Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to protect patients, our community and NHS staff while ensuring as many services as possible are available to the public.
Steps have been taken to minimise the risk to patients and staff and we are working with individual patients to appropriately manage their care.
If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.
Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.
If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.
But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.
Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.
For the latest COVID-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact.
A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines.
This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
02/04/2020: Coronavirus Bulletin for Patients COVID19 Bulletin
06/04/2020: Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates
If you have had recent contact with the surgery, you will have noticed a difference in the way things are being done. We have done this to minimise face to face contact between patients and staff to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to keep our practice team and patients as well as possible. The information below shows you how we plan to operate over the coming weeks:
Making an appointment
- Our GP practice has now moved to a total triage system. Each request will be passed to a doctor for assessment. You may find that we treat you by telephone, video link, or we may ask you to come for a face-to-face consultation.
- Access to the surgery premises will only be if you have been asked to do so and there will be clear arrangements discussed with you as to how we can safely do this. Please do not come to the surgery for an appointment unless you have been asked to do so
- You can contact the surgery to request an appointment by calling the practice telephone number, 01753.
- If you are able to, please continue to use our website, Patient Access, or the NHS App to order your repeat prescription. You do not need to come to the surgery to register to do this;
- If you cannot order your repeat prescription any other way then you may deliver this through the outside surgery letter box – this can be done without accessing the reception.
How can you help?
- Please be patient – our phone lines are very busy;
- Do you have a condition that you can treat at home? If you do then please try to do this with advice from either your pharmacist or from NHS online;
- Do you simply need general advice? If you do, can you call 111 for this or visit our website to access E-consult
- If you think you may have Covid-19 DO NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the NHS111 Online service to find out what to do next: 111.nhs.uk/covid-19;
- If you feel you need to see a doctor for non-Covid-19 symptoms then please call the surgery;
- Please help the receptionist by giving them as much information as possible and answer any questions they may have. This will help us prioritise calls and have the right clinician call you back.
- Have you nominated a pharmacy for the transmission of electronic prescriptions? This will prevent the need for either you or pharmacy staff from coming to the surgery. The nomination of a pharmacy can be done via your online app or speaking to your pharmacist or GP surgery directly.
- You can e mail the practice at: email@example.com
- Please check our website (farnhamroadpractice.co.uk ) for updates
We do anticipate staff shortages due to isolation and sickness and aim to continue to give you the best possible care at this difficult time and appreciate your continued support with this.
08/04/2020: Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic information
LMC – Privacy Notice Update
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and your information
The ICO recognises the unprecedented challenges the NHS and other health professionals are facing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The ICO also recognise that 'Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.'
The Government have also taken action in respect of this and on 20th March 2020 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care issued a Notice under Regulation 3(4) of The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 requiring organisations such as GP Practices to use your information to help GP Practices and other healthcare organisations to respond to and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to look after your healthcare needs during this difficult time, we may urgently need to share your personal information, including medical records, with clinical and non-clinical staff who belong to organisations that are permitted to use your information and need to use it to help deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. This could (amongst other measures) consist of either treating you or a member of your family and enable us and other healthcare organisations to monitor the disease, assess risk and manage the spread of the disease.
Please be assured that we will only share information and health data that is necessary to meet yours and public healthcare needs.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has also stated that these measures are temporary and will expire on 30th September 2020 unless a further extension is required. Any further extension will be will be provided in writing and we will communicate the same to you.
Please also note that the data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop us from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.
It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows us to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.
If you are concerned about how your information is being used, please contact our DPO using the contact details provided in our Privacy Notice. COVID-19 Privacy Notice April 2020
28/04/2020: Slough Walk in Centre
Temporary suspension of minor injury and illness services at Slough Walk in Centre
The minor illness and injury unit at Slough Walk in Centre is to be temporarily suspended as part of the national effort to combat Covid-19 (coronavirus).
In recent weeks local health services have changed the way they work in order to support the national effort to halt the spread and the impact of the virus.
Hospitals have postponed some elective surgery, GPs have moved to a phone or online initial appointment system and many other services are operating remotely – all in line with national guidance.
Many NHS staff have been redeployed into new, temporary roles, to increase the response to Covid-19 and to support those treating the most seriously ill patients.
The impact of the virus and the national lockdown – with most people now staying at home as instructed – has resulted in attendances at the Slough Walk in Centre falling by 73 per cent.
In order to make the best use of resources, local NHS commissioners have taken the decision to suspend services at the Slough Walk in Centre from Thursday 30 April. This will allow clinicians from the unit to be redeployed to where their skills can be put to the best use. This could include additional support to the Out of Hours Service, or home visiting to support GP practices in the management of patients with covid-19 symptoms
Our top priority is to keep our patients and staff safe and to ensure patients get the care they need. Patients will still be able to access treatment for minor ailments via their GP surgery, which they can access by phone or online. Further information is available on their practice website and help is also available via the NHS111 service, by dialling 111 or visiting: www.111.nhs.uk.
All GP surgeries, are offering alternatives to visiting surgeries in person, so we are asking that patients do not go to their practice unless they have a face-to-face appointment with a GP or nurse confirmed. The Chapel Medical Practice, at the same site as the Slough Walk in Centre remains open for these specific pre-booked face-to-face appointments. Please visit the practice website for further information including on registering as a patient.
Anybody needing treatment for injuries such as suspected fractures should still attend their local Accident and Emergency unit in the normal way:
- Wexham Park Hospital, Slough
- Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley
- Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading
- Hillingdon Hospital.
This is a temporary measure aimed at making the best use of valuable clinical expertise and resources during extraordinary times. NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans and funds the majority of health services provided to local people, will continue to monitor the situation and will work with local people, the local authority, NHS England and other partners to ensure that East Berkshire residents who use Slough Walk in Centre will continue to receive the services they need.
The CCG would like to thank local people for their understanding while these changes are in place and also for their continued support to the lockdown measures in order to stop the spread of the virus.