You will have seen that the highest priority for the NHS is to offer booster COVID jabs to everyone over 18. This is a big challenge as it will require everyone to work even harder and longer than they do now. Winter has always seen a lot more illness and higher demand for services. COVID has made it even harder, and the new Booster campaign makes it very difficult for us to continue to provide all our normal services. Our phone lines are overwhelmed by the volume of calls we receive, and we kindly ask you to be patient with us if you need to speak to us. We are prioritising those patients with the highest need based on some questions we may ask you when you call. If you have a vaccine query ring the national booking service, not the surgery.
In order to keep our patients safe and prevent our staff from catching COVID or having to self-isolate, we will be doing telephone (or digital) consultations first and then inviting those patients that we need to see face to face into the surgery. In view of the extremely infectious nature of the new strain we will be rigorously applying control of infection measures within the practice and ask patients to comply with these requirements.
We will do our very best to meet our patients needs but there may be times in the extreme circumstances we are now in that we have to prioritise those in greatest need. Many minor illnesses are self-limiting and do not need a clinical intervention. Patients can often seek help for such conditions from the local pharmacy. Routine care where a patients’ condition is stable may need to be postponed for a while.
We will always do our best for our patients but would ask for your understanding in these most challenging of circumstances.
The new Covid Omicron strain has been identified as a much more transmissible variant. As a result, despite rigorous infection control measures a number of staff will either test positive or require to self isolate which will have an impact on staff levels which will in turn have an impact on the level of service we are able to provide. We will continue to provide care on an urgent basis, but routine care may be compromised under such circumstances. At times when this inevitably happens, we would ask and thank you for your patience.
GP Partners, Greystoke Surgery