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Policy on face covering use by all staff, volunteers and patients July 2021
We aim to make Whitley House Surgery as covid secure as possible. All staff and volunteers regularly take part in covid testing and we encourage a well ventilated building and appropriate social distancing in the waiting areas.
We encourage the use of face coverings for all staff and patients within the building.
For staff and volunteers this would be using fluid resistant surgical masks (supplied).
For patients, this is a face covering –fabric or surgical but not a face visor alone as these have not been shown to provide adequate protection unless used with a face mask. It should safely cover the mouth and nose and is intended to protect others against the spread of infection.
We do not deny access to any patient who for medical reasons cannot wear a face covering.
If a patient has a medical reason for exemption they will be asked to wait outside and will not be able to access the waiting room and called through when the nurse or doctor are ready.
The appointment may need to be arranged on a case by case basis and risk assessed by the clinician seeing the patient to ensure the least risk to other patients and staff also using the building.
In practical terms this is likely to mean being brought back to an amber zone session at another time.
How to demonstrate your Covid-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad.
From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. Vaccine status will be available from:
You will need to register to use the online services, if you have not already. It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified.
If you cannot access the online services, and you have had both doses of the vaccine, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel outside the UK in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take up to 7 working days for the letter to arrive.
This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status.
Please do not contact the practice about your COVID-19 vaccination status unless you have been advised to by the 119 service.
When you're planning your travel, you should check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is enough time to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status before you are due to travel.
Data Opt Out
For further information and the relevant forms please go to
Collecting GP data - advice for the public - NHS Digital
For details of how to obtain packs of rapid lateral flow tests got to https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.
Covid Vaccination Information Website
There is a new local website with information about the Covid Vaccination Programme across Mid-Essex. It has been developed to give residents and patients across Essex, Southend and Thurrock key information about the programme, including vaccine eligibility, getting the vaccine and a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section. There are also videos, details of testing and transport support, plus signposting for volunteers.
Retirement of Dr Towers
Dr Towers retired at the end of March 2021. Any patients currently registered to Dr Towers will be transferred to another GP Partner at the surgery. Whitley House Surgery doesn't run GP-specific patient lists, so patients remain welcome to see whichever GP they choose.
Accessing GP Services
Since March 2020 the way patients access GP Practices has changed significantly. We are working harder than ever to treat as many patients as possible whilst keeping everybody safe. All patients who need to contact a GP will be given a GP Telephone appointment initially. You may be asked to send in photos if your concern relates to a rash / lump / bump. Your GP will view the photo as part of your appointment. You may also be offered a video call. A large number of patients can be treated this way without needed to come into the GP Practice at all. If your GP feels they need to see you, they will book you a face to face appointment. This link explains more about our new ways of working Accessing GP Practices.
Please ensure that you wear face covering when attending the surgery.
CORONA VIRUS UPDATE
We encourage use of face coverings for all staff and patients within the building
We do not deny access to any patient who for medical reasons cannot wear a face covering.
If a patient has a reason for exemption they must wait outside and not in the waiting room and they will be seen in the amber zone at a time when the surgery has minimal patients - this will need to be arranged on a case by case basis and risk assessed by the clinician seeing the patient
Respecting Our Staff
As a patient we will treat you as an individual, with courtesy and respect, regardless of your background, ethnicity, religious beliefs, personal situation or the nature of your health problem. We ask that you treat all Doctors, Nurses and staff with the same courtesy and respect. The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent and abusive patients from the list.
Do you need an appointment or a phone consultation ? Use the new DoctorLink App
The surgery now also offers DoctorLink. You can download DoctorLink from here: https://app.doctorlink.com/whitleyhousesurgery/register
We ask that you undertake a symptom assessment through DoctorLink. The symptom assessment will ask you a number of questions to help to identify your problem and the outcome will direct you to the right treatment.
If your outcome indicates that an appointment is required at the surgery, simply click on the 'request an appointment' button. The surgery will call you to arrange an appointment.
Try The New NHS App
If you are a patient at our practice you can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smart phone or tablet. You can use the NHS App to check symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more.
If you already use the SystmOne online service you can continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well.
For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp
To re-order medication up to 7 days in advance visit our prescriptions page and complete the online form Find out more. We now process all our prescriptions electronically so let us know which pharmacy you want your sent to. Click here for more information electronic prescribing poster. Due to the current corona virus situation we will accept telephone request for medication. Please call after 11am
Extended Access Appointment Available
Appointments in Mid Essex are available at local hubs from 6.30pm to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 2pm Saturday and Sunday and over bank holidays. Book through the practice in the same way as any other appointment. Please note this is not a walk-in service.
Your Contact Details
If you have given the Practice your contact details, including mobile numbers, it is your responsibility to notify us if your details change.
Referred to a Hospital or Specialist
The Central Referral Service (CRS) manage all referrals and will contact you regarding your appointment. To follow up a referral please contact CRS direct on 0300 123 0771 between 14.00 and 18.00 Monday to Friday. If you need to contact Broomfield Hospital please call them on 01245 513900. Please note we are unable to provide pre-op bloods and swabs if requested by the hospital, please contact the hospital for these tests.
To request access to our online services please contact reception with the following documents ;Photo ID, for example a passport or driving licence or a bank card.
We have several online services available - please click on 'Online Services' under Quick Links on the right hand side of the screen.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are currently unable to accept new applications for the online service, please register for the NHS app instead. www.nhs.uk/nhsapp
If you have previously registered for the online service and require your password to be re-set please contact reception and we will assist wherever possible.
Urine and Stool Samples for Testing
If you have been asked to provide a urine or stool sample please note that samples are collected at 1pm Monday to Friday. Please place them in the designated box on reception. Any samples handed in after 1pm will be stored overnight in the collection box. You are requested not to bring samples in after 1pm on Fridays.
Medical Sick Certificates
Please note - you do not need to see a doctor to get a sick certificate until you have been unwell for 6 days or more. After 6 days a doctor will need to issue a certificate for you. If you subsequently need an extension to this, our reception staff can request this from the doctor on your behalf (you do not always have to see a doctor). It takes a minimum 48 hours for this to be ready. Please also note we are unable to provide duplicate copies.
Preferred Method of Contact
We would like to record your preferred method of contact so that you can receive your health information in a format that you are able to access easily.
For most of us our preferred method of contact is our home or mobile phone, or by letter but if you are a person with (for example) a hearing impairment, deaf, have a visual impairment or blind that may not be suitable for you. If you or someone you are caring for requires us to make contact in a preferred manner, please let us know by informing Reception. We will then record your wishes by highlighting it on your medical records.
(Site updated 15/07/2021)