During Covid, the team at Duke Street have been trying incredibly hard to continue to provide medical care, medications, advice and support to our patients whilst working within the confines of government guidance and restrictions imposed on us, as we work our way through the pandemic.
Our ‘normal’ way of working has been turned on its head and we have all had to adapt very quickly to accessing care in a very different way, despite this we are continuing to see patients face to face and in the last 4 weeks our Clinical Team have made available:
3088 Telephone calls
1653 Face to Face appointments (206 did not attend)
165 Sick notes
45 Home visits
3847 Prescriptions issued
Plus over 1000 flu vaccinations given
As you know, Barrow is not COVID-free and we must continue to ask that patients access help and advice remotely in the first instance.
If the GP feels that the patient needs to be seen, they will book them a face-to-face appointment.
The receptionist cannot bypass this system – to do so, would put everyone at the surgery, including patients who are already vulnerable, at risk from the virus.
We do not need patients just turning up at the surgery thinking they will be seen.
It is only by taking these measures that we can try and keep the virus at bay and protect each other.
We have found over the past few weeks that tolerances have now become very low. People are really tired of the ever changing regulations that we all have to adhere to and the restrictions that the pandemic is putting us all under, but as a consequence, we appear to be on the receiving end of some rather rude and aggressive behaviour which is upsetting not only to the reception and administrative team, but is also being aimed at our Clinicians.
This cannot continue!
We totally understand that people are losing patience. Life is incredibly frustrating at the moment.
However, verbal aggression will not be tolerated and arguing and being rude with the reception team is not helpful to anyone.
We face exactly the same problems as any other work environment, we have staff isolating because of track and trace and whilst some can continue to work from home, this means there are less staff available to answer telephone calls and deal with enquiries.
Therefore when staff do answer and are told how long you have been waiting for the phone to be answered or how disgusted you are with the service or how you just want to be seen by a GP, this only prolongs the call and keeps other patients waiting on the line. We have received 15,896 incoming calls in the past 4 weeks.
We must all do our bit to control the virus and we are very grateful to the majority of patients who accept this way of working. One day things will ease and we look forward to opening our doors without fear of infection.
However, until we are COVID-free, we must continue to operate in this way to keep everyone safe.
Please be aware if you are attending the surgery for an appointment the receptionist will go through the symptom checker over the intercom system. Please do not attend if you have symptoms of a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, have experienced a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, or if any of your household have symptoms. If your child has been asked to isolate from school then please do not bring them along with you.
With the colder, winter months approaching we advise that you dress appropriately when attending the surgery for an appointment and do not arrive earlier than your allocated appointment time as you will be waiting outside until called by your clinician.
Please be kind, please be tolerant and please stay safe
Duke Street Surgery