You may have seen the news over the weekend about how people access their GP surgery. At West Timperley Medical Centre we have kept our reception open, though entrance is via interlock system just to ensure we can maintain social distancing in our waiting room. We continue to offer both routine and urgent face to face appointments where necessary: this will not change. We will continue to ensure that patients have access to the right help with the right person at the right time. This may be through an appointment in person, a phone call, or via AskMyGP. You will be advised if your appointment is face to face and have a text to confirm, otherwise it will be by telephone.
We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we will continue to care for you as we have throughout the last year. If you need to arrange an appointment to discuss a medical matter, please log your request via AskmyGP with enough information as necessary to ensure your request is forwarded to the right person. We have a team of GP, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Health Care Assistants, First Contact Physiotherapists and Pharmacists, and ensuring the right person helps you first time, frees up capacity for more appointments.
Due to increased demand we have to switch AskmyGP off by early afternoon. If this is the case and your concern is not urgent please log your request on an alternate day that you are available.
The Practice is in a transition period and we appreciate your patience as we implement any changes announced by NHSE. We will continue to review our appointment system that helps most people most of the time. Please remember that you can often attend your local pharmacy for advice on minor ailments and the NHS choices websites provide guidance on a number of ailments and explain when it is important that you speak to a GP.
We will keep this information as up to date as possible, however, announcements by the Government and NHSE will take time to implement and so your patience and understanding, as always, is appreciated.
Accessing the Practice
We encourage all patients to contact us via AskMyGP or via telephone. For those patients who are unable to use these facilities, our reception is open for you to come and speak to someone in person.
We offer a range of appointments; face to face, telephone and online. We will ensure that your medical problems are dealt with by the right person at the right time. Our reception team triage all requests and will assign your request to the most appropriate clinician.
At the beginning of the pandemic we made the decision to move to an online consultation tool called AskMyGP. We hope that you have been able to use this facility and can see the benefits of us implementing this system.
We do review patient feedback to ensure that we are providing the best service possible for our patients.
We ask that all patients use the NHS self help option on AskMyGP before submitting a request to see whether there are alternative options to treat your problem (e.g. speaking to your local pharmacist or over the counter treatments).
AskMyGP allows patients to provide a detailed history of their problems to the GPs. We ask that when you submit a request you provide as much information as possible to aid clinical diagnosis.
The clinical team will review your request on AskMyGP and then decide the most appropriate way to treat your problem. This may be a face to face appointment, telephone call or message back using the AskMyGP system. Patients can state their preferred means of contact and the clinical team will take this into consideration when reviewing cases.
We are experiencing an increase in demand at the moment and once we reach capacity for the day we will switch AskMyGP off.
Urgent Medical Attention
We are not an urgent care service, if you require urgent or emergency care then you must call 111 or 999 to ensure appropriate treatment is given.
If AskMyGP has been switched off and you have a medical problem which you feel cannot wait until the next working day then you can call the surgery. The reception team will mark your request for the attention of the Duty Doctor. The Duty Doctor will review your request and will follow up as clinically required.
We have been and will continue to provide a home visiting service if it is deemed clinically necessary. Please submit a request or call us before 10.30am to request a home visit.
Our reception team will flag your request to the clinical team who will review and action as required. In the majority of cases a phone call will be made first to the patient to assess the situation before visiting.
Home visits are for patients who are Housebound.
Chronic Disease Monitoring (e.g. asthma, COPD)
At the present time most of these reviews are still being conducted over the telephone. Face to face appointments are being arranged if necessary. We are reviewing guidance as it comes out and will update this more when more information is provided.
It is very important that you have your annual reviews carried out. If you receive a letter or text from us please contact us to make an appointment.
Hospital Appointments and Referrals
The impact of COVID on secondary care services is significant. The waiting lists for services are already long.
We politely ask that you do not call the surgery to chase your hospital appointment. Please contact the hospital directly using the number provided on your referral letter. We do not have capacity to call and chase referral status’ for patients.
If you feel like your symptoms have developed or changed since your referral was made, you must let the GP know.
COVID Vaccination Evidence
The surgery is unable to provide proof of vaccination status – click here for full details. NHSE has asked that all patients download the NHS app regarding proof of vaccination. The surgery is unable to assist with the set up of this app – please contact NHS app support for more assistance.
Proof of vaccination is also available to view or download via the NHS website – click here
Patients without access to a smartphone, and know that the country they are travelling to requires COVID-19 vaccination status, can call the NHS helpline on 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to them. This must be at least five days after they’ve completed their course of the vaccine. It’s expected the letter to take up to seven days to reach them.
This information will be updated regularly. As always we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we all try and navigate through this new way of working.
The Team at West Timperley Medical Centre