The only telephone number to reach the surgery is 01604 709922.
GP Face-to-Face Appointments (18/09/20)
To all our patients - we know there has been a lot of discussion in the news this week about GPs providing face- to-face appointments. We wanted to explain some of the reasons why we have been offering a reduced number of face-to-face appointments. We also wanted to reassure patients that NHS Digital have confirmed that in July over 50% of the 22.8 million appointments carried out were conducted face to face.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have remained open to patients. We have offered appointments using new ways of working and new technology. We have worked hard to make sure we remained available to speak to, and to offer appointments to anyone who needed them.
While we appreciate that patients sometimes prefer to see a GP face to face, there are reasons why we have offered additional telephone and video consultations, and government guidance has played a big part in this. It has remained the case that if we have needed to see a patient face to face, or felt it was important for their care, we have asked those patients to come in to see us.
Offering new ways of working has helped some patients to access appointments they wouldn’t normally have been able to attend due to their commitments, such as their work or caring responsibilities.
It remains the case that bringing patients into the surgery while coronavirus is with us presents some significant challenges. We want to explain more about these challenges.
We always pay close attention to the cleaning of our premises. However, the level of cleaning required between patients during the pandemic means that if all our patients were to come into the surgery, we would not be able to offer the same number of appointments because of the increased cleaning time that would be needed.
Additionally, changing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) between each patient adds additional time to the end of each appointment. The difficulty in obtaining PPE has also meant that we have needed to be more cautious about the way we use scarce resources.
Another challenge we face is how to make sure that social distancing is as good as it possibly can be, and that we maintain a ‘covid-secure’ environment. Some of the things we need to take into account when considering this are: the number of people in the waiting room, the number of people who cross in the corridors, and the toilet facilities that are available.
As caring employers, we need to ensure that we keep our staff safe as well. Our staff are people too, and some may have ethnicity or health issues that make them more vulnerable to the effects of covid-19.
Finally, and we think most importantly, we need to consider you, our patients. We have many elderly and vulnerable patients with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to covid-19 than most. We also know that there are young and healthy people who have been seriously affected by covid, so it isn’t just the elderly or infirm we need to protect.
Increasing the number of patients in the surgery means that we increase the risk for everyone – particularly if some of those people have symptoms of covid-19 and are unwell enough to need to be seen.
As doctors and staff working in GP practices, we really want to do the best we can for our patients. We do the jobs we do because we care about the people we look after.
We would all love to see a return to ‘normal’ life and the easy face-to-face care we have always provided, but at the moment offering fewer face-to-face appointments keeps patients safe and provides the maximum number of appointments we can.
As always, we are available to talk to patients, and we want to hear from those who need us. While we understand patients’ frustrations with the current situation, we hope that you will continue to help and support us, as you have always supported the NHS, so that we can go on providing you with care and support in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you for your continued support, this is appreciated.
Flu Vaccine (Updated 27/08/20)
Due to covid-19, this year will be very challenging for delivering the flu vaccine & with the extended cohort of patients needing this vaccination, demand will be greater.
Appointments for the flu vaccine are now available to book, for eligible patients. Appointments will be held on Saturday mornings throughout October.
This vaccine provides the best protection against an unpredictable virus which affects many people and can cause serious illness and death each year. To book, please telephone Reception on 01604 709922.
We will shortly be inviting our eligible patients to book in for their flu vaccine.
Please note, people in the 50-64 year age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccine, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first.
If you are 50-64 years old and you are in one of the other groups which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you will be invited.
Front Reception (27/08/20)
Front Reception is now open. However, to ensure we remain safe & reduce the risk of spreading coronvirus (covid-19), please continue to utilise the telephone & email where possible, only attending the surgery when essential.
If you do attend the surgery for a booked appointment please use the self-check-in.
Please remember social distancing & follow the signs on the floor if you need to go to Reception.
Our prescription box in the Reception area remains closed. This is to limit patients coming into the surgery unnecessary. Please continue to use systmonline, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the letter box on the main road (opposite the shop). When using the letter box, please do not bang on the window alerting us, this box is checked regularly.
Thank you for your continued support.
Some people think GP surgeries have not been opened during the pandemic. Here's some figures that show otherwise for Wootton Medical Centre...
New Normal (07/08/20)
To all our patients,
Over the last few months you are likely to have noticed a difference in the way things are being done at Wootton Medical Centre as we manage coronavirus (covid-19).
We want to start off by saying thank you. Thank you for adapting so quickly to these new ways of working - it has been the drastic, yet fundamental change needed to ensure the safety of you and our staff.
To slow down the spread of coronavirus, we have worked to reduce the number of people coming into the practice by using telephone and video consultation, email and doctorlink (on our website).
Our top priority is, and has always been, to keep you and our staff safe, while ensuring you get the care you need.
This is why we ask that you continue what you have been doing to access your GP service.
Please DO NOT visit the practice without a booked appointment. Instead, telephone or email the practice. You can speak with a GP or Practice Nurse over the telephone or video consultation and can communicate with us via email. This will often mean you get to speak to the right person to help you, much quicker.
If a GP or Practice Nurse does need to see you in person then you will be given an appointment to attend the practice.
Only coming to the practice with an appointment means:
- You will be seen promptly (by arriving at your appointment time, not earlier or later)
- You are reducing your risk of catching / spreading coronavirus by avoiding our waiting room
- You are helping to keep staff healthy and safe
- The practice is able to maintain a clean environment and help protect you from the virus
Thank you again for your support and understanding as we all adapt to a new way of working.
FAQs - GP Appointments & Bookings
The way patients can access GP services has changed, below are some frequently asked questions that may help you understand these changes:
Why can't I walk into my GP practice?
The coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic has forced us all to work differently to help slow down the spread of the virus. All healthcare settings are taking special measures to protect you, the public and our staff. Wootton Medical Centre, along with other GP practices are working as hard as ever, but differently.
Where possible, we want to avoid people having to wait inside a waiting room together, as we know this increases the risk of the virus spreading. Like hospitals and dentists, we have also had to change how we offer our services to you.
If you do need to come in, then we can ensure there are a minimal number of people in the practice, we can maintain social distancing and keep patients and staff safe.
How do I get an appointment?
Please telephone the practice on 01604 709922 and ask for a telephone consultation. The Receptionist will ask for a brief problem and will book you a telephone consultation with the most suitable clinician, it may not be on the same day. You will then be contacted by a clinician to talk through your symptoms either over the telephone, or if needed and you have the available technology, through a video consultation.
Why can't I book a face to face appointment?
We have adapted the way in which you can get an appointment quickly & safely.
Most patient's health concerns can be managed over the telephone or via video consultation. This is why we are providing you with either an initial telephone call or video consultation to decide what would be the best way to help. If we can support you without you needing to come into the practice then we reduce the need for you to travel, and reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
If you do need a face to face appointment, you will be invited to attend the practice.
If we can ensure there are a minimal number of people in the practice, we can maintain social distancing and keep patients and staff safe.
What if I do not have access to a smartphone or web camera?
While technology has evolved and supports us all in many different ways in our day to day lives, we appreciate not everyone will have access to a smartphone or web camera for a video consultation.
We can still talk to you on your mobile phone or landline.
Will I need to wear a face mask if I come into Wootton Medical Centre for an appointment?
To help limit the spread of the virus, we are asking for all patients aged 7 and over to wear a face covering when they come to the practice. This does not have to be a face mask, but a cloth covering which covers your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.
What do I do if I think I have coronavirus (covid-19)?
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- High temperature
- New, continuous cough
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms then DO NOT visit your GP practice. You should visit 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online.
You must self-isolate for ten days from when your symptoms started. Anyone you live with, or in your support bubble, who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person started having symptoms.
You must also ask for a test as soon as you start showing symptoms. You can do this online - visit www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or call NHS 119.
NHS Health Checks
From Monday 10th August, we are reintroducing NHS Health Checks at the surgery. If you have previously received an invite, whether by SMS text or letter, and would like to book an appointment, please telephone Reception on 01604 709922. Appointments will initially be available on Tuesday afternoons.
Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum
Residents of Northampton urged to take action as cases rise:
Latest government figures (22nd July 2020) show that the coronavirus infection rate in Northampton remains above the national rate (455.6 per 100,000) and regional average at 535.2 per 100,000.
The rate of infection is increasing and the amount of positive tests are also increasing within Northampton. This increase in this infection rate means that we need to take action now to prevent further spread of the virus and potential local lockdown measures.
The increase does not appear to be related to one specific incident or a single method of transmission, therefore residents of Northampton are being asked to follow additional guidance to that being shared nationally, to protect the local community and reduce transmission rates.
This guidance is as follows:
Cases are rising in Northampton, you and your community are at risk, act now.
- Limit contact with others outside ofyour household or bubble
- Work from home if you can
- Keep 2 metres from others at all times, use a face covering where you are less than 2 metres apart
- Avoid using public transport or care sharing, wear face coverings if you cannot avoid these
- If you have covid-19 symptoms, stay at home, self-isolate and get a test
- Avoid meeting those outside of your household or bubble in an indoor space
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for 20 seconds each time
- Do not share items with others outside of your household or bubble
- If you have covid-19 symptoms, do not go to work, either work from home or report sick, self-isolate and get a test
- Even if you only have mild covid-19 symptoms, get a test
- If you are contacted by test and trace and asked to self-isolate, stay at home for 14 days
Tests can be booked online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.
Change in Partnership - Dr Hilary Penfold & Dr Sian Loe
Dr Hilary Penfold has retired as a GP Partner from the practice at the end of June. She will remain at the surgery as a GP working two sessions a week, mainly focusing on looking after our local care home residents, minor operations and joint injections. If Dr Penfold is your registered GP, you will be notified via SMS message of your new registered GP.
Dr Sian Loe, who has been with us since June 2019 becomes a GP Partner from today. Dr Loe will have her own list of registered patients allocated to her, these will be notified via SMS message. Change in registered GP will be an automatic process, no requests can be met.
When seeing / speaking with a GP, if available, you can request a GP of your choice.
Booking Appointments with GP / Practice Nurse
If you need to make an appointment, you must telephone the surgery rather than attend in person. If you attend the surgery to make this appointment, you will be asked to leave immediately and telephone eh surgery. We know this will increase the volume of our calls but are reducing any risk to both our patients and staff. We appreciate there may be a wait when telephoning, but please bear with us and we will answer your call as soon as we can.
When you telephone for an appointment, you will be asked the brief problem and you will be offered a telephone consultation with the most appropriate clinician (whether this be a GP, Prescribing Nurse, Social Prescriber or Clinical Pharmacist). The clinician will telephone you to discuss your symptoms (please be honest and open) and help you where possible over the telephone. If the clinician feels it is appropriate to do so, you will then be booked for a face-to-face appointment.
If you are offered a face-to-face appointment, please ensure, where possible you attend alone.
Collecting & Ordering Prescriptions (Updated 27/08/20)
To order a prescription, you will need to use SystmOnline (prior registration required), email (email@example.com) or letter box (on main road opposite shop). The prescription box in Reception is also CLOSED and will remain so for the foreseeable, limiting footfall in the surgery.
As usual, we DO NOT take requests over the telephone.
Please allow up to 72 hours to action you request, which will be sent electronically, where possible, to your pharmacy of choice (nominated pharmacy). If you have not nominated a pharmacy, this will be sent to Wootton Pharmacy.
Remember, all NHS staff are doing this to help keep you safe. Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation.