CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) HIGH RISK PATIENT ADVICE (UPDATED 31/03/2020)
The Government has issued new guidance for people who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition. If you're in the highest risk group and need to shield, you should have been contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March and strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter. We are aware that there have been some queried with the centrally distributed letters, and we are currently awaiting further information from NHS England on this matter.
An open letter to our patients, from Eric Moore Partnership Medical Practice, regarding current GP protocols and the agreed shielding policy for patients at high risk of complications in our community
The current situation in Warrington
Health services in Warrington are working together to keep our patients safe whilst continuing to provide essential services during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Please be patient with our reception, admin staff and local pharmacy colleagues who are working under intense pressure and in reduced numbers to provide this essential service. Your understanding and patience is appreciated.
To comply with social distancing instructions, the doors to most practices are now closed. Appointments will be undertaken by eConsult, phone or video consultation.
If asked to attend, you may be directed to a different practice for your care.
These measures are needed in order to separate patients who may have COVID-19 symptoms from patients not displaying any symptoms. This will reduce the risk of infection to you, your family and our staff.
Practices remain committed to providing all urgent and essential care. If you or your family have any symptoms that they would normally be worried about; examples might include breast lumps, bleeding or a deterioration in a long-term condition, contact your practice to arrange appropriate care or assessment.
We are ready, but we need your help.
111 online remains the best place to get advice for anyone who has a new continuous cough or fever https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/. They will direct you to your GP practice if it is deemed necessary. Do not attend, you will be telephoned in the first instance.
Please consider using the eConsult communication system. This is a form of email communication and does not require a login or sign up. You can use this service first for any query you have, this will free up telephone lines for those in our community who do not have internet access and those with an urgent medical need. It can be accessed via the Practice’s website and clicking on the appropriate link. This is ordinarily a Blue Square. Your GP will respond to this normally within four to twenty-four hours by email or telephone.
Social distancing; Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading. Remember we all have a part to play. Warrington has many elderly patients and patients with chronic disease. By acting responsibly, you can help protect our vulnerable and save lives. Further information https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with one member of your household
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Important - These 4 reasons are exceptions – even when doing these, you should be minimising time spent outside of your home and ensuring you are at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
Self-isolating, if you or a household member has symptoms.- Please follow the
information provided in this link. Stay at home information
Stay at Home and Shield yourself if you are at high risk of getting seriously ill from Coronavirus.
All “High risk” patients have been asked by the government to “Shield” themselves, even within their home, for 12 weeks. We will continue to provide care for these patients in the safest way possible and ensure they are shielded appropriately.
The Government has in addition written to GP practices asking them to help by
identifying further groups of Patients that may have been missed from national datasets or who belong to at-risk groups where information is best held by local GPs. As a result, further patients in the Warrington area will be contacted in the coming days to inform them of their increased risk of COVID-19 complications. We are still awaiting the searches to help us identify these patients
If you think you are on the following list, you can help by adopting or continuing to shield whilst awaiting your communication. If you are currently working and need a letter to inform your employer of your “Shielded status” or if you need support to start or continue shielding, please use the eConsult method of communication.
Who is being asked to Shield?
Patients in the high risk, as well as those in the very high risk are now being asked to shield.
Patients in the Highest Risk Categories
- Solid organ transplant recipients
- Patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy or targeted immunotherapy
- People with bone marrow cancer, lymphoma, leukaemia, myeloma who are on active treatment
- Patients living with HIV
- Patients at risk of pneumococcal immunity suppression.
- Patients with severe respiratory conditions, cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, severe COPD
- People with genetic disorders that increase the risk of infection
- People on significant immunosuppression therapies. In particular patients on Azothioprine, mycophenolate, cyclosporin, sirolimus, tacrolimus.
Patients in High Risk categories
If you are in one of these categories, you will receive communication as soon as we can. Please only contact the practice for urgent assistance related to this such as the need for your employer to have a letter.
- Patients with multiple long-term conditions.
- Patients with Asthma on high dose combination inhalers, or needing an add on tiotropium inhaler, or who have been hospitalised in the last year, or ever in ITU as a result of asthma. Please see the link to the asthma.org website which details the inhaler you are taking. Asthma Website
- Patients on other Immunosuppressant medication from listed above (methotrexate, leflunomide or oral prednisolone at dose of at least 20mg or more for more than 4 weeks for example) Please see the British society of Rheumatology guidance which classifies patients risk more accurately on the following link. Versus Arthritis Website
- Patients who have had a splenectomy.
- Patients hospitalised with a pneumonia in the last year.
- Patients with diabetes and an HBa1c of > 75, recent diabetic ketoacidosis or are poorly adherent to medication.
- Patients with significant heart failure.
- Patients with dementia or cognitive impairment.
How can you get assistance with foods and medicines if you are shielding?
Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. Please discuss your daily needs during this period of staying at home with carers, family, friends, neighbours or local community groups to see how they can support you. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable to register for the support that you need. This includes help with food, shopping deliveries and additional care you might need.
Further information on shielding available here: Shielding information
Thank you for taking the time to read this information, for staying at home, for
protecting the NHS and for saving lives. You have an equal role to play alongside NHS Staff in this pandemic.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE - 23/03/2020
Along with all of our NHS colleagues, we are experiencing an extremely busy and challenging time at the Eric Moore Partnership Medical Practice, and our team would like to thank all of our patients, who have been very understanding and supportive during this time.
Please take some time to read the following update, which explains recent changes that we have implemented to maximise infection control precautions for our patients, our staff members and other visitors to the practice premises.
For the coming weeks we have made some changes to the way we work, to ensure we are best protecting and caring for our all of our patients and staff alike, and as such we have been required to adjust the types of appointments available and at which site to protect both patients and staff alike.
Currently all patients are asked to NOT visit the practice in person if they wish to arrange an appointment, but to submit an eConsult via the practice website in the first instance. Only if the clinician then feels that a face to face appointment is required, and that it is safe for both the patient and practice team for this to be arranged, would we ask any patient to attend the practice.
For patients who are unable to submit an eConsult, the reception team will be happy to support with this if you please call the practice on 01925 303199.
We can assist with almost everything by these communication routes, but where you do need to be seen the receptionist or clinician will then advise you about the location of your appointment and how to access the practice.
If you have a pre-existing pre-booked appointment and have not already been triaged by a member of the clinical team over the telephone, please DO NOT attend until one of our team has contacted you to discuss this appointment.
As a further infection control precaution, we have made the decision to restrict access to our practice sites:
Access to the Medi Centre will be by pre-agreed appointment only, and patients should use the doorbell to alert reception to your presence in order for the doors to be opened.
All prescription requests, sick note requests and other administrative requests should be made, where possible, using SystmOnline, eConsult, or via email to the practice to firstname.lastname@example.org (please note all emailed requests must include the full name, date of birth and address of the patient, along with full details of each prescription item or clear details of the requirements for other admin requests).
If you would like to set up a SystmOnline account to enable medication ordering only, then please call the practice and the reception team will assist you with this.
There is a designated space in the reception lobby car park entrance at the Medi Centre where prescription and sick note requests can be deposited without accessing the main building, for any patients who are unable to submit these requests online, but we do ask that this is only used by patients who cannot submit their request online either themselves or with the help of a friend or relative.
ORFORD JUBILEE – BRANCH SITE
Our branch site in the Orford Jubilee Hub building will be temporarily closed to patients UNLESS you are given a specific appointment to attend there by one of our clinicians. Appointments at the Orford Jubilee branch will be confirmed one working day before the appointment, and clear instructions will be given to you about the appointment.
If you would normally place your prescription requests in person at the Orford Jubilee branch, we ask that you please follow the guidance above for submitting requests online.
If you normally choose to attend your appointments at Orford Jubilee, you will of course be able to access services at the Medi Centre on Tanners Lane should a clinician decide following telephone triage that you do need to be seen in person.
We thank you for your patience and continued support.
Last updated Monday 23rd March 2020
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFORMATION
You may find the information contained in this document helpful if you have children who want to know more about Coronavirus.
Coronavirus Info for Kids
We are now in the delay phase of our response to COVID-19. This entails significant changes to how we identify and manage potential cases of COVID-19.
The current guidance asks that the public stay at home (self-isolate) without any testing for COVID-19, regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if they have:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher)
Individuals should stay at home (self-isolate) for 7 days from the onset of symptoms.
If more serious symptoms develop that they cannot manage at home they should firstly use NHS 111 online (https://111.nhs.uk/). People should only call NHS 111 if they cannot use the online 111 tool.
The surgery phone lines are facing high demand. Please use the online 111 tools to try to self-manage first, or visit eConsult here - https://ericmoorepartnership.webgp.com/ - to access tailored health advice.
If you need to be seen by a GP, Advanced Nurse Practitioner or other health professional, please complete an eConsult form online, and a member of the practice team will contact you to complete a telephone triage, before booking your appointment if necessary.
DO NOT attend the surgery for any reason unless you have been advised to.
For patients that are unable to use these online tools, and all self-care measures have been exhausted or your symptoms are worsening or you have a significant health concern, please call the surgery. All appointments have been switched to telephone or video consultations and only patients that really need to be seen face to face after being assessed on the phone by a clinician will be booked in to attend the practice. This measure is in place to safeguard both patients and practice staff.
The practice will continue to have processes to ensure childhood immunisation and other essential care continues.
If you are seen at the surgery your clinician may need to wear gloves, gown and mask so do not be alarmed.
Repeat and acute prescriptions will no longer be printed on green prescriptions for collection, and all prescriptions will be sent electronically to your pharmacy to limit/stop footfall to the surgery.
You can request your prescription online using SystmOnline if you have an account set-up, or alternatively you can make a request for your prescription by submitting an admin eConsult. Please ensure you include the full name(s) and strength(s) of the medication that you need to request. Alternatively, you can email your prescription request to email@example.com – please ensure you also include your full name, date of birth and address along with the full details of the medication(s) required if using this ordering method.
If you have not been setup electronically with your pharmacy of choice, please also include these details with your prescription request.
Sick note extension requests should be submitted by completing an eConsult form. Your completed sick note will be emailed to you unless you specifically request otherwise. If you do not wish for your sick note to be emailed to you, this will be posted in 2nd class mail on the day it is due (or the next working day if your sick note is due on a weekend day).