Helping Us to Help You – The NHS Volunteer campaign – 25/3/2020
What is the NHS Volunteer campaign?
The NHS Volunteer campaign is a new initiative which looks to help the 1.5 million Britons with underlying medical conditions who have been asked to stay at home for the next 12 weeks. It is also designed as a support structure to reduce pressure on the NHS and its staff.
What will an NHS Volunteer do?
NHS Volunteers will be carrying out “simple but vital” roles.
- Community Response volunteer: This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home.
- Patient Transport volunteer: This role supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring that they are settled safely back in to their home.
- NHS Transport volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites, it may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.
- Check-in and Chat volunteer: This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.
Who can become an NHS Volunteer?
Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone.
The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing.
Patient transport drivers will require an enhanced DBS check and will receive guidance to do this role safely. If you do become ill you can pause your volunteering.
How many NHS Volunteers are required?
The Government are looking for 250,000 people to help with the effort.
How do I sign up?
You can sign up to become an NHS Volunteer Responder at goodsamapp.org/NHS.
First a reminder:
DO NOT attend the surgery if you have a new continuous cough or a fever (high temperature). Please follow the advice at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
As from Monday 16.03.2020 the Surgery will be operating in a slightly different way. This is to help delay the spread of the virus and to protect staff at the Surgery so they can continue to support patients over the coming weeks.
Appointments that have already been booked have been converted to telephone appointments and the clinician will call you either in the morning or the afternoon (depending on the time of your original face-to-face appointment). During this telephone appointment the clinician will tell you if you need to come in to the Surgery. You will have received a Text message about this but if you are unsure please call the Surgery.
To help us manage demand and ensure those most in need of support are prioritised please use our e-Consult service accessed from the home page of our website – if you do this you will receive a response from a clinician by the end of the next working day. The service is available 24/7 and you will avoid the telephone call queue.
If you are unable to use the e-consult service please telephone for advice about booking an appointment. We have temporarily removed Systmone online booking and Patient Partner telephone booking.
Please be patient with staff as they provide the options for you.
If you are asked to attend the Surgery for your appointment, please try to arrive on-time (but not too early). If you would prefer not to wait in the waiting room inform a member of staff who will take your mobile number so we can call you in from outside (or in your car) when the clinician is ready for you.
Please do not bring multiple people to your appointment, only those who need to be with you.
Chronic Disease Reviews will be carried out via telephone.
We will still be seeing patients for Cervical Smear tests, Baby Immunisations, Coil fitting etc. If you are unsure about anything relating to appointments please complete an Administrative e-Consult request or telephone and speak to a member of staff who will clarify.
There will be a postbox at the entrance to the Surgery for any written communication including repeat medication requests. Please be clear about where your ‘nominated’ Pharmacy/Dispensary is so your prescription can be electronically sent.
Should you need to self-isolate you will find this link helpful: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.
Call 111 now if you’ve been:
• to Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms)
• to other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
• to Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
• in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus
7 | Coronavirus Primary Care Briefing – 18 February 2020
Do not go to a GP surgery, community pharmacy or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.
Further information is available on nhs.uk.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan or Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
• Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at Further information is available on nhs.uk.
PRACTICE CLOSURE FOR STAFF TRAINING
From 12:30 to 18:30 on Tuesday 25 February 2020, this practice will be closed for important clinical education and training purposes:
Emergency cover will be provided, please telephone 111 to access these services:
- Telephone triage
- Face-to-face appointments at Drovers House in Bury St Edmunds or Haverhill Clements site (Greenfields Way) of Christmas Maltings and Clements Home visits
Repeat prescription requests will not be dealt with during these times so please ensure sufficient notice is given to enable your practice to provide these for you prior to practice closure dates.
We are pleased to welcome Lauren Rottman, Physician Associate to Swan Surgery.
This is job role which supports doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They work under the supervision of the doctor, training to perform a number of day-to-day tasks including:
taking medical histories
analysing test results
developing management plans
Physician Associates (PA’s) have to meet a nationally approved standard of training and practice. As well as academic achievement, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate experience of working with the public, an interest in health and social care, the right values to work for the NHS and excellent communication skills. This does not lead to becoming a GP, but can lead to further specialisation.
Currently the Physician Associate is not able to prescribe but they are able to raise a prescription which they will take to a doctor for signing.
Please be aware that Dr Gove and Dr Dunne have now retired, if they were your GP you will have been allocated to another GP, if you wish to know who this is please ask reception.