Update from the Surgery

As the country starts to come out of the lockdown phase of Coronavirus, we see the creation of ‘The New Normal’. As schools and shops begin tentative steps towards re-opening, we see people through plastic screens and handshakes and paying ‘in cash’ seem things of the distant past. Healthcare has also been transformed with telephone discussions and video conferencing both becoming an established method of delivering that care.

Healthcare professionals cannot deliver face-to-face care without considerable risk; providing assessments and undertaking clinical procedures on patients requires us to move within that 2 metre zone. Staff will, therefore, continue to wear full PPE equipment, and likely do so for the foreseeable future, otherwise risking multiple potential exposures to Coronavirus on a daily basis. We also wear PPE to protect the most vulnerable people. Those shielded in their own homes often require significant healthcare input, as do those in nursing homes; the clinical staff need to protect themselves from exposure and also to minimise the risk of potentially spreading the disease to others. It is paramount that until we eradicate Coronavirus from the UK, or a vaccine is found, that healthcare staff continue to deliver care in a more remote manner, via phones and webcams, as much as they are able.

Facing a future of this method of healthcare, we will continue to promote advice on how best to manage your own health and telephoning those with long-term conditions to undertake health reviews. The previous messaging to patients suffering high blood pressure to purchase home BP monitors is progressing well and we are receiving accurate data from patients who now monitor themselves at home. Contrast taking the average of several BP readings sat relaxed at home over a week against coming to a Surgery for a single blood pressure reading from someone unrecognisable in full PPE, it’s no wonder that this single reading may be somewhat raised.

Dispensary continues to provide all with their prescription needs and we continue to look at more efficient ways of getting medication requests processed as quickly as possible. Deliveries to shielding patients, combined with a ‘runner system’ handing over bags of medications are two of the challenges the Team has overcome without any disruption to the service. Please continue to remember we need 3 working days to process repeat medication requests.

The North Elmham Group of Surgeries have been involved in research programmes for a number of years and have committed to join the PRINCIPLE trials into Covid-19 research. We will regularly provide information for trial participants on the website, Facebook and on posters at the Surgery. 

Overall, we must work together to stay healthy, follow the government’s guidance and continue with social distancing and hand hygiene, whilst continuing to develop a new and better ‘normal’.

Published: Jun 1, 2020