Surgery Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19)
Please find some useful links regarding Coronavirus below
- Latest government advice: gov.uk
- Guidance on Self Isolation & Social Distancing: Here
- Advice from Public Health England: NHS.UK
- The NHS 111 Online service is available if you suspect you may have Coronavirus
- Please consider the NHS App for ordering prescriptions.
The NHS 111 Online service is available if you think you have symptoms of coronavirus.
At the Surgery we have a responsibility to our Patients and Staff to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus in our community.
As a place which cares for the most vulnerable and at-risk patients, as well as somewhere potentially symptomatic patients may come, two groups we do not want to mix, our message is in keeping with the national campaign – “If you think you have the symptoms of Coronavirus, do not attend the Surgery.”
We are working with three main principles in mind.
- Identify possible cases as soon as possible
- Isolate or cohort to prevent transmission to other patients and staff
- Appropriate use of personal protective equipment
There are some simple, practical measures we can put in place, many of which involve reducing footfall at the surgery, and therefore limit contact between people.
Changes to the appointment systems
Daily telephone triage – We are screening all appointments at the surgery. Anyone who would like an appointment should call the surgery, but please expect a call from a GP or other clinician before a face to face appointment is offered. If we are able, we will try to help you over the phone and avoid a visit to the surgery.
Increased use of telephone appointments - We are encouraging patients to consider whether or not their problem requires a physical examination or a face to face discussion, and if not, we would be able to book a telephone appointment and speak with you at an allotted time.
Online appointment booking changes– Unfortunately, due to the risk of a symptomatic patient booking an appointment without speaking with us first we have temporarily suspended online appointment booking for face to face appointments. You are able to book a telephone appointment via the online system, but we cannot guarantee a specific GP or time for the call.
Explore other ways of working – We are exploring other ways of caring for our patients, including online consultations and we are now able to offer video calls ad receive picture messages from patients.
Medication/chronic disease reviews and routine investigations – We are relaxing our medication review requirements and on a case by case basis weighing up the risk of bringing patients to the surgery for reviews etc against postponing this until a later date.
Other footfall & measures at the Surgery
We ask that patients attending the Surgery wear a face covering - and follow our social distancing and infection control procedures which are indicated when entering the building.
On entry to building via intercom – For patients who attend the surgery, we are allowing access via an intercom. Public Health England are encouraging any patients with a cough, fever or shortness of breath not to attend the practice (and to access healthcare via NHS 111 Online). If anyone with these symptoms does enter the building, we may have to briefly close for a deep clean, so would rather avoid this disruption. We will call back via telephone any patients who attend with these symptoms.
Outside appointments - The risk of Coronavirus transmission is significantly less outdoors, so we are offering patients the option to wait outside the surgery, and even have their consultation outside in our marquee (if appropriate).
Prescription collection and ordering – We have alternative methods of ordering and collection prescriptions rather than attending the surgery. These are potentially more convenient for patients, and we have been promoting them for some time. We are now strongly encouraging patients to register for our online services or the NHS App to order prescriptions, and nominate a pharmacy (by either speaking with our reception team, or the community pharmacy) so that your prescription can be sent electronically.
Letters and non-urgent private services – There may be some delay in non-urgent matters, such as insurance forms and other letters as we deal with acute medical problems. With regards to holiday cancellations and insurance forms, information is available on the gov.uk website, and you should not require a letter from your GP.
Sick Notes & Letters regarding Coronavirus
The Surgery will not be issuing letters for patients with coronavirus, or self isolating. The government have released an online portal for patients requiring confirmation for their employer. Information about MED3 Fit notes (sick notes) for your employer is also on the gov.uk site.
Screening coronavirus symptoms
It may be necessary for us to see patients with respiratory symptoms at the practice (after speaking with a doctor). We already have robust infection control procedures and are well prepared for circumstances such as this. We have allocated an entrance away from the main reception area and have a designated room to contain potential infection.
We will of course treat any patient with Coronavirus symptoms in confidence and with dignity, but still will need to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment when assessing these patients and clean to rigorous standards after each consultation.
What can you do to help?
You can register for the NHS App - so that you can book a triage call back with a GP, and order your prescriptions online, rather than coming to the surgery.
Please avoid the surgery if at all possible. As I'm sure you can appreciate, we are extremely busy, so please avoid routine queries, particularly calling for results. We will contact patients with abnormal results to arrange follow up.
It is important not to panic, take a common sense approach, and keep checking the official websites listed above for reliable and regularly updated information. If you think you have symptoms visit the NHS 111 website and avoid attending the surgery without speaking with a GP first.
They have provided a list to help you get the right support you need during COVID-19, covering things like accessing support for food, mental health, drugs and alcohol, homelessness, domestic abuse and more. They try to update this list as provisions shift and develop. You can access the full list at:
Sheffield City Council:
Sheffield City Council has launched a helpline for residents to call with any issues relating to coronavirus. The support is available Monday to Friday between 8:45 am and 4:45pm. People can call 0114 273 4567. Further information at:
Sheffield Children's Hospital:
Sheffield Children's Hospital have developed resources for families, children and young people with additional needs. The resources aim to help manage difficulties around going back to school, sleep, behaviour, emotional well-being, sensory issues and covid.
These resources include quick reference sheets, top tips, booklets, guides and videos across all the topics for a range of ages and needs. If you would like a paper copy of the summary booklet then please call 0114 271 7656.
Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) Community Hub and Mutual Aid Map:
Voluntary Action Sheffield have created a support map which details all the support offered by street level groups such as mutual aid and community hubs e.g. local level help getting supplies when isolating, food access, issue specific support. You can access this support map at:
NHS England and NHS Improvement have shared some useful mental health resources which we wanted to share with you:
• Elefriends - Online community for people struggling with their mental health from Mind
• How to look after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak from the Mental Health Foundation -
• Coronavirus anxiety tips. Every Mind Matters (NHS)
• Coronavirus and your wellbeing – a suite of resources from Mind.
• Supporting young people's mental health during coronavirus - a range of resources from the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families
Covid-19 information is also available in other languages.