Update – January 2021
As you will be aware there are now high levels of coronavirus nationally including in Merton. In these unprecedented times we know that many of our patients will be worried about what this means for their routine and urgent medical care.
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. Urgent and emergency hospital and community services continue to operate. However at the time of writing some hospital outpatient or non-urgent services are being provided remotely or capacity is being reduced. This is in order to support re-deployment of staff to critical areas. This may result in some delays with onward referrals and we ask to you to be patient.
In line with national guidance most of our care starts with a telephone call, we can also use video calls and text messaging if these suit you. If we cannot resolve your problem remotely we will invite you for a face to face appointment where we will follow strict infection control measures to keep you safe.
If you are attending the surgery please take careful note of any instructions you have been given. 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.
We are here for you on the phone, on line, by video and in person.
Our whole team are here for you and will stay here for you. If you need us please go online or contact us by phone (see further information on how to access our services below.
Like GP practices and hospitals 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.
We hope that this approach provides benefits for our patients by being convenient, and improves safety by making sure that every appointment within the surgery counts, whilst also maintaining the quality of care –ensuring that all those who need to see a doctor face to face can do.
We ask that patients do not come in to the practice to arrange an appointment. Please contact us via telephone on 020 3826 0826, the ‘Get Help Now’ tool on our website or Doctorlink instead. Patients can now also book a routine telephone appointment with a GP via the ‘Patient Access’ app.
We have introduced a new type of appointment called a Planned Care Appointment. These are pre-booked appointments with a specific doctor, at a specified time and can be conducted by phone, video or face to face. Our clinical team or patient care coordinators can book these for review of longstanding conditions or those who most need the continuity of their usual GP.
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 11:00 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.
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. We hope that this is convenient to use, please allow 5 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. 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). They may also be wearing some very snazzy work clothes (“scrubs”) kindly crafted for us by talented local volunteers! All our non-clinical staff are now wearing 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.
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 – 13:30 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, stay at home and first visit NHS 111 Service where you can check your symptoms, arrange a test and print a sick note if needed. If you are finding it difficult to cope with your symptoms you can call 111 and they can arrange for you to be followed up by ourselves or seen in a specialist clinic 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 and inexpensive equipment 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