How we are operating during COVID times
The NHS is doing things a little differently at the moment due to Coronavirus
GP practices across Wakefield are working together to prioritise same day care and symptoms which might indicate serious illness. We ask that you do not come to the surgery in person unless booked in for a face to face appointment. You can contact us online or by calling us on 01977 703437. We will then give you advice about what to do. A phone or video consultation with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional will usually be booked for you as many problems can be sorted out this way. If you are booked for a confirmed face-to-face appointment with a doctor or nurse you may be asked to see them at a neighbouring GP practice to the one you would usually attend. This is to help the health service effectively cope with increased demand and suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. We will always let you know the location at which you will be seen.
As we are dealing with more telephone and video consultations we are dealing with an increased number of phone calls. Avoid busy periods (8am to 12 noon) when contacting us about any non-urgent matters such as sick notes, prescription queries and routine check-ups. This helps us to prioritise our calls for those who have a same day medical problem. Online services may suit you instead of a phone call.
If a telephone appointment is made with a doctor or nurse, make sure that the receptionist knows your current phone number and any times you cannot answer the phone. If you are calling about someone else let the receptionist know. Phone again if things get worse.
Owned and run by the NHS, the NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. You can find out more about the services on offer by visiting www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/the-nhs-app/
If you are not sure if you need urgent medical care use www.111.nhs.uk or phone 111 to find out. The 111 service can book you into the urgent care centre at Pontefract if this is what you need.
If it is not a life-threatening emergency and you don’t need immediate medical attention, other options should be considered before dialling 999 or visiting the Emergency Department.
Choosing the most appropriate place for care allows Emergency Department staff to help people whose lives are at risk and can also potentially save you a long wait.
Help your NHS by choosing the right healthcare option
The NHS is here for you. To help you get seen in the right place, at the right time by the right healthcare professional you need to use the most appropriate service.
Many minor illnesses and injuries such as a sore throat, coughs, colds and small cuts can be treated in your own home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
Pharmacists are trained medical professionals who can advise you on the best treatment for a range of common conditions. There are lots of pharmacies across Wakefield (find the closest to you here https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/) although some will be limiting the number of people inside to allow social distancing.
If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, you can get help from NHS111. They are available 24/7 either by calling 111 or visiting 111.nhs.uk. They can also book you an appointment with a healthcare professional if you need one.
Your GP practice is still here to help but the way you access it has changed. You should contact the practice by telephone and your clinical team will make sure you get the right support. If you are then given a face-to-face appointment, precautions will be taken to ensure your safety.
Pontefract Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC)
The UTC is open 24/7, 365 days a year to treat people with non-life-threatening conditions. The service is run by GPs and specialist nurses. Book through NHS 111.
Emergency Department or 999
Pinderfields Hospital Emergency Department should only be used for critical and life-threatening situations.
Also call 999 if you have seriously harmed or injured yourself, find someone who has seriously harmed or injured themselves or you are unable to keep yourself, or other people, safe.
No visitors are permitted to stay with patients over 18 years of age. Patients under 18 years of age may be accompanied by one parent or carer only.
Exceptions may be made for patients who are critically unwell and require life support intervention whilst in the department.
Please remember to help other people by avoiding calling 999 or visiting emergency departments unless it really is necessary.
Remember if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) you must not walk-in to your GP practice, pharmacy or hospital. If you need help in an emergency please tell the 999 call taker if you have coronavirus or symptoms of this, and mention this to paramedics on arrival.
We are taking measures in line with guidance from NHS England and Public Health authorities to minimise risks associated with coronavirus
In order to fulfil our commitment to keeping you, our patients, and our staff as safe as possible we are asking our patients to support and engage with our new ways of working.
What does this mean for you, our patients?
If you are offered/given a face to face appointment you must only attend the surgery at your allotted time and wear a face covering. Social distancing rules still apply and will remain in place within the surgery.
NO walk-in facilities will be available. All communication with the surgery must be via our on-line services or telephone.
Access to the Surgery
- We have introduced a ‘one way’ system at the surgery.
- Access to the building via the automatic front door, will be restricted to just the patients who have been invited for an appointment by a Clinician.
- Anyone who attempts to gain access to the surgery will be denied and you will be asked to contact the surgery via our on-line services or telephone. If you managed to access the surgery and have not been invited, you will be asked to leave the premises.
- Only the patient with the appointment will be allowed into the building. For children, only one parent/guardian will be allowed to accompany the child.
- Please remember to use the hand sanitiser provided when entering the building and have a face covering in place.
- You will now exit the building via the back door and will not be allowed to return to the reception desk. Any requests for additional appointments must be undertaken via our on-line services or telephone.
ALL REQUESTS FOR APPOINTMENTS MUST BE UNDERTAKEN VIA TELEPHONE OR ONLINE SERVICES.
- If your need urgent or same day help or advice, you will be added to the telephone triage list, a member of the clinical team (GP, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Prescriber or Pharmacist) will either telephone or video call you back and arrange the most appropriate care and advice for your condition/aliment.
- All non-urgent appointments and review appointments for long-term conditions are gradually being reintroduced. Please be aware that this may be undertaken in a different format other than you attending the practice in person.
- We will continue to provide nursing services that are essential such as: urgent blood tests, blood test for monitoring of some medication, childhood immunisations,
- Prostap, weekly/monthly injections, some contraception services, wound care, ear syringing and similar.
- If the appointment needs to be face to face you may be contacted prior to the appointment and asked some screening questions to ensure it is appropriate for you to attend the Practice.
ALL REQUESTS FOR PRESCRIPTIONS MUST BE UNDERTAKEN VIA OUR ONLINE SERVICES. ONLY IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES MAY THE DIRECT TELEPHONE EXTENSION TO BE USED AND WITHIN THE ALLOTTED TIME FRAME.
If you have a regular repeated prescription this will continue to be issued at the same intervals as usual. You can order medications ONLINE, or email your request. In exceptional circumstances the direct telephone extension can be used.
If you have not already done so we will be contacting you to arrange to send your prescription to your chosen pharmacy electronically to prevent you calling to collect it in person. This service will continue as usual for those who already use this service (Electronic Prescription Service/ Electronic Dispensing Service).
This is the simplest way to manage these requests and will reduce the strain on the service so please use the online service.
For the few items which we are not able to send electronically we will contact you to advise where you can collect your prescription from.
Kindly remember to allow us up to 3-5 working days to process your requests.
PAPER REQUESTS FOR REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS REMAIN SUSPENDED. To avoid the spread of the virus you will not be able to SUBMIT paper requests or COLLECT your paper prescription from the surgery. We will electronically send the prescription to your nominated pharmacy.
Therefore to order a repeat prescription, please either:
- Request online. If you are not registered please contact the surgery to register for online services.
- Email the request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- In exceptional circumstances the direct telephone at the surgery will only be manned between the hours of 10:00 - 12:00
- If you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you can get an isolation note to send to your employer as proof you need to stay off work. Go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/. You do not need to get a note from your GP.
- If you are off work for other reasons you should contact the surgery by telephone to request a continuation of your current ‘Fit / Sick Note’, your email address will be requested so it can be emailed to you.
- If you are off work ill due to a new illness that is not coronavirus and you require a ‘Fit / Sick Note’ for work you should ring the practice and you will be triaged by one of our clinical staff.
Your continued support throughout these unpresented times, it is invaluable.
In pharmacies, GP practices, Pontefract UTC and Pinderfields Hospital you should wear a face covering unless under three years old or you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a covering. This will help to keep everyone safe.
We are asking all our patients to wear a face covering or something else that can cover the mouth and nose, such as a scarf, if you come to the surgery for an appointment.
You can use a simple scarf or bandana that ties behind your head or make your own ‘no-sew’ face coverings using the advice available online at the gov.uk website. Simply search for ‘face covering’. Face coverings are also available to buy in shops or online.
Face coverings should not be worn by children under three and people who would find wearing them difficult (such as people with breathing difficulties).
Clinicians that are seeing patients face-to-face will be wearing personal protective equipment (face mask/gloves/aprons). This is for your safety as well as theirs.
Further advice about wearing face coverings can be found here www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
From minor illnesses to serious injury and mental health support, services in Wakefield are #StillHereToHelp. Please contact the most appropriate service for your needs and remember to wear a face covering if attending in person, unless you are exempt.
Don’t forget - pharmacists are trained medical professionals who can advise you on the best treatment for a range of common conditions. Find your nearest pharmacy here: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/
Many minor illnesses and injuries such as a sore throat, coughs, colds and small cuts can be treated in your own home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest. There is lots of information about self-care on the NHS website www.nhs.uk
Your NHS is working hard to maintain our services despite a significant increase in demands due to COVID-19. Please only attend the Emergency Department if you have a life or limb threatening illness or injury. If you need help but it’s not an emergency, visit NHS online or call 111 – it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Using the right service means that you and your family will get the best treatment and it also allows us to help the people who need it the most.
The Urgent Treatment Centre at Pontefract Hospital is open 24/7 to treat urgent or non-life threatening conditions.
You will be seen much quicker by choosing the right service. If you’re not sure which service to use, visit NHS online or call 111 - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Feeling unwell over the weekend? Call NHS 111 instead of going to the Emergency Department and you will speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will assess your symptoms and direct you to the best medical care for you.