Coronavirus – Surgeries Convert Face-to-Face Appointments to Telephone Ones

Update with message from Dr Oliver Maunsell of Hart Surgery

In light of the emerging Covid-19 pandemic, we are changing the way we provide medical care to minimise the risk to our patients and staff.

With effect from 8am on Friday 13th March, we will be running a full telephone triage service. This means that If you have a pre-booked GP appointment, we politely request that you do not attend the surgery. Instead, the GP will contact you by telephone on the day of your appointment to discuss your problem. Following this, if it is deemed necessary to see you face to face, an appointment for this will be offered.

Due to the need for ongoing nursing procedures for many of our patients, we are not cancelling nurse appointments at this point in time. However, if you feel your appointment is not essential and/or would prefer not to attend, we would be grateful if you could call or email the surgery to cancel.

Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time, and we will endeavour to keep you updated about any further changes.

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The doctors’ surgeries in Henley are holding regular coronavirus meetings to discuss the containment of the virus, ways to educate patients and also how to keep people safe.  Today, The Bell Surgery took the decision to convert ALL booked GP face-to-face appointments to telephone appointments.  The Hart surgery has also posted a notice to say that all calls will now be triaged over the telephone.

Louise West, The Bell Surgery Practice Manager said, “We are trying to reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid putting patients at risk.  We have sent text and emails to all our patients for whom we have these contact details to advise patients of this decision to change the appointments and letting them know they need to contact the surgery if they feel this is not appropriate for them and they need to discuss further.”

“We still need to provide face to face appointments for some patients however we will be better protecting the population if we limit the numbers coming into the surgery. From tomorrow (Thursday 12 March) we will be setting up a separate entrance to reduce the amount of contact patients have to have with other patients.”

Patients should respect those who really need to use the surgery car park as there are limited spaces. Patients should consider walking into the surgery or park nearby and walk. The car park is intended for those patients who are elderly, frail or acutely unwell.  Louise added, “If patients can act in a kind and neighbourly way then when the time does come when they really need a car parking space I would like to think it will be available for them.”

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