Firstly, a big thank you from us all, for your understanding and patience over the last two weeks as we have changed the way we have consulted with you. We remain open to all problems but will continue to triage all consultations on the phone first whilst the Government regulations on social distancing continue.
This forthcoming Easter weekend, both surgeries will remain fully open on Friday 10th April (Good Friday) and Monday 13th April (Easter Monday). We have taken the decision to cancel these 2 bank holidays, along with most of the NHS, in order to ease the pressure, both on the out of hours service and A+E during this COVID 19 pandemic. Therefore, for all urgent problems on Good Friday or Easter Monday please contact your surgery in the normal way between 8am – 6pm. On Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th the surgery will be closed but a full out of hours service will be available, alongside an additional specialist COVID service dedicated to the 3 valleys Primary Care Network (Chew, Somer and Cam Valleys) Both these services would be accessed via 111 at the weekend. Chew Medical Practice dispensary will remain open 9-12am on Saturday 11th as normal.
BANES CCG, council, virgin care and 3SG have also come together to form ‘The compassionate community hub’. This service seeks to assist those who are self-isolating or shielding and those that are clinically the highest risk people in our community, who are in need of help. This can be accessed 7 days a week, 9am - 5pm on 0300 247 0500. Support is offered in multiple areas including medication delivery, food, physical and mental well being, financial advice, housing, volunteering access, family support, public health advice and council services.
Finally, a plea from us to all to please stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Restrictions have been put in pace to combat the disease and people should only leave the house for
1) Shopping for basic necessities
2) Any medical need, or providing care for a vulnerable person
3) Travel to and from work, but only when you cannot work from home
4) Exercise – alone or with members of your household
Please share this message to community notice boards, social media groups, village shops or anywhere that is felt appropriate.
We send you our best wishes for the coming weeks and thank the local community for the great support that both surgeries have received.
Dr’s Fenn, Sephton and Alexander.
We thought it would be helpful to write to advise how your two General practices are operating in the Chew Valley during the current coronavirus outbreak.
We remain open. However, we have had to make significant changes to the way we work in order to try and reduce the spread of the virus.
To get advice or request an appointment please call the surgery first. For ALL routine and urgent care appointments we will call you back on the telephone. Many problems can be safely and effectively managed over the telephone. If we feel you need to be seen then this will still happen. We will advise the most appropriate and safe way to facilitate this whilst on the telephone to you.
Appointments such as urgent blood tests, immunisations, urgent dressings, smears and suture removal will still go ahead and you will be advised on booking when to attend.
If you develop symptoms of a new and persistent cough, a high fever (>37.8) or flu like symptoms then please DO NOT come to the surgery and follow the NHS advice.
1. The person with symptoms must self isolate for 7 days
2. All members of the same household should self isolate for 14 days. If a second member of the household develops symptoms within this 14 day period then they must self isolate for a further 7 days regardless of how far into the 14 days they are. If a second person develops symptoms then all non symptomatic members of the house must also start the 14 days again. Further information about self isolation can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
3. You are allowed into your garden or for a short walk to exercise yourself or a dog but please avoid contact with others.
4. You are advised to ask a friend to food shop/buy essentials and leave then on your door step.
5. Manage the fever with paracetamol and not ibuprofen.
6. Drink plenty of fluids to remain well hydrated.
7. If your symptoms get worse, you feel short of breath or more unwell then contact 111 who will advise on the next step
For further information please refer to the website www.111.nhs.uk
For those aged over 70, pregnant ladies or those with chronic health problems (this is people who are offered an annual flu jab) it is likely that you are shortly going to be asked to self isolate as a precaution. We know the Chew Valley is full of wonderful people who want to help and we would ask that if you are young and fit that you look out for your elderly neighbours at this difficult time.
We have been advised by NHS England not to change the volume of medications we issue in repeat prescribing as this 'may put strain on the supply chain' of medications, therefore at this stage we will continue with our normal prescribing.
How you can help us:
1. Please make it clear to the reception team when you phone them if your problem is routine or an emergency. This will ensure we call you back in appropriate time frame.
2. Please do not request your medications earlier than normal. We will get you your medications but if everyone asks for them early this blocks up the system.
If you are not already signed up to home delivery for medications and are self isolating then please consider asking a friendly neighbour or relative to collect your medication from the surgery.
The way we are operating may change as the Government advice changes or as we manage our own staff having to isolate. We will endeavour to keep you informed of any changes but please be reassured that we will continue to care for you all throughout these difficult times.
Please share this throughout the Chew Valley on social media but also to the elderly and infirm within your communities who may not have access to social media.
Dr's Fenn, Sephton and Alexander -Chew Medical Practice
Dr's Coppock, Parr and Robinson - Harptree Surgery
Accessing Care and Treatment
For information regarding separate clinics for patients with and without Coronavirus symptoms help people to continue accessing care and treatment click here