Newsletter April 2021
Everyone here at Jubilee Medical Group is trying their best to deal with your query or request and provide the best possible service to all of our patients. We want to be able to provide the most appropriate care for each individual patient and this may be in the form of face-to-face consultation, telephone consultation or video consultation.
We are still open and here for you. We are continuing to provide services as we have been doing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are prioritising delivering of care and services based on clinical needs. Neither Kent House or New Ash Green Surgery are closing.
Due to coronavirus, how you contact us will be different at the moment. This is to limit face-to-face contact whenever possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus.
GP receptionists are in the front line and see both the best and the worst of us all. They work incredibly hard to help patients navigate the system but may not be able to offer you exactly what you want at all times. Please be patient and courteous, they want to find the best solution as much as you do. We have a zero-tolerance policy and will not tolerate abusive behaviour to our staff.
There has been a huge increase in demand for appointments and general queries. This is inevitable given that so many of our patients have been managing health issues themselves rather than contacting their doctor over the last year and many hospital procedures and appointments have been necessarily delayed. As confidence in general is returning, many patients are now quite rightly contacting us to address those issues.
COVID-related work has been inevitable but taken up much staff time. Our staff have adapted to new ways of working, many have been isolating at times and some have been shielding. In addition, we have suffered higher than normal levels of staff sickness and some staff loss due to the stress of the past year.
Our website has lots of information and links to:
• NHS App
• Self-referral for joint pain
• Self-referral for counselling
We are not closed, but are working in a different way due to Covid restrictions/social distancing, as are the majority of other practices across the country. We are restricting the number of patients we have in the practices at any one time in order to protect you, our patients and our staff. New Ash Green Surgery is open for queries by using the intercom facility and Kent House Surgery is open for appointments only, due to the size of the waiting area/reception.
Everyone entering the practice must wear a face mask or appropriate face covering (in line with government guidelines) to further reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. These masks/coverings should be worn properly (covering the nose and mouth). Our staff will provide a mask for anyone not wearing one, and can ask you to leave if you refuse (unless you are medically exempt).
Please also note that patients (except children) should be attending appointments alone, except on the occasion that they lack capacity to attend alone or require support in terms of mobility. This is to minimize the number of people within our building and ensure that they are Covid safe.
We are aware that there are currently problems in getting through on the telephone with the phone lines being extremely busy and we are not unique in this, many GP surgeries are in the same position.
We encourage our patients to use eConsult as an alternative way to receive advice. eConsult is a way to contact your own NHS GP practice online. eConsult is easy to use and will give your doctors all the information they need to triage and make sure every patient gets the care they need in priority of their need.
We will be looking to get a queue system on our telephones so that you know whereabouts you are in the queue and can decide whether to wait or try again at another time.
Our GP’s and nurses are delighted to be undertaking the largest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS and are providing Covid vaccinations at either Kent House Surgery or New Ash Green Surgery, so this will have an impact on appointment capacity on some days. Our staff also provide clinics at Meopham Medical Centre along with their team.
We are sorry for any inconvenience that this will cause, but the vaccination campaign has been deemed a national priority by NHS England so thank you for your support with this.
Appointments are being delivered by telephone consultation in the first instance but can also be by using video calls and messaging to your mobile or computer – the clinician contacting you will assess what is most appropriate for you, based on clinical need and can be face-to-face if required. If you have a preference about how to access care you can discuss it with the clinician that calls you. Unfortunately, no GP practice has the capacity to see all of their patients face-to-face and some patients prefer telephone or video consultations.
Our Practice Nurses are still seeing patients for essential services such as Child Immunisations, smears, blood tests, dressings etc and some of their work is being completed over the telephone.
Other clinics such as family planning and minor operations will resume in the near future as long as the Covid figures remain low.
The NHS is vaccinating those people who experts have agreed will benefit from it the most and this vaccination programme will take time to roll out in full to cover all patients.
Please be assured that everyone who needs the vaccine will be offered it. The NHS will be in touch with you when it is your turn to be vaccinated. Please ensure we have your up-to-date contact details.
Please don’t call the surgery asking when you will be invited in as we will contact you. You can get information about the Covid-19 vaccination online
Five Ways to seek healthcare advice:
1. Get advice online via the NHS App – you can also order your repeat prescriptions through here
2. Visit your local pharmacy for minor ailments
3. Register for eConsult, on online service where you will receive a response as soon as possible. This way of contacting the surgery should not be used for very urgent medical problems.
4. Call the surgery to arrange an appointment. You will be assessed by a clinician on the telephone first, with face-to-face care arranged if clinically needed. If you have a preference about how to access care you can discuss this with the clinician.
5. For urgent issues or out of hours you can call 111 or go online to seek NHS advice 111.nhs.uk or A&E if life threatening
We would all like to thank you for your patience, offers of support on social media and letters of thanks.
Published: May 17, 2021