August 2020 Newsletter
You may all know now that we have a closed door policy to protect our staff and limit the spread of the virus. Patients are able to contact the practice via phone, website or SystmOne for all queries. Our services were drastically changed to prevent the spread of the infection and so just like all Practices across the UK – all non-essential appointments were cancelled and delays put in place for routine services.
We continued to provide telephone appointments and essential face to face apps that were deemed urgent and necessary with the correct protocols in place. We have now slowly opened up to do more in the last few weeks but we are strictly abiding by heightened local protocols and infection control procedures during this difficult time.
- We have recruited more staff so we have three new members to the Neville Road surgery team. Currently they are on probation and learning the various aspects of work.
- We are doing the regular temperature checks at the door and asking patients to wear face masks.
- We have reduced nurse appointments because of the sanitisation procedures required before and after each appointment.
- Only one patient is allowed inside the practice at a time, all patients are currently waiting in their cars or outside the surgery until they are individually admitted into the practice.
- We are doing our essential cervical screening as well as childhood immunisations and other necessary vaccinations and dressings.
- Doctors telephone appointments have increased whilst the face to face apps have reduced significantly, we are lucky that our patients were accustomed to telephone triage as we have been working this way for the last 2 years so it was not something new to our patient list. However, we have reduced face to face appointments and we are seeing only patients that are deemed necessary to be seen.
- There are 5 Primary Care Networks in Luton (PCNs). PCNs are clusters of practices working together to deliver patient care in a more centralised way. Dr Mehmood explained that it was due to PCN staff that we were able to operate with full functionality when Dr Mehmood had to be isolated at the beginning of the pandemic. The PCN structure enabled the staff to help with the clinical appointments and day to day administration smoothly and efficiently.
- We are a member of the PCN called Phoenix Sunrisers.
- The shared staff from the PCN include; Physiotherapists, social prescribers, pharmacists, link workers, these additional staff will all to help increase the resilience of general practice and primary care.
- The emergence of PCNs is a step towards the planned change of landscape in the NHS, a bid to work together in clusters and Hubs, providing central care and various services in one location.
- Actions from the last meeting that are still outstanding is our Phone lines and issues with the company – these are ongoing and we are beginning our challenging process – perhaps looking at legal advice.
- Luton CCG has now also merged with Bedford and Milton Keynes – so now there is no Luton CCG instead it is called BLMK CCG
- We have a new software system whereby we can send pathology forms and Med 3 to patients directly to their phones to prevent patients coming to the surgery and thereby reducing the spread of the virus.