surgery number, please ignore it.

Rescue Packs – will NOT be given to all patients with Asthma and COPD. If you suffer with Asthma or COPD and become ill, you will be triaged by a clinician and given antibiotics/steroids when they are needed. It is not necessary to have some just in case. This surgery alone has over 700 patients with Asthma or COPD and cannot possibly give all these patients antibiotics/steroids just in case.

Please see the link below for further information and advice.

https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19

Prescriptions – wherever possible, please order your prescription online or email them to [email protected]. If you do not have access to the internet we will accept requests over the phone. You can now also post them through the letter box on the side of the building. If you go up the drive there is a green door on the left hand side with the Blyth Road Medical Centre sign on.

Rotherham Health App – we are advising patients to download the Rotherham Health App. The app can be downloaded to smart phone and it is also available as a website www.rotherhamhealthapp.com

You can order your prescriptions via the app and they are also currently developing video consultations. Once you register, the surgery will need to complete your registration by confirming your identity. They will do this by phoning you and asking some questions.  If you have any queries regarding the app, please go on their support page.

High Risk Group

From 1 August 2020, the guidance will be paused so clinically extremely vulnerable people of all ages will no longer be advised to shield.

Self-Isolation – please do not contact the surgery to ask if you should self-isolate or to request a sick note if you are self-isolating. If you are suffering with a high temperature of above 37.8 or you have a new continuous cough  or a change in taste or smell, you are advised to self-isolate for 10 days. If you have a health condition and think you should be self-isolating because you are at risk, the government has published a list of who should self-isolate. Please refer to this list (link below) and speak to your employer.  We can provide you with proof of your medical condition if your employer insists, although this shouldn’t be needed.  However, it is not up to us to decide whether you should be at work or not.  You need to discuss this with your employer.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

To generate a self certificate please visit www.111.nhs.uk

Telephoning the surgery – please do not contact the surgery if it is not essential. Our lines are extremely busy. We have a limited number of phone lines and our clinicians need these to be able to contact patients. If you phone and the Receptionist can’t deal with your query straight away, you will be put on a list for a member of staff to phone you back at a quieter time.  If you have a general query that is being asked by a number of patients we will update the website with this information. 

For the latest national advice and updates visit

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

For patients concerned that they may have coronavirus or may have come into contact with someone who has, the NHS 111 online service has created coronavirus pages that tell patient what they should do based on their particular circumstances.  These can be accessed at

https://111.nhs.uk/service//covid-19