MESSAGE FROM DR NICOLA JONES: Latest coronavirus information

Update from Dr Nicola Jones,
Chair of the South West London Primary Care Cell

7th April 2020

Easter Bank Holidays

Please confirm your planned arrangements for the Easter Bank Holidays in the SitRep form that will be circulated from the SWL team this evening.

As mentioned in previous updates, the GP contract is being amended to identify Good Friday and Easter Bank Holiday Monday this year as normal working days for general practice.

Yesterday’s national primary care bulletin set out further details of the national expectations for practices on these days –

From national primary care bulletin:

 

  • All GP practices will be open (available) in line with core hours. The exception to this is when alternative arrangements have been agreed in advance with your clinical commissioning group (CCG) e.g. where a primary care network (PCN) ensures availability to meet anticipated demand within core hours. Transferring calls to NHS 111 will not be an option.
  • Remote triage will be available for delivering care and treatment wherever possible and appropriate.
  • Patients identified at highest risk from COVID-19 and who have been advised to shield will continue to receive proactive clinical management support.
  • Any essential face-to-face services (including home visits) that may be required will need to be delivered in line with the GP Standard Operating Procedures.

 

 

In South West London GP practices we expect that:

  • All patients should be triaged remotely as per a normal working day
  • Patients should be able to arrange a remote consultation by either calling the practice or going online
  • Patients requiring face-to-face consultations following remote triage should be seen and assessed
  • Practices should use the referral pathways into their local respiratory pathway / COVID-19 pathway arrangements for known or suspected COVID-19 patients

Please confirm your planned arrangements for the Easter Bank Holidays in the SitRep form that will be circulated from the SWL team this evening.

We also recommend that practices text their patients to inform them that they have access to normal GP services over the Easter Bank Holidays. We have ensured that practices have enough credits for a max 320 character (including spaces) text to patients. Below is an example text message which could be amended for your practice.

Your practice is open on the Easter Bank Holidays on Friday and Monday. Please use online booking, visit the practice website or call the practice if you need to access our services. During the COVID19 pandemic, please don’t come to the practice – contact us first.

DoctorLink

All practices using DoctorLink for online consultations should be aware the system will follow the business as usual model for Good Friday and Easter Monday. This means that patients will be able to access the symptom assessment and get same day access to the practice via DoctorLink as they would on any other working day.

Connected practices:

The practice should make appointments available for patients to book via the symptom assessment tool if their disposition states that a same day GP appointment is appropriate. These can be configured for telephone and video slots in the normal way. If there are no appointments available then an email will be generated to the practice nominated email address and this should be actioned as on a normal working day. The nominated inbox should be monitored regularly throughout the day as normal.

Unconnected practices:

An email will be generated to the practice nominated email address and should be actioned as on a normal working day. The nominated inbox should be monitored regularly throughout the day as normal.

DoctorLink Support- support@doctorlink.com

Staff testing

As per the update on Monday, we are increasing staff testing capacity in South West London in line with national policy.

The GP practice SitRep form, e-mailed to practices each day by the SWL team, includes a link allowing practices to provide specific information about front line clinicians or members of their household who have symptoms and require testing.

The SitRep form should still be completed on the Easter Bank Holidays and testing will still be taking place over Easter.

Standard Operating Procedure for general practice

As above, a new national standard operating procedure (SOP) has now been published. In a future update we will be confirming details about local pathways in your borough, relating to the key areas of the SOP.

Dr Nicola Jones

Clinical Lead, SWL Primary Care

 1,003 total views,  2 views today