Important Update 30/09/2020

Dear Patient, 

Below is an important update about how we will be delivering services to our patients as we move into the winter months.  

First of all though I wanted to extend a big thank you to all of our patients for your support and understanding through what has been a strange and challenging time for us all. The same is very much the case for our wonderful voluntary sector in Totnes who have supported our community throughout this period and ensured that those who have struggled with basics such as access to food and medicine to those who have had to cope with loneliness and isolation have had the help they need.   

I would also like to say a special thank you to the team here at Leatside who have worked tirelessly this year through the pandemic, off the back of the busiest winter we have ever experienced in general practice.   

Martin Randall 
Practice Manager 

 

Changes to how you book routine appointments from Monday 5th October
As we have all had to do in our own lives, at Leatside we have had to adapt in very short order to frequently changing guidance amidst great uncertainty.  

At the start of the pandemic we were instructed by NHS England to move to a total remote triage model, assessing patients over the phone by video link or via eConsult in the first instance and only bringing in those into the building where it was clinical required.  

We decided at the time that due to uncertainty over which members of the team may or may not be able to come into work each day (due to potential illness or self-isolation) that we would move to an on-the-day appointment booking model so that we did not have to cancel appointments at short notice.  

Since that time, we have developed the ability for our clinical team to remotely access our clinical system which enables staff to work from home if they are isolating. We are also aware that the majority of our patient needs are not urgent for the day and many would prefer to book their appointment ahead of time for their own convenience.


As such from Monday 5th October we will be moving back to a system whereby routine telephone appointments with our GPs and Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) will be bookable in advance. These will be available to be booked via the NHS App, Patient Access or by calling reception on 01803 862671. As is the case now our Health Navigators will ask you for the reason for your appointment so that they can ensure you are directed to the most appropriate person to help you – this may be a GP, ANP, Practice Nurse, Pharmacist or Physiotherapist amongst other options.


Should the clinician you consult with feel that it would be appropriate to see you face to face they will do so following this initial remote consultation. You can also access advice from the team through the eConsult option on the Leatside Website at https://leatside.webgp.com/

If you need to consult with a GP or ANP urgently then this can be requested by calling reception – again you will be asked for a reason for the appointment. Please only request an urgent appointment if you really do need to be seen that day – our on the day capacity has been reduced to allow for pre-bookable appointments and it is important that those with a genuinely urgent need are able to see seen in a timely manner.


Attending for an Appointment
From Monday 5th October the front door of the surgery will be open for patients who have a pre-arranged appointment. To ensure Covid-compliance and protect our patients and staff, we have had to put a number of measures in place. Please take note of the following: 
     • Only enter the surgery if you have a pre-arranged appointment or are returning a sample at the request of a clinician
     • Do not enter until 5 minutes before your booked appointment time
     • Face coverings are to be worn by all aged over 11 years
     • Please sanitise your hands on entering the building
     • Check in for your appointment at the front desk


Once you are in the surgery you will be directed to the appropriate waiting area – please take note of internal signage and follow the one-way system in and out of the building. If you attend the surgery without an appointment or having been requested to do so by a member of our team, we will ask you to leave and access the service via our website, NHS App or over the phone.

Whilst it may seem petty on an individual basis, we cannot make individual allowances when we have 15,200 registered patients to consider. The only cases are those who have specific additional or eligible needs that mean they cannot access the surgery through any other means. Of course, you should not attend for your appointment if you have any Covid symptom including a temperature of 37.8c or above, a new continuous cough or loss of taste or smell.

Collecting and Returning Samples
If a clinician has asked you provide a sample then the relevant pot is available in the lobby of the building.  These should be returned to reception.

E-mails to the Practice
From Monday 5th October we will no longer be able to accept cancellations, general medical queries or order repeat prescriptions through emailing the surgery. Patients who are able to download the NHS App will be able to book/cancel appointments, seek general medical advice and order repeat prescriptions in this way. It is the quickest and easiest way to do so.
Please note that the NHS App is not the NHS Covid-19 App. For more information please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/the-nhs-app/


For those who cannot then please call the surgery for the following:
     Cancellation line - daily from 8:30-18:00
     Prescription line – daily from 10:00 – 13:00 (also Mondays from 14:00 – 16:00)
General medical advice as well as the ability to send a query to a clinician of your choice is available through our e-Consult platform accessible at https://leatside.webgp.com/

 

Flu Clinics 2020 image Flu Clinics 2020

Leatside Surgery Flu Immunisation Programme 2020

 

Below are details on how we will be running our annual flu campaign. Please read this carefully as due to the pandemic and social distancing rules we are running our clinics differently this year.

In order to ensure the safety of our patients and staff this year all flu jabs will be given on an appointment based system. We will be running flu clinics on Saturdays in September 9.30am to 4.30pm for the following groups of patients:


Saturday 12th September              Over 65s Only

Saturday 19th September              Over 65s and eligible patients aged 18- 65*

Saturday 26th September              Over 65s and eligible patients aged 18- 65*

 

* a list of eligible patients is at the bottom of this message.


Bookings for the flu clinics can be made by calling reception between 2pm and 6pm daily on 01803 862671 and choosing option 4. Due to high demand on our service in the mornings we are not able to make booking for flu clinics before 2pm.


Please take notice of the following information when making and attending your appointment:

  • Please book one appointment for each eligible family member attending
  • Patients will be given a 30 minute window for their appointment. Please do not arrive outside of this time
  • Where possible please do not drive to the clinic as we have limited capacity for parking
  • If you do arrive by car please do so by arriving through the Pavillions car park where you will be directed to parking and exit by the Babbage Road entrance.
  • We will be operating a one way system in and outside of the building with staff on site to direct you
  • To help keep the clinics running smoothly we kindly ask that patients attending arrive at the time of their appointment, have their preferred arm ready for vaccination and ensure they are wearing a mask
  • As with all appointments if you develop COVID symptoms prior to your appointment please DO NOT attend the surgery

 

If you need help getting to the clinics please contact Totnes Caring on 01803 865684 who may be able to help

This year is going to be the most challenging flu season we have ever known, with over 6,000 patients eligible for the flu jab this year, with around 3,000 more potentially becoming eligible later in the season. By moving our clinics to a weekend and providing bookable appointments we are able to ensure that we are able to provide a smooth and efficient service.

This year the following people are eligible for a flu jab on the NHS:

  • people aged 65 years or over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2021)
  • chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
  • learning disability
  • diabetes
  • splenic dysfunction or asplenia
  • a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
  • morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)
  • all pregnant women
  • those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
  • household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, or of immunocompromised individuals, specifically individuals who expect to share living accommodation with a shielded patient on most days over the winter and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable


We will be announcing our plans for the vaccination of those aged 50-64 once we have received further guidance from NHS England.