With life getting back to what we hope is more normal rhythm we want to let you know that we are here to support you. We are continuing to improve our service and have put substantial effort into redesigning our access model. We still have the same dedicated on call team to manage you urgent medical needs and will triage routine medical requests into the most appropriate appointment types with the most appropriate clinicians either remotely or in person according to your request, this may involve having tests before an appointment. You still have access to phlebotomy (blood tests), ECG (heart tracing), and X-ray within the Nelson health centre.
We have recently launched our new telephone system that will help more appropriately navigate you to the correct pathway and allow an automated call back should you call waiting times be long. Do be aware that lines tend to be very busy on a Monday and Tuesday morning and call waiting times are shorter later on in the week and in the afternoon.
Our reception is staffed by patient care navigators from 7am until 8pm Monday to Friday and is open. We have always offered (and continue to offer) face-to-face appointments to those who want and need them. Over recent months we have however seen a significant increase in demand and are currently handling over 1,000 calls on average each day. We are providing over 1800 appointments per week – the majority in person. We understand call waiting times can be frustrating but ask that you remain patient with our team. You can also you the online symptom checker ‘doctor link’ to access care directly, or use the ‘contact us button’. We would also suggest that for routine queries you call at times when lines are likely to be quieter for example midweek and afternoons.
Some medical care can also be accessed directly:
- Musculoskeletal appointments offered directly by Connect health – 02037953430
- Mental health appointments can be accessed directly by Merton Uplift
- Same day Minor injury appointments are offered at Queen Mary’s Hospital and can be accessed by calling 020 8725 0120
- Specialist opticians are providing direct primary eye care services. A list of participating opticians can be found here and further details at www.primaryeyecare.co.uk
- Local pharmacies can also provide advice relating to simple conditions, and many treatments purchased directly from the pharmacy
Secondary care (hospitals)
Many hospital are still under significant pressure, this is impacting waiting times particularly for routine appointments but is also leading to increase A+E waiting time, please do call the practice or use the services listed above if you think these would be appropriate for your needs, and be aware that we cannot re-arrange hospital appointments (please call hospital administration teams directly for this).
Although we hope that life is returning to a more normal rhythm it is important to remain cautious. This is particularly the case with potentially vulnerable people needing to attend the Nelson for healthcare. For this reason if you have symptoms that could be infectious then we will ask you to come to an ‘isolation’ appointment at the surgery or at a coronavirus ‘hub’ appointment at a local practice.
If you have symptoms that could indicate an infectious illness we will see you in our isolation room and will ask you to wait away from the main waiting area in order to keep other patients safe. Please ensure you follow these instructions clearly.
There are also things that you can do to help reduce the potential for transmission within the surgery.
- Please arrive on time (not early) for your appointment to reduce time in the waiting room.
- Please wear a mask at all times during the building.
- Wash or sanitise your hands before entering and when you leave.
- Consider taking a lateral flow test before attending the practice.
Vaccines are our most powerful defence again coronavirus and will help keep you and those around you safe, and to bring the pandemic to an end. Vaccines are proving safe and effective.
Anyone who has not yet had a vaccination should have one now. No appointment is needed, the clinics are listed here. Walk-in and pop up vaccination clinics – South West London CCG (swlondonccg.nhs.uk) or book using the national booking system.
If you feel worried about having a vaccination please discuss with clinic staff or one of our team who will be happy to talk this through with you.
Booster vaccinations are our main defence against the Omicron variant – all patients over 18 who are more than 91 days from their second vaccination can book a booster now.
Additional clinics are taking place at the Nelson Health Centre and Wilson Hospital, as well as Centre Court Shopping centre and other sites in the borough. Appointments are often not necessary.
All details can be found here: Walk-in and pop up vaccination clinics – South West London CCG (swlondonccg.nhs.uk)
Boosters: 4th vaccinations are now being offered to eligible individuals and we are making arrangements to visit those in care homes and housebound to deliver them. Do I need a spring booster – and how do I get one? – South West London CCG (swlondonccg.nhs.uk)
Our reception staff are not able to prioritise people for booster vaccination nor arrange ‘Covid passports’ as the process is managed nationally.
We know that the last two years have been a particularly challenging time for many of us. If you have an urgent mental health concern please do call our practice team in hours. There are also many service that you can access directly without needing to contact the practice:
Merton Uplift continues to offer access to psychological therapies and you can contact them directly by calling 020 3513 5888. They also run workshops in various areas including “Alcohol, Mood and Emotions”, “Feeling Confident coming out of Lockdown” and “Managing Sleep”. These are arranged through Merton uplift visiting.
- Off the record offer talking therapy for 11 – 25 years olds
- Kooth offer online support
- Mental health crisis care can be accessed via 0800 028 8000
- The Samaritans are available throughout the winter period via 116 123