Coronavirus Information

Face Masks

Please visit the below link, for the latest information around the wearing of face-masks.  Some of our patients may be exempt from wearing facemasks, or have a reasonable excuse not to wear one. 

Further details can be found in the link, but please note there is no need to get a letter from a doctor or the government to show that you do not need to wear a face covering, if this applies to you. 

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-face-coverings

Information for Parents and Carers; everyone has a role to play in keeping our schools safe and helping to stop the spread of Covid-19..PDF

Suspension of Open Surgery

Please note that following advice our open surgery will be suspended with IMMEDIATE EFFECT until further notice, due to our current Public Health concerns about Covid-19.

Please DO NOT ATTEND OUR OPEN SURGERY AT DONEGALL ROAD in the mornings; instead, please phone the surgery on 02890 325679, where our receptionist will ask for some details about your medical concern. Then if it is felt that you need to be seen, the necessary arrangements can be made.

It is also necessary at this time to close our Finaghy Branch site, and consolidate the majority of our services at our main site in Donegall Road. We fully appreciate this will not be convenient for all, but trust you will understand the exceptional circumstances behind this (for example, it will enable us to continue to function if we had staff absence, for example). If you have an appointment in Finaghy booked with us, please contact the surgery so we can make alternative arrangements, including potential review with the GP by phone, if appropriate. If your need is not urgent at this time, we would respectfully suggest you may wish to cancel and book at a future date. All prescriptions, and other documentation such as sick-notes, should be collected from our main site. Nursing Care at our Treatment Room in Finaghy will continue at this time.

Primarily, our goal is to try to limit the potential for spread by reducing footfall wherever possible, and by ensuring those who are displaying symptoms associated with Covid-19 DO NOT attend the surgery, but telephone to seek advice instead. We thank you in anticipation for cooperating with these measures.

We must emphasise, and reassure we DO NOT intend these to be permanent measures.

We must take steps to ensure we can continue to be able to meet your needs, whilst also protecting staff and other patients.

There is significant pressure upon our telephone lines at the moment. Please be patient. Our staff are doing their best to try to meet your needs. Please do not call into the surgery in person because you cannot get through quickly on the phone. As at any other time, whilst we appreciate people are anxious at this time, abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.

We apologise for any inconvenience but trust you will understand our reasons for taking these steps, and thank you for your patience, and we assure you of our best intentions as to why we are implementing them.

As this we are subject to an evolving situation, we are paying close attention to expert guidance.

At this time, it remains appropropriate TO SUSPEND OUR OPEN SURGERY. 

Please phone the surgery if you have an immediate medical concern, and the GP will call you back, and make arrangements to attend, if necessary.

Our staff will now be asking for some details about your medical concern.  This is to reduce the risk of patients attending who should not, but it is also to help with prioritisation of resource, should there be disruption to services in the future.

Please NOMINATE A PREFERRED PHARMACY so they can collect your prescription.  Many of our local pharmacies call in with us on a regular basis to collect prescriptions.  This has a double benefit.  It means once your prescription has been ordered, you do not have to attend the surgery again to collect it, and then take it to the pharmacy.  Getting your pharmacy to collect it, gives them a chance to prepare it, so that in most instances you should be able to collect your prepared prescription from the pharmacy without having to wait - it is important to allow a little extra time for this.  PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH OUR COMMUNITY PHARMACY COLLEAGUES - they are under enormous pressure.  Do not attend the pharmacy if unwell yourself. 

Please order your prescriptions online, or by phone, rather than dropping a written request into the surgery.  This is to try to reduce footfall into the surgery.  Arrangements have been made if you need to drop in hospital documentation.

Guidance for people with possible coronavirus

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
  • a change to your normal sense of taste/smell

 

  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
  • You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
  • Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
How long to stay at home
  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms (new advice as of 16 March)
  • If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
  • If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
On the 16 March new guidance was introduced for self-isolation of household contacts and social distancing;

For more information see COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection

For more information see COVID-19: guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people 

Advice for home isolation

When self-isolating:

  • plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home;
  • ask your employer, friends and family to help you get the things you need to stay at home;
  • stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home if possible;
  • sleep alone, if possible;
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water;
  • stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible.

Advice on how to self-isolate can be obtained here.

If a person phones looking a sickline due as they are self-isolating as per official advice or advice, you do NOT need a fit note from the GP, you can get a note for self-isolation from NHS 111

The link is https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

Please follow the following links for continually updated information for the public about Coronavirus.

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/covid-19-coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/