Guidance Note for Patients Requesting Exemption Letters Regarding Face Masks
GPs will not issue exemption letters regarding face masks.
We are aware that some patients might be understandably anxious about the government’s recent announcements around the use of face masks in various public settings.
GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face mask.
Covid-19 guidance following 19th July 2021
Following the government’s announcement to reduce Covid-19 restrictions as of 19th July 2021, it will still be mandatory to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing within Castle Healthcare Practice. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and our patients, some of which are extremely vulnerable.
This guidance will be subject to regular review, with the safety of staff and patients paramount to this decision.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we appreciate your understanding during this time.
For advice on how to book a Covid-19 vaccination or request a test, please see: nhs.uk/covid-19
For current Covid-19 restrictions, please see: gov.uk/covid-19
Post Covid-19 Support and Information
If you are still struggling with symptoms after having Covid-19 we recommend you look at:
Your COVID Recovery | Supporting your recovery after COVID-19
We are letting you know about Germ Defence which is an evidence-based behaviour change website that provides advice on infection control at home. It has been created by doctors and scientists to give you advice that has been proven to reduce the spread of viruses in the home. It can help you plan how to protect yourself and your family from infection by Covid-19 and flu.
For more information please click the link below
Covid-19 Vaccination Roll Out
The Covid-19 vaccination programme has begun. When it is your turn to be vaccinated, the NHS will contact you. Please do not contact the NHS.
In Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, a few different health and care organisations are working together on the Covid-19 vaccination programme. This means when it is your turn to be vaccinated, you will be told where to go for your appointment and how to book. This will not currently be at your GP Practice.
We understand a lot of people want to be vaccinated and would like to reassure you this will happen.
Please be patient and wait to be contacted.
For further information on why you are being asked to wait for your Covid-19 vaccine, please read the information on the GOV.UK website or this leaflet.
Please Click Here For Information Regarding the Astra Zeneca Vaccine
Covid-19 Vaccine Information
There has been significant coverage in the media recently about the Covid-19 vaccine, and we understand that our patients are curious and would like to know how it relates to being a patient here at Castle.
The Government will decide how many vaccines are allocated to patients across Nottinghamshire, with priority going to those classed at being high risk of contracting Covid-19.
Keep up to date with who can get the vaccine and when at: NHS.co.uk/Covid-19
Please ensure we have your up to date contact details.
How will we be operating?
- We have been and will continue to be open Monday-Friday from 8:00am – 6:30pm
- We are providing GP, Nursing, Health Care Assistant and Phlebotomy services.
- In line with local and national guidance, online pre-bookable appointments have been suspended.
- We have now moved, predominately to telephone consultations, in the first instance we will try and help you over the telephone. If we need to look at something during the consultation, the clinician will talk you thorough setting up our electronic remote video consultation via your PC or mobile phone. If we cannot help you fully via phone or remote video, we will take the history of your complaint over the phone and then invite you to attend the practice.
- We are asking patients to stick to one problem per one appointment, so that appointments do not over run and we minimise patient contact in the waiting area.
- From 24th July 2020 all of our patients must wear a face covering if you come into the practice, this could be a face mask or a scarf. We are sorry, but the practice does not have access to sufficient PPE to be able to provide patients with a mask.
- If you are asked by one of our clinicians to attend the surgery, then please follow the directions that they have given you.
- All of our clinical staff will be wearing PPE during a face to face consultation
- Our reception team will be working behind a protective screen
- We are now allowing some pre-bookable appointments for both GP and Nursing services; these appointments must be booked via our reception team. However these are only for a few of our services, where we feel that we have to see the patient, rather than dealing with the condition over the phone.
- Our aim is to limit and stagger the number of patients that we have entering the practice to prevent the risk of infection to patients and staff, we are working in a modified system so as such please bear in mind the below factors:
- You may not be able to see your usual clinician
- You may not have as much choice as previously with appointment times
- We are encouraging patients to still attend for routine childhood immunisations and smear tests.
- Where possible, all prescriptions will be sent electronically back to the pharmacy of your choice. This will prevent you from having to come to the Practice. If you have not nominated a pharmacy of your choice, then please tell one of our reception team, who will record it on your clinical record.
- The sit and wait blood clinic has also temporarily been suspended and will operate on a pre-booked appointment basis.
- All patients must wear a face covering before entering the building.
- We do not provide Covid-19 fit to fly letters or certificates for international travel purposes.
What can you do for us?
We do please ask that during these stressful and uncertain times you bear with our staff as we all try to serve you to the best of our abilities with the restrictions we are working within. Our staff have continued to work extremely hard during these challenging times and we do ask that you are patient and polite with all NHS workers.
Please only enter the building for the following reason:
- you have a pre-booked face-to-face appointment
- dropping off a sample
- picking up a sample bottle
Pharmacy: Please use the entrance at the top of the steps outside the building, there is no access from within the building
- To drop off a repeat prescription request please use the designated Castle post box outside the Physio entrance to the building.
- Order direct from your designated pharmacy.
- Order via the online ordering facility on our website if you are registered for this service.
If you’re attending the Practice for an appointment:
- Should you have an appointment booked to come into the Practice, and then start to feel unwell with suspected COVID symptoms please telephone us, and inform us before coming to the Practice.
- Please maintain a safe social distance between yourself, other patients and Practice staff.
- Please use the toilet and have a bath/shower before coming in for your appointment and wear a fresh set of clothes.
- Please do not arrive early, if you are early please wait outside until your appointment time. We are asking you to do this to minimise the amount of time that you spend in our waiting area. If you enter the Practice more than 5 minutes before your appointment time you will be asked to wait outside or in your car and return 5 minutes before your appointment is due.
- The self-check in screens are available for use but we would encourage washing your hands or using gel after touching the screen.
- Unless absolutely necessary please attend your appointment alone, if this isn’t possible please only bring one other person.
- Should you arrive with additional people please note that they will be asked to wait for you outside or in the car. These measures are to ensure the safety of our staff, other patients and the person(s) accompanying you.
The reception team are passing on this advice and direction from the GP team.
Home visits are very limited and come with additional risk factors, so where possible patients are asked to attend the Practice.
Other Useful Information
Suspected Covid-19 Symptoms
If you suspect that you have any symptoms of Covid-19, please log on to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 and complete the online Covid-19 symptom checker. If you do not have online access, then please call 111.
For patients concerned that they may have Covid-19 or may have come into contact with someone who has, the NHS 111 online service has created Covid-19 pages that tell patients what they should do based on their particular circumstances. These can be accessed at: https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19