Werneth Medical Practice
76A Windsor Road, Coppice, Oldham OL8 4AL
Current time is 18:32 - Sorry, we're closed
Telephone: (0161) 620 5677
Fax: (0161) 620 5679
Out of Hours: 111
Update 29/5/20 – Its been a while since our last update. This was perhaps due to the fact everyone was undergoing a bedding in period with the lockdown requirements. We wanted to reinforce a few points today as we start to have these requirements lifted gradually.
- Despite the easing of the lockdown, COVID-19 has not and will not go away. The risk of COVID is still present and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Hence why it is vital that you follow the social distancing guidance. This guidance applies at the surgery as well and will guide how we restart the services we provide. Needless to say there will be changes, including a reduction in the number of face to face appointments we offer.
- We are currently providing a Telephone/video consultation service with face to face appointments being performed only where immediately clinically necessary. Please do not pressure clinicians into putting you or the staff at risk, by demanding a face to face appointment.
- When you make an appointment, please make sure your mobile number on our records is up to date. Also, ensure that you are available on the day to take the call. You will be given an approximate time on which the clinician will call, but this may be earlier/later depending on the clinicians workload. We have noticed that around 20% of appointments booked in this are being wasted every day because patients do not pick up when called.
- We have noticed 2 phenomena occurring recently:
- Patients asking for an ‘urgent’ call back, when it transpires that the issue is not urgent- We regard ‘urgent’ as being a patients physical or mental well being is at significant risk of harm, due to a medical matter. Sick notes, private letters and most prescription queries are NEVER urgent. Please do not ask for urgent appointments unnecessarily.
- Increasing number of patients booking appointments for very minor conditions. Please try to manage minor conditions at home, via over the counter medications or with time and help us to focus on those with serious conditions.
- Before the COVID-19 outbreak, incidences of abuse, intimidation and rudeness to staff was reaching levels not seen before. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, NHS staff have rightly been lauded for the work we do on a daily basis to help patients. We are sad to report that that incidences of abuse and intimidation have begun to increase again at the surgery. We hope the sacrifices NHS staff have made over the past few months, sometimes with their lives, will make people reflect on their behaviour. Whilst we understand that patients are going through a stressful time at the moment, we can assure you that no one has felt this more acutely than NHS staff. There is no excuse for abuse and intimidation of NHS staff and any incidents will be dealt with firmly.
- Finally, we would like to start a conversation with patients regarding their reliance on the NHS. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, demand on the NHS was at levels never seen before. Organisationally and individually, we were close to breaking point. Thanks to patients heeding our calls to limit their contact with NHS services during the outbreak, it has given us time to reflect on how to move forward. Needless to say, we cannot return to the unmanageable levels seen previously. We dont have the ability or appetite. But how can we manage our limited capacity to provide it to those who need it most using the lessons learnt from this crisis?:
- We have learnt that significantly more patients can self manage their conditions than previously thought? We are not aware of any significant events which have resulted from this new ethos. This needs to be continued with the appropriate support mechanisms so that clinicians can focus on those who need help the most (e.g online consultations? Increased use of pharmacies?)
- Long delayed technologies have been fast tracked into our daily working patterns (e.g video consultations, text messaging, electronic prescribing, electronic sick notes) These work. But how can we use them in the most efficient manner?
Update 6/4/20– Thanks again to everyone for staying at home and persevering during this difficult time. We wanted to give an update as to where we are currently and reinforce some messages.
- We have been made aware that the situation in Royal Oldham Hospital is critical. Demand on A+E and ICU is very high. Please do not attend A+E unless your medical problem is extremely urgent.
- As below, please continue to only contact us if you have a problem that is urgent. We are still getting a fair number of non urgent cases coming through, especially for sick notes.
- The cohort of patients on the ‘very high risk’ list, who should shield, is constantly being updated. We will be sending out another tranche of letters to additional patients who have been identified, shortly. If you think you should NOT be on this list, please contact us to discuss. This is a significant piece of work at a time where we are stretched with regards to manpower, so please bear with us.
- If you feel you need help, or can help, please visit the following Oldham Council website https://www.oldham.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Childhood immunisations and health checks will continue, but will be slightly changed in view of the current situation. We have had some parents refusing to bring their child in to have their immunisations. The risk of children developing serious and permanent health problems due to some of these illnesses is equal to if not greater than COVID 19. Hence we strongly recommend you book your child in for their routine immunisations and health check as normal. A new date for immunisations and baby checks will be made shortly. Please use this if your child is due either of these or has missed one recently due to COVID.
Update 26/3/20 – Thank you to everyone who has heeded our call to reduce demand. However we are still getting a small number of patients who are demanding GP appointments for non urgent matters. The NHS has had to change its ways of working in response to the unprecedented risks of Coronavirus. Hence the service you have expected has been suspended and will continue to be for a while yet. Try to:
- Self care
- Take simple pain killers
- Look for advice on the NHS website
Only contact the surgery if your problem is urgent.
Over the next few weeks, patients who are currently in hospital will be moved into the community. This will put a massive strain on GP practices who will be expected to care from them. GP Practices are already facing pressure from staff absences due to self isolation. Allow us to focus on those who need care most.
Update 23/3/20– Even in a week, the outlook has changed significantly with regards to the Coronavirus outbreak. As a practice our aims at the moment are to:
a) Reduce unnecessary patient contact
b) Gear up to deal with the impending wave of COVID related problems
Point b) is especially important. We are only just entering into the phase where the number of cases will grow rapidly. This will lead to more admissions to hospital and more unwell patients being cared for in the community. We need to be ready for this and hence need your help to keep us free enough to be able to deal with this imminent wave of cases.
- If you have a cough or a temperature, go to the NHS COVID website for advice BEFORE you contact the surgery
- If you require a sick note for isolation, you can get one from the following website directly without contacting the pracitce. the link also contains helpful advice about COVID and employment. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees
- DO NOT CONTACT THE SURGERY FOR NON URGENT PROBLEMS. Try to manage it at home or seek help online. We are currently doing GP telephone/video consultations for urgent cases only. However too many of these are still being taken up by non urgent or administrative queries. All face to face consultations, blood tests and Practice nurse appointments have been cancelled until further notice.
- Do not attend the premises unless you need to pick something up. If that is the case, leave as soon as possible. Do not congregate at the entrance or inside.
- Register for online services at the practice. This will allow you to order your prescriptions and nominate a pharmacy to have it sent to directly.
Please follow the advice given re isolation. You are not only protecting yourself from this nasty illness, but potentially saving the lives of your elderly relatives who are affected much worse by COVID 19. Many people are predicted to die in the coming 6 months. Your actions can minimise this loss of life.
UPDATE 16/3/20, 1330– We have become aware that certain patients are not disclosing symptoms in order to be seen. May we remind you that we are currently in the midst of a global emergency where thousands of people have died and many more will die in the coming months. Not being truthful is completely unacceptable and will be dealt with firmly by the practice.
Please see the following documents for further information:
Updated 15th March 2020
We are currently in the midst of a very difficult situation with regards to COVID-19. There are a lot of unknowns and practices nationally are not receiving much clarification with regards to the course of action they should take in each situation. As this situation is likely to get worse before it gets better, Werneth Medical Practice will have to take measures which will be difficult for both ourselves and yourselves as patients.
- DO NOT come to the practice if you have either a Cough or a high temperature (above 37.8C). As the majority of these patients will not have COVID, it is perfectly safe for the majority to self isolate and let the illness pass.
If you are unwell or cannot cope at home, your condition gets worse or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, use the coronavirus service below. DO NOT attend A+E or the Walk in Centre.
We do not want any potential case of COVID to spread
- From Tuesday 17th March we have been directed to significantly restrict the number of appointments at the practice. All Routine GP, Practice Nurse and HCA appointments will be cancelled. The ability to book online appointments will be switched off. We will be switching to Arms length consultations (telephone and video) and these are currently undergoing testing. The aim of this is to minimise contact between patients and limit any potential spread of COVID. These Arms length appointments will be with a GP and will be for URGENT matters only. We ask that you do not insist on these appointments being used for non urgent or administrative matters. These are directives issued by Oldham CCG, based on national guidance.
In the meantime, please only contact the surgery for an urgent matter. Try to get what you need by phone or online. This includes sick notes, letters and referral enquiries. WMP will be fully staffed to deal with these enquiries.
- Obtain your login details to use the online prescription ordering service, to minimise the need to come to the surgery.
The whole health service is under unprecedented pressure. Guidance is being updated daily and may lead to changes in the service we are able to provide. Be patient with us as many of the decisions made will be out of our hands and for a benefit that is not immediately apparent.
- ‘Stay at home’ guidance in other languages
Guidance in other languages and an easy-read format can be found here.
Basic UK ‘stay at home’ information is available in many languages including Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Bengali, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu.
- Mental health guidelines for coping with coronavirus
Guidance for all people can be found here
Guidance on supporting children and young people can be found here
- Helpline – 0161 770 7007
Emergency food and essential basic items are available to people genuinely in need, unable to leave the house and without neighbour or family support. 9am to 5pm weekdays and 11am to 2pm on weekends.
Prescriptions and medicines will be handled separately by local pharmacies working with GPs.
- More information and advice online
Go to www.oldham.gov.uk/coronavirus for a wide range of information, advice and support.
- Bereavement Service
The Greater Manchester Bereavement Service is now live and provides support to anyone within Greater Manchester, bereaved or affected by a death. No one needs to feel alone as they deal with their grief.
The Service is available on 0161 983 0902 for support.
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (except bank holidays)
Wednesday, 9am to 8pm
Please visit the website for more information – https://greater-manchester-bereavement-service.org.uk/
- Keeping Well At Home
A guide to help older people in Greater Manchester stay healthy at home during the COVID-19 lockdown has been published by academics at The University of Manchester.
Called ‘Keeping Well At Home’, the team have been working with the Ageing Hub at Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) so the resource can reach homes across the region.
More than 50,000 copies of the guide have been printed and are being distributed through the ten Greater Manchester local authorities. This will be done in a number of ways, including via post, through community hubs and housing associations.
You can find the booklet and download it here: https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/coronavirus/support-and-advice-for-older-residents/
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