Bridge Cottage Surgery Update
Thank you to our community for your help and support during the pandemic.
We have been working under mandated national guidelines using a remote triage model to assess patients. We have been seeing patients face to face throughout the pandemic when clinically necessary and in a COVID secure way. We have protected our patients and staff and not had to close during the pandemic. Our shutters have only been closed during national lockdowns to reduce footfall into the building. Over the last few weeks, there has been very high demand for health services in all areas. We wish to apologise if patients have had difficulty accessing services. We are working with our telephone supplier to address the issues that some patients have faced.
Over the coming days, we will be adapting our model to mirror the Government’s roadmap to lifting restrictions. There will be more access to routine care however priority will always be given to the clinically vulnerable and the Surgery will continue to be COVID secure.
- 4th May: Telephone appointments will be released at 08:00 and 12:00 (including online).
- 17th May: Greater proportion of routine face to face appointments with clinicians after triage via telephone and e-consult.
- Week of 17th May: Re-opening of Kimpton Surgery with face to face appointments.
- 21st June: Directly bookable face to face appointments. (Government date for the end of COVID restrictions).
Patients who have a face to face appointment can check in at reception, have a temperature check and be seated in specific areas to keep the waiting areas safe. As space is limited, we will not be able to give a full choice of appointment times. This is to separate routine care from possible infectious cases.
There has been a good up take of the vaccine locally, however the vaccine is not 100% effective and not all our patients have been vaccinated. There are still cases of COVID locally. We will continue to operate in a COVID secure way until the Government removes restrictions. This operating plan may change if further restrictions are imposed by government.
For those patients who wish to continue accessing our services remotely by phone or e-consult, these services will continue post 21st June.
Dr Hari Pathmanathan
Please read our latest Bridge Cottage Surgery Newsletter
Please note that our shutters are now OPEN but please only come to the Surgery if it is essential, you can access help via:
- eConsults (online on our website)
- calling reception on 01438 715044
- leaving a letter through our letter box (in the black door)
We are open and here to help our patients to stay safe
Domestic abuse: get help during the COVID-19 outbreak
If you are worried that a friend, neighbour or loved one is a victim of domestic abuse then you can call the freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 and further information is on the helpline's dedicated website.
If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, you should always call 999.
The Government has a detailed webpage Domestic abuse: get help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak where you can find out how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse. In particular, the government pages have translated guidance, welfare benefits and housing advice as well as advice on how to get legal help.
The pages also give details on the domestic abuse code-word scheme. If someone is experiencing domestic abuse and needs immediate help, they can ask for ‘ANI’ in a participating pharmacy. ‘ANI’ stands for Action Needed Immediately but also phonetically sounds like the name Annie. If a pharmacy has the ‘Ask for ANI’ logo on display, it means they’re ready to help.
They will offer the person a private space, provide a phone and ask if they need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.
Help us help you - busy service
All NHS services are under severe pressure at the moment, as we look after increasing numbers of patients who are sick with covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses.
We are also delivering the huge and vitally important covid-19 vaccination programme.
So that it can focus on these really important issues, you GP will understandably be prioritising urgent cases.
This means that when you contact your local practice, they will have an initial conversation with you to understand how urgent your health needs are.
If you have an issue that is not urgent, you may to wait longer than usual until your problem or concern can be dealt with.
Do please make sure that you continue to get in touch with us if you need to.
This is particularly important if:
· your problem is urgent;
· you have long-term condition that is getting worse
· you are worried about symptoms that might indicate cancer
Please also remember you can call NHS 111 for urgent concerns, and 999 for serious emergencies.
Your local pharmacist can also help with minor complaints
For adults with mental health problems including depression and anxiety, you can refer yourself directly to the local wellbeing service, via their website.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call this freephone number: 0800 6444 101.
For access to the Welwyn & Hatfield Healthy Hub - a one stop shop connecting you to health, sports and well being services in Welwyn Hatfield visit the website at https://healthyhub.welhat.gov.uk/
We have a childhood illnesses leaflet free to download here, full of advice and information for parents and carers of young children https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/application/files/1716/0941/0098/Help_your_Child_Stay_Well_This_Winter_FINAL.pdf
Herts Help has a range of support and information to help people though the lockdown here https://www.hertshelp.net/hertshelp.aspx
Thank you very much for helping us all manage under these very difficult circumstances.
Your views can help improve local GP and health services
Some patients registered at Bridge Cottage Surgery will soon be invited to take part in a national survey about their experiences of local NHS services.
It covers issues that concern patients, such as access to care and satisfaction with treatment.
If you receive a questionnaire, please help NHS England by filling it in as soon as possible.
It is really important that NHS England hear your views, even if you have received a questionnaire like this before. Your response with help NHS England to improve GP practices and other local NHS services so they better meet your names.
Visit www.gp-patient.co.uk to find out more
Advice for Older People
Staying Well in Hertfordshire
You will find useful information on how to look after yourself over these colder months, what to look out for and how to get help in the 'Staying Well in Hertfordshire' booklet which is accessible by the following link: