Update letter to patients 24/07/2020

Letter-to-patients-July-2020

Dear Patients,

UPDATE ON HOW WE ARE PROVIDING SERVICES

As we are all aware, the current Coronavirus pandemic has presented huge challenges over the last few months. Nobody has been immune from the disruption, uncertainty and, at times, distress.

The practice team are normal people and we share the same fears and anxieties as all of you. While the number of deaths from the virus is falling, coronavirus remains a very real threat to everyone and the practice cannot simply return to “normal”. To let our guard down now would risk the safety not only of staff but of other patients and this is not something we are prepared to do.

Facemasks of the sort worn by our staff are worn predominantly to protect the patients they are treating. If a patient comes in who is suffering from coronavirus (and they may not be aware of this themselves) then our team are only protected by, either, social distancing from the patient or if the patient wears a face covering or mask. It is not normally possible to socially distance if you are attending for a medical appointment. Our team face these risks on a daily basis. Their professionalism and commitment to you, our patients, means they shoulder this risk every day.

If you want to book an appointment, please phone the practice; for the GPs we have pre bookable phone, plus on the day triage appointments available and if you need to be seen face to face, the clinician will organise this. The nurse appointments can be booked in advance, but you will receive a reminder the day before and asked if you have any potential COVID symptoms then not to attend. The ONLY reasons for coming to the practice are to attend a booked appointment or to pick up / drop off an item, where it cannot be emailed to you.

Please wait outside the practice until you are called in. This is safer for patients and safer for staff. You can wait in your car if you prefer, just let us know where you will be parked and your car registration.

We are asking ALL patients to wear a face covering when attending the practice for ANY reason. Unfortunately, we cannot supply masks – the supplies of PPE are unreliable and we must preserve stocks of clinical masks for our staff so that we can protect you, our patients. We do not expect you to wear a clinical or fluid resistant mask but a homemade facemask or scarf, even a bandana over your mouth and nose would be adequate. You may notice that not all staff are wearing masks – this is because the areas of the practice these staff work, and their roles, mean they are able to comply with social distancing guidelines. Patients, who come to the practice without a face covering, with no medical reason why they cannot wear one, may be asked to return home and rebook their appointment.

Please understand that if our practice team become unwell we will not be able to treat patients – we are asking our patients to help us so that we can continue to help you.

We know many patients are anxious about the months ahead, managing existing and new health conditions and flu vaccinations. We are working with the other Keynsham Practices, to find new ways of working, to ensure the safety of our patients, their carer’s and our staff whilst ensuring you receive the care you need. A huge amount of work and planning is going on behind the scenes to restart services and to keep you safe – please be patient with us and please respect out staff who are following new processes. If you have urgent concerns, please contact us, by phone, for advice.

The best source of up to date information is our website page www.templehousesurgery.nhs.uk

Thank you for your understanding and your continuing support.

The Temple House Practice Team