Being seen for a Face to Face appointment in General Practice

Over the last year you are likely to have noticed a difference in the way things are being done in general practice as we manage the COVID 19 pandemic.

While we continue to ask that patients do not visit the GP practice unless specifically asked to do so the NHS App allows patient to request repeat prescriptions, know when they are ready for collection from a pharmacy of their choice and access the online econsult service more easily.  We would recommend patients do this where possible.

Since the start of the pandemic our GPs and wider clinical team have been working tirelessly to master new ways of working.  We have become experts in consulting our patients remotely: triaging each person’s unique situation and managing it appropriately.  This means that patients who need face-to-face assessments can easily receive it- whereas those who can effectively be treated by phone, video consultation or email are able to access high quality clinical care conveniently and safely.  Patient and staff safety is our top priority, and we have a responsibility to make sure that the crowded waiting rooms of the past (which were a breeding ground for infections of all sorts) remain a thing of the past.  We hope the pandemic is nearing its end but, the coronavirus is with us for the foreseeable future – we have had to adapt to this fact by reserving face-to-face appointments for patients who need (or really want) them, and using technology to deliver care to those who don’t.  (Please be aware, incidentally, that Friarsgate has always been ‘open’ to patients- we have been seeing patients in person from the very beginning of the crisis, and continue to do so).  We have found that many of our patients prefer the remote model of consulting doctors and nurses, whereas some prefer the more traditional in person meeting with the clinician.  As we begin to move out of the pandemic, we are offering a hybrid arrangement of appointments which honours the variety of wants and needs of the population we serve.  Please rest assured –if you need to be seen face-to-face, then you will be seen face-to-face.  Please work with our highly-trained care navigators, who take pride in signposting you to the very best available healthcare solution for your needs.

A home visiting service is still available to patients who are unable to leave their home.

As well as the usual doctors and nurses the practice has a range of other clinicians who may be better placed to help you depending on your medical or social need.

Wellbeing Practitioners_- The practice has a range of social prescribers and wellbeing practitioners in practice that can help patients with social and mental health issues.  They are able to help connect patients with community based sources of support which can work a long side clinical treatment to improve health and wellbeing.

Physiotherapy- We have physiotherapists working in practice 4 days a week offering face-to-face consultations to patients with new back and joint pain problems.  Our physiotherapists can offer assessment, management plans, follow up and onward referral if necessary.

We continue to offer a range of appointments in the evenings and at weekends via our Badger Farm Surgery.

Thank you once again for your support and understanding as we all adapt to a new way of working while being true to our practice vision “Working together to provide a brighter future through better healthcare”.