Update from Ardleigh Surgery

We are doing our very best in difficult circumstances to continue to provide support and care to all who need it, but we need your help. The clinical, nursing, dispensary and administration teams are under increasing pressure and this will only increase in the coming weeks. We have all had to work in a totally new and different way and make changes on a daily basis, please be patient with us as we make these changes.

To reduce footfall into the surgery, all appointments are now telephone triaged with GPs and nurses. If we cannot deal with your issue over the phone, we will be able to bring you into a designated clinic at Ardleigh. Many issues can be dealt with over the phone so please help by keeping your phone on loud and close to you so they don’t have to make repeated attempts to calls you.

Please be considerate for the reason you are calling us. We need to ensure we have enough free clinical time for those who need us most at the moment. If you come into the surgery we will check your temperature on arrival. The surgery seems eerily quiet inside, but it doesn’t mean we are ‘quiet’. In fact all the doctors and nurses are providing more appointments than ever over the phone and keeping you safe by dealing with issues over the phone where appropriate.

Anyone with respiratory symptoms is being telephone triaged. If we need to see them face to face, they are being seen in a designated area at the back of the surgery with a separate entrance. This is to help us keep any potentially unwell patients separate to anyone else. If you are asked to come to this part of the surgery, you will be given instructions when you call us. Please wait in your car until you are called in by the clinician.

Nursing pre-booked appointments will still be running at Dedham. Please ring Ardleigh to book an appointment.

If you are unwell with symptoms of Covid-19 (cough, high temperature, flu like illness, etc.) please do not come to the surgery. Follow the government advice to self-isolate and if your condition worsens contact 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk for online advice. Please do not arrive at Ardleigh or Dedham surgery as a walk-in. If you are unsure what to do, or need further advice, then call the GP. If you have suspected symptoms, please also ensure you and your family self-isolate as the current guidelines dictate.

This dispensary is open and staff are working hard to keep up with demand. Like the supermarkets, many people have ordered early or requested things they have not used for many years. This is making the turnaround time for prescriptions longer. The dispensary team have been working overtime and at the weekend to catch up with the workload. Please be thankful for their dedication. The current turnaround time for a routine prescription is five days.

Almost all our patients have been very supportive of our staff, who are as anxious as are the general population and working in the most difficult situation NHS workers have dealt with in a generation. We thank the people who have dropped in cards, cakes and supplies to boost morale and we would like to thank the local businesses who have supported us already. Every small act of kindness helps boost our staff. We understand that some people are frustrated and worried by the situation, but now more than ever, we will not tolerate any inappropriate behaviour towards the staff. Please look after us.

Social Isolation
While the government begins plans to support those in social isolation, your first port of call should be your well relatives, family and friends for food and medication collections. There is also a Dedham and Ardleigh support group of volunteers helping those in isolation. Their number is below.

Social Media
Every day social media puts another story online. Be careful to read correct information from government and NHS websites. Many stories are ‘fake news’ and are stoking unnecessary upset and anxiety as well as increasing GP’s workload patients asking for clarification. Your first port of call is the appropriate websites or 111 for accurate information.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk / www.111.nhs.uk / www.ardleighsurgery.nhs.uk

Dedham and Ardleigh Volunteer Help Line: 01206 322 025

We thank you in advance for helping the surgery through the next difficult few months.

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