Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

We will be developing this page to post answers to queries that we are receiving from patients so that others with the same question don't need to call us.

These will concentrate on practice specific matters. General guidance on matters relating to Coronavirus can be found on the NHS UK website.

The most common questions we have been receiving over the phone over the last week are shown below:-

  • We will only issue a prescription for repeat medication if you have less than ten days left. Please don't order early as processing these orders takes up valuable staff resource.
  • Do not order more than yoru normal quantity 'just in case'. Stockpiling of medication is not necessary and causes shortages.
  • If you are requestng an inhaler for asthma but havent been prescribed one recently you will need to be reviewed by our nursing team. You can complete an on-line asthma review via e-Consult
  • We have not yet been told yet what the criteria are for the highest-risk group of patients who need to be shielded for 12 weeks. We will be writing to those patients as soon as NHSE tell us who they are. In the meantime , if you feel that your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable you can read the advice that the government has issued to the public here. Everyone should be following the governments lock-down advice regardless of medical conditions.
  • Sick-notes for self-isolation can be obtained via the NHS111 on-line service
  • If you are otherwise well but feel your medical condition means that you should not go to work then this is a matter between you and your employer. Employers should be making provision for all but essential workers to work from home anyway. You should be able to provide evidence of your condition via documents you already have such as prescriptions and hospital letters.
  • Dropping off a paper prescription request at the surgery is not one of the essential activities covered under the lockdown. We will always make sure you have the medication you need somehow. Call us and we will take your order and support you in getting set up for on-line ordering for the future.

Please do not call the surgery unnecessarily so we can dedicate as much staff resource as possible to helping and supporting the patients who need it most.

There are more FAQs listed below.

FAQ


On-line services such as Patient Access or NHS App are very simple to use.

Requests for medication received via the apps are much quicker for us to process as they are automatically updated into your medical record. This will be an issue for us as our workforce is depleted by self-isolation measures and school closures. Please help us by using the apps where possible.

You can register to use the NHS app and validate your ID completely on-line if you have a passport or photo driving licence. See more about the NHS App

If you or someone you are helping does not have photo id but wants to register for on-line services please call us and we will try to find a way.

If your child is under 11 and you are a registered user of on-line services please call us and we can set you up as a proxy user for your child.

If you cannot do any of these things then we will accept orders for existing repeat medication via our contact form on this website but please don't use this form for any clinical queries or to request new medication.

We will also accept orders over the phone but please us the on-line methods if you possibly can to leave the phone lines for other patients. The phones are incredibly busy at this time.

For the time being we will be sending out documents of this nature by post to avoid patients having to come into the surgery.

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. This does not need to be a fit note (Med 3 form) issued by a GP or other doctor.

The advice on the gov.uk Covid-19 Guidance for Employers page strongly suggests that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home in accordance with the public health advice being issued by the government.

We would be disappointed if any employer chose to send their employees to their GP for evidence of sickness at a time when NHS resources are so severely stretched. The GPs will not be able to support requests of this nature.

Patients are advised to draw the attention of their employers to paragraph 13 of the document linked above.

The government issued new guidance about social distancing on March 16th. They advised  those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

The guidance ( linked here) explains which categories of people are considered to be at increased risk.

The guidance does not advise people in these groups  to self-isolate. It specifically advises stringent social distancing measures. An explanation of what these are is also included in the guidance.

It is up to employers to decide how they support their employees who fall into these categories and any decisions based on medical grounds are a matter for  occupational health. Any evidence they need to support these discussions should be available in previous hospital correspondence that you already have.

More advice is available on the gov.uk page for employers, employees and businesses.

 

 

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Contact Us

Ainsdale Medical Centre
66 Station Rd
Southport
Merseyside
PR8 3HW
Tel: 01704 575133