COVID-19/Coronavirus Updates: Some of our Services have changed.

The nation is now in the containment phase of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis. Fernley Medical Centre will continue to provide patients with healthcare during this time.

 

The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority.  To keep us all safe we have had to change some of our services.  Here you will find an overview of these changes, and how they might affect you.

 

I think I might have Coronavirus. What should I do?

 

You may have Coronavirus if you have the following symptoms:

  • A high temperature (your back or chest is hot to touch)
  • A new continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

 

If you have these symptoms please do not visit your local health services like your GP, Pharmacy or Hospital because you might spread the virus.

You must self-isolate for the current period shown in the NHS guidelines.

You do not need to call anyone if you can manage your symptoms at home – most people experience only mild symptoms. If you have an underlying health condition which you are concerned about or your symptoms are severe enough that you need medical attention e.g. you are short of breath please call NHS 111 or access their online advice portal by clicking here.

 

Non-Coronavirus Queries

 

We are still dealing with your non-Coronavirus queries and problems; however we are conducting initial patient appointments by telephone or video. This is to keep everyone safe. You can book your appointment in the usual way, with our app or by calling the Reception Team and one of our clinicians will call you back.

 

The GP will arrange a face-to-face appointment for you, if they think it’s safe for you to come in. They will discuss this with you during your telephone/video call.

 

Please see the section below for further information about what you will be asked to do when you attend a face-to-face appointment.

 

If you are worried about your mental health and would like some support, you can self-refer to Birmingham Healthy Minds by:

 

  • Telephoning 0121 301 2525 between 9.30am and 4.30pm Mon – Fri
  • Texting ‘BHM’ to 67777 By texting 60777, you are agreeing for Birmingham Healthy Minds to contact you (who are part of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust) to receive further information on our service. This will cost you the price of standard rate text message.
  • Visiting: birminghamhealthyminds.org

 

For telephone advice from a Mental Health Specialist or Counsellor you can also call the following numbers:

 

  • If you are 0-18 years old – call PAUSE on 0207 841 4470This service is open 7 days a week between the hours of 10am-6pm.
  • If you are over 18 years old – call the Mental Health Support and Crisis Line on 0121 262 3555. This service is open 7 days a week between 9am-11pm.

 

Routine Monitoring and Reviews

 

Many patients with long term conditions need ongoing monitoring.  During this crisis, we suspended non-essential monitoring.

If you need essential monitoring, we will try to do this by phone or online.

Of course, some patients who need essential monitoring must attend surgery. A blood test is a good example and if this applies to you, we’ll make the necessary arrangements for you to come in.

In line with NHS guidance, other non-essential routine services have been suspended until the crisis is over.  This includes services such as minor operations.  We will keep you updated about these services.

 

Attending the Surgery for a Face to Face Review

 

If we ask you to attend the surgery it is important that you attend at the time of your appointment as we currently are operating a one patient in and one patient out system.  This means that if you are early for your appointment you will be asked to wait in your car or outside if you do not have a car, until the clinician you are seeing is ready to call you in at your allocated appointment time.

 

We are now asking all patients to wear a face covering when you attend the Practice for an appointment.  This does not need to be a medical grade mask, and could be something as simple as a scarf or bandana tied around the back of your head. The face covering must be big enough to cover your mouth and nose.  If you do not attend with a face covering you may be asked to rebook your appointment in order to keep other patients and our staff safe.

Due to a national shortage of PPE, which is supplied by the government, we are unable to provide patients with a supply of masks from the Practice’s limited supply.

If you need help making a mask we have included a link below to the government website which includes instructions on how to make your own face covering. Some face coverings can be made out of material that you can wash and re-use. Please note that even while wearing a mask you still need to follow strict social distancing rules and remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds regularly.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

 

We would also like to remind patients that if you have any coronavirus symptoms – a new continuous cough, temperature, or loss of taste and smell, or you co-habit with someone who has these symptoms, you should NOT attend your appointment and self-isolate for the next 7 days.  If you are in this situation please contact the Practice to cancel your appointment.

 

Thank you for your assistance in preventing the spread of coronavirus

 

Dealing with your repeat medications

 

Please order your prescription a week before your medication runs out by phone or online. This gives us plenty of time to process your prescription, and for the pharmacy to dispense your items.

This will stop you coming into contact with other patients when you don’t need to.

During this crisis, phone lines may be busier than usual. So we recommend that you use our app. It’s available 24/7, and only needs a few presses of a button:

https://app.birminghamandsolihullhealthapp.com/users/sign_in

Please note: our Prescription Ordering Department will continue to operate during the crisis. You do not need to request more than your normal quantity of medication.

 

How to get a Sick Note

If you require a sick note for corona-virus self-isolating purposes there is now a dedicated NHS website which you can access by clicking here.  The website will generate a note which you can then email to your employer if required.

If you require a sick note for ongoing medical reasons not relating to Corona virus then most sick notes can be issued without you seeing a doctor face-to-face.  A telephone consultation with a doctor is fine.

If you need a sick note please contact the reception team to request a telephone appointment.

We will now email the sick note to you if possible. This will avoid you attending the surgery.

 

Please note: you should self-certify for the first seven days of your illness. However, this guidance may change during the crisis.

 

Shielding Letters

Some of our patients will have received letters or text messages directly from the government or from us to advise that they are extremely vulnerable patients and need to shield.

All letters have now been sent to patients who need to shield, however, if you think you should have received a letter and have not, please contact your hospital specialist if you have one, or contact the Practice if you are not under hospital follow up, who will be able to advise you if you meet the shielding criteria.

If you have received a letter you should continue to shield until 30th June 2020, as per the current government guidance.

Please click here for further government guidance on Shielding.

 

Why you should use our Patient App

During this crisis we expect much higher call volumes than usual. To avoid you having to wait on the phone, we strongly recommend that you use our patient app.

You can use our app to:

  • book your appointments
  • order your medication
  • view your medical record
  • obtain your test results
  • link to some health devices

Not got our app yet? You’ll find it on Google Play and in the app store or by going to: https://app.birminghamandsolihullhealthapp.com/users/sign_in

 

Referrals and Further Care

If you need a referral, we will make this as usual. However, waiting times at hospitals and other services have increased.

Due to current pressures, hospitals are cancelling some Outpatients Clinics and also routine operations.  We do not have any control over this. If you need further information please contact the relevant hospital directly or call us at the surgery and choose Option 4.

 

Need more information?

We will keep updating this page with the latest official guidance.

For more NHS information on Coronavirus please click here.

 

Page last updated – Monday 22nd June 2020