OAKFIELD UPDATE 20/3/20
Thank you to all of our patients who have been tolerant and understanding over the past 10 days.
Especially big thanks to our incredible staff. On times the challenges have felt overwhelming but their amazing attitude has enabled us to so far be responsive to the emerging crisis. We have completely overhauled our systems, often overnight, whilst continuing to offer a level of healthcare in the safest way we can.
Everyone has gone above and beyond regularly working much longer than their contracted hours, taking on new roles completely outside their job description and supporting each other as one team.
They have been selfless throughout, putting personal concerns of the potential impact of the pandemic aside to ensure the surgery stays open. When staff have had to self isolate there has been no hesitation to work remotely when possible or cover for colleagues. Everyone has continued to come to work, following social distancing measures for higher risk staff.
Some of the changes we have been able to implement in the last 10 days are:
· Changing our physical space creating two separate sites. The Health Centre designated for any patients needing medical assessment with fever/cough symptoms and the Main Surgery for those without. Taking appropriate steps to reduce risk of exposure to the virus.
· Changing to a complete clinical triage system for all of our 13,800 patients needing assessment, advice or medication query.
· Ensuring the waiting room observes social distancing measures to keep everyone safe (anyone who has visited the surgery on a Monday morning will appreciate this has not been a simple task!)
· Dealing with an immense call volume (handling over 1000 contacts on some days) with just 8 telephone lines. We are sure everyone will be relieved to hear we have been able to increase this to 20 lines in the next 3 days.
· Ensuring our workflow system can continue to safely manage the daily volume of test results, hospital letters, referrals and records.
· Managing prescription requests, the volume of which is immense. We have made system changes to the prescription request system to offer a remote service encouraging requests online, via email or if necessary over the phone. Prescriptions have been reauthorized, batched whenever possible and sent to chosen pharmacies reducing the need to request medications monthly.
We would like to reassure all our patients your prescriptions will not be stopped, even if you have previously been advised you need a blood test or review, however one of our clinicians/pharmacists may contact you via telephone to discuss.
These changes have also been challenging for our community pharmacies. They have had to deal with the increased volume of requests and a sudden introduction of a significant system change. They have been understanding and responsive working together to ensure every patient will continue to get their medications in the upcoming months.
· Improved communication by regularly updating useful information on our website both from public health and changes the changes we have made. Finally thanks to Phil Morris for enabling us to have a line of communication to so many of you via the facebook.
All of these changes have been done without guidance or instruction as this is an unprecedented time. I’m sure we will see many more changes in the upcoming weeks but you should feel incredibly proud of your surgery staff and know they are committed to keeping our healthcare provision going.
Thank you so much Team Oakfield enjoy your weekend you deserve it!
All the Partners Oakfield Surgery