Coronavirus

A Message For Our Patients

Over the last few months you are likely to have noticed a difference in the way things are being done in general practice as we manage coronavirus (Covid-19).

We want to start off by saying thank you.

Thank you for adapting so quickly to these new ways of working – it has been the drastic, yet fundamental, change needed to ensure the safety of you and our staff.

To slow down the spread of coronavirus, we have worked to reduce the number of people coming into the practice by using online consultation systems like e-Consult (see below), telephone appointments and video consultations.

Our top priority is, and has always been, to keep you and our staff safe while ensuring you get the care you need.

This is why we ask you to continue what you have been doing to access your GP service.

Please do not visit the GP practice without an appointment.

Instead call the practice or go to our practice website. You can speak to a GP or nurse over the phone, email or have a video consultation. This will often mean to get to see the right person to help you, much quicker.

If a doctor or nurse does need to see you in person then you will be given an appointment to attend the practice.

Only coming in to the surgery with an appointment means:

  • you will get seen promptly
  • you are reducing your risk of catching/spreading coronavirus by avoiding a waiting room
  • you are helping to keep staff healthy and safe
  • The practice is able to maintain a clean environment and protect you from the virus

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, then please do get in touch with us to let us know how we can support you.

Thank you once again for your support and understanding as we all adapt to a new way of working. More information can be found at bottom of this page.

Kind regards

Mr Andy Hallowell

Practice Manager, Ringwood Medical Practice

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In order to help our patients during this time we can offer the following advice when it comes to staying in contact with us:

Photographs:

If you wish to submit photographs for your GP to view ahead of time and then contact you please use our eConsult system, found below.

Only submit photographs via email if your GP has requested that you do so for clinical reasons or, to help with your consultation.  Include your Name and Date of Birth and the name of the GP who requested them.

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FACE COVERINGS TO BE MANDATORY IN SHOPS AND SUPERMARKETS  FROM 24TH JULY 2020

It is a legal requirement to wear a face covering when entering a shop or supermarket to help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (Covid -19) from the 24th July 2020.

Please refer to the Government website for full details including legitimate reasons for not wearing a face covering. Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own - GOV.UK

 

The Partners at Ringwood Medical Practice would like to inform you that they cannot issue medical exemption letters for anyone who feels they should be excluded from wearing a face covering, on medical grounds.

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If you have a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss of taste or smell you should stay at home & follow Governmental advice on self-isolation.

Use NHS 111 online https://111nhs.uk/covid-19 if you feel you can’t cope with your symptoms at home or your conditions worsens. Call 111 only if you can’t get help online.

 

 

On behalf of everyone at Ringwood Medical Practice, thank you for your help and understanding during this time.

e-Consult

What is eConsult?

eConsult enables NHS based GP practices to offer online consultations to their patients. This allows patients to submit their symptoms or requests to their own GP electronically, and offers around the clock NHS self-help information, signposting to services, and a symptom checker.

eConsult is the most widely used digital triage tool in NHS primary care, built by NHS GPs for NHS patients, designed to enhance patient access, improve practice efficiencies and sign post patients to the right place at the right time for their care. Live in over 1200 NHS practices, eConsult gives millions of patients access to their own GP online.

 

How does eConsult work

eConsult is easy for patients and practices

eConsult lets your patients consult with their own NHS GP online by completing a quick form that is sent and reviewed by the practice. We can also direct the patient to self-help, pharmacy advice and local self-referral services.

 

Benefits

It takes GPs only 2-3 minutes to process an eConsult, and research shows that 70% of requests are closed without the need for a
face-to-face appointment. Your patients can get NHS based help via eConsult anytime, even outside of surgery hours.

Click the banner below to get started.

GP Appointments and Bookings

The way we access GP services has changed. Below are some frequently asked questions that may help you understand these changes:

Why can’t I walk into my GP practice?

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has forced us all to work differently to help slow down the spread of the virus. All healthcare settings are taking special measures to protect you, the public and their staff. GP practices are working as hard as ever, but differently.

Where possible we want to avoid people having to wait inside a waiting room together, as we know this increases the risk of the virus spreading. Like hospitals and dentists, we have also had to change how we offer our services to you.

If you do need to come in, then we can ensure there are a minimal number of people in the practice, we can maintain social distancing and keep patients and staff safe.

 

How do I get an appointment?

The easiest and most effective method is to use e-Consult through the practice website, or you can telephone. You will then be contacted by a clinician to talk through your symptoms either over the phone, via email, or if needed and you have the available technology, through a video consultation.

 

Why can’t I book a face-to-face appointment?

We have adapted the way in which you can get an appointment quickly and safely.

Most patient’s health concerns can be managed over the phone or via video consultation. This is why we are providing you with either an initial phone call or video consultation to decide what would be the best way to help. If we can support you without needing you to come into the practice then we reduce the need for you to travel, and reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

 If you do need a face-to-face appointment, you will be invited to attend the practice.

If we can ensure there are a minimal number of people in the practice, we can maintain social distancing and keep patients and staff safe.

 

What is e-Consult?

You can access e-Consult via the practice website. It lets patients consult with their own NHS GP online by completing a quick form which is reviewed by the practice. After reviewing your query, you will then be directed toward the most appropriate help. This might be some advice on self-help, pharmacy advice, an appointment with one of the practice clinical team or another service. Your data is secure at all times – including during a video consultation or telephone call.

 

What if I do not have access to a smartphone or web camera?

While technology has evolved and supports us all in many different ways in our day-to-day lives, we appreciate not everyone will have access to a smartphone or web camera for a video consultation. We can still talk to you on your mobile phone or landline.

Will I need to wear a face mask if I come into my practice for an appointment?

To help limit the spread of the virus, we are asking for all patients aged 12 and over to wear a face covering when they come the practice. This doesn’t have to be a face mask, but a cloth covering which covers your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head. You can find additional information by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

 

How do I get a repeat prescription?

You can order prescriptions on line (please register for this) or email your request to our dedicated prescription mailbox whccg.ringwoodmc-scripts@nhs.net

 

How do I cancel or move a booked appointment?

Please telephone the practice to cancel any unwanted appointments or reschedule for another day.

 

How do I see a GP during the evening and weekends?

For evening and weekend access to GPs please either visit 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111.

 

What if I am not registered with a GP practice?

You can call any GP surgery to get emergency treatment for up to 14 days if you are not registered with a GP or are away from home.

If your treatment will last longer than 14 days, you'll have to register as a temporary or permanent resident. You can find more information about this via www.nhs.uk and search ‘how to register with a GP practice’.

If you are a resident in the area and need to register with a practice, then it’s best to look at practices where your home falls within its geographical boundaries. You can check a GP practice boundary by visiting their website.

Once you have selected which practice you would like to register with, make contact with them either by calling or visiting their website.

You will be asked to fill out a registration form and once it is completed and returned, NHS England will transfer your medical records to your new practice. They will also write to you to confirm your registration with your chosen practice.

 

What do I do if I think I have coronavirus (Covid-19)?

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms then DO NOT visit your GP practice. You should visit 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online.

You must self-isolate for seven days from when your symptoms started. Anyone you live with, or in your support bubble, who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person started having symptoms.

You must also ask for a test as soon as you start showing symptoms. You can do this online – visit www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test