Update – August 2021
As we move into August the current local case rate of coronavirus remain high and we urge everyone to be cautious at this crucial time.
Please be assured that the practice is open and we want to encourage you to seek support from the surgery if needed, for any reason.
The symptoms of coronavirus infection are often mild to start with and we ask that if you are at all concerned that you or a relative have coronavirus then please book a formal PCR viral swab via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test (lateral flow home tests are NOT sufficiently accurate to exclude coronavirus).
We have seen a significant surge in demand over the last few months and are currently handling over 1,000 calls on average each day. We understand call waiting times can be frustrating but ask that you remain patient with our team.
We have seen incredible uptake of the vaccination locally and it is good to see that this is protecting out local population. Your local NHS is delivering the biggest vaccination programme in its history, with over 1,260,000 Covid-19 vaccinations administered across South West London.
We recognise the significant mental and physical demands that this pandemic has put on everyone and want to share with you some wellbeing workshops that are available to Merton residents. Upcoming workshops include “Alcohol, Mood and Emotions”, “Feeling Confident coming out of Lockdown” and “Managing Sleep”. These are arranged through Merton uplift by calling 020 3513 5888 or by visiting www.eventbrite.co.uk/merton-uplift
The Nelson Medical Practice has remained open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, offering appointments in person at the surgery, on the telephone and via video link.
Like healthcare services all over the UK, all consultations will initially be carried out remotely via a phone or video call. This helps us manage care in a safe and, we hope, effective manner. If we can resolve any issues via a phone or video call we will, hopefully providing a more convenient and responsive service whilst reducing your risk of infection. However if either you, or we feel you need to be seen in the surgery then we are here for you. The initial phone call often allows tests and investigations to be organised before a face to face consultation, making the most of your time with the doctor.
Patients can directly book telephone appointments through the ‘Patient Access’ app, using the online symptom-checker tool ‘Doctorlink’ or by calling the practice on 0203 826 0826. We kindly ask that patients do not, in the first instance, come in to the practice to book an appointment. Advice and information is also available for patients through the ‘Get Help Now’ tool on our practice website.
Our Same Day Team are available from 08:00 – 18:30 Monday – Friday to deal with clinically urgent problems which need addressing that day – this can be accessed in the usual manner by calling 0203 826 0826. We are now using video calls and two-way text messaging (including the sending of pictures) in addition to telephone calls to offer an even more comprehensive service.
We continue to provide Home Visits to those that need them. Please be aware that there is a limited capacity to provide these and we are only able to provide these to people who are housebound and unable to attend the Surgery. If you think you may need home visit then please contact the practice before 11:00am to request a visit.
We have hugely increased our capacity for telephone triage and our phone lines are open 08:00 – 18:30 Monday Friday. If you are unwell outside of these times please contact NHS 111, or use the online symptom checker Doctorlink – the results of this symptom checker are fed back to the practice to arrange appropriate appointments if needed. If it’s an emergency please call 999 or attend the nearest accident and emergency department.
We’ve also expanded the use of our Doctorlink App. Here you can check your symptoms 24 hours a day and if you need to see a doctor you can book a telephone appointment directly through the app.
Patients can also directly contact other primary care services, including;
- Musculoskeletal appointments offered directly by Connect health
- 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 primary eye care services for a list of opticians, click here
- Many local pharmacies can also provide advice relating to simple conditions, and many treatments purchased directly from the pharmacy.
If you need help from the practice but don’t think you need to speak to a doctor then you can use the ‘contact us’ form on our website – follow the link on our home page. We hope that this is convenient to use, please allow 2 working days for a response from the practice.
Keeping you safe
In order to keep you safe whilst in the building you may notice a few changes, please be reassured that this is to maximise the safety of patients and staff.
Please wear a face covering, respect social distancing and follow the one-way system. If you are asked to wait outside or in the car please do so. Of course remember to wash or sanitise your hands before entering and on leaving the building.
Once inside, barriers and floor markers will help you to maintain strict 2m social distancing. The waiting areas have also been marked so you know where it is safe to sit. You will need to check in with a receptionist rather than the automatic screens.
Your clinician will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). All our non-clinical staff wear face coverings, you will also need to wear a face covering when entering the building.
Infective symptoms and isolation room
If you have symptoms which could possibly be caused by an infection please do not come into the practice without first speaking to a doctor. We have a specific consultation room in which strict infection control and cleaning procedures are maintained. This is separate to the main surgery. This is in order to keep you and other patient’s safe. If you are asked to come to the isolation room by your doctor you will be given a specified time, please then wait outside the building until your doctor calls you. This is in order to limit your waiting time within the building. Please wear a face covering, walk straight through the building to the surgery reception and avoid touching surfaces. The isolation room is to the left of the surgery reception and is separate from the rest of the surgery. Either your doctor or the receptionist will then show you into the consultation room.
Please note the lateral flow self-tests are only useful for regular testing when you do not have symptoms, if you have symptoms please book a more accurate PCR test using the above link.
There are lots of useful links here on our website which might help you to manage your health at home as well as contacts for other NHS and voluntary organisations who can help.
We are working with our local partners to direct patients with suspected Covid-19 to dedicated clinics and to see those who need to shield in the safety of their own homes.
Blood tests continue to be performed on the ground floor 08:00 – 19:30 Monday to Friday and 08:00 – 13:00 on Saturdays.
Helping us help you
There are some things that you can do to help us to help you at this time.
If you think you might have Covid-19 please do NOT come to the surgery. Please book a PCR test (not a lateral flow self-test) by calling 119 or by visiting NHS coronavirus test. Our team will be here to support you if your symptoms worsen and can arrange home oxygen monitoring if needed.
When you call the surgery please give the navigator (receptionist) as much information about your problem as possible – this will allow them to get you the right help. Please ensure that your contact details are up to date and that you have nominated a pharmacy where we can send any prescriptions electronically. Consider downloading the Patient Access app so you can check results and order regular medications using this.
If we are calling you back please ensure your phone is charged up, set to ring and in the area with the best reception. Video calls work best over WiFi. We will send you a link by text, you follow this and will need to enable the mic and camera when asked to do so. If you have a rash or skin lesion consider taking a photograph in good light before we call so that you can text the image to us if needed.
It really helps us if you have some easy to use equipment, such as a thermometer and blood pressure machine, at home. A thermometer means you can check your temperature and an automated blood pressure machine can be purchased in the pharmacy or online and will also check your pulse. If you have a long-term condition such as diabetes or take regular medications it is often important for us to check your weight so having some bathroom scales is helpful too.
We know that advice is changing fast and it can be confusing. We want to reassure you that we are here to help and working hard to keep everyone safe. We will keep our website and social media feeds regularly updated so please do follow us or check back regularly. Stay safe and stay well but remember we are here if you need us.
The Nelson Medical Practice Team