It’s business as usual…but not as we know it!
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in dramatic changes at Barton Family Practice. The whole of the NHS has had to rapidly adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, and our Practice, like all other surgeries across the land, has had to follow NHS England pandemic guidance in this regard. The aim has been to protect patients and staff by reducing footfall in the surgery, and free up capacity to deal with the pandemic.
This means that all calls to the surgery requesting information, advice or GP appointments are triaged. In other words, they are vetted by a GP, and a decision taken about how best to help. This may be a consultation, advice from one of the practice nurses or our pharmacist, a home visit, or to attend A&E. The one big thing about consultations is that we are instructed, as far as possible, to carry these out remotely i.e., by telephone or video.
Another major change is that patients that need to attend the surgery are put into categories based on whether they may have Covid-19 (Red), have no symptoms of Covid-19 (Amber), or are shielding or very high risk (Green). The different groups (Red, Amber and Green) are kept apart, and are seen in different parts of the building. The ‘Red’ patients are seen in the gazebo structure outside the surgery. Social distancing is always maintained, and you will be asked to wear a surgical mask if you attend the surgery.
Several staff members are working from home because of risk factors or are self-isolating. This means that we have a reduced number of staff in the surgery, all of whom are working hard and doing their best. We are grateful for their commitment and professionalism.
We would like to thank all our patients for being so understanding and accommodating all these changes, and we ask for your continued support.
Despite the pandemic, we would strongly encourage anyone with potentially serious symptoms, for example of possible cancer, stroke or heart attack, to contact the most appropriate NHS service. This may be a 999 call.