COVID-19

Dear Patients,
 
We understand that this is a concerning and worrying time for patients. We would like to reassure you that we are working hard to ensure we can continue to provide you with the healthcare that is needed quite apart from a virus outbreak.

With this in mind, below are a few notes on how the practice will operate for the time being. We appreciate this may cause some difficulties, but the aim is to protect you, our patients, especially the most vulnerable, and to protect staff, so that we remain well and can be available to provide care.

We ask all patients to contact the surgery by TELEPHONE in the first instance, please do not attend at the front desk unless asked to.
NO WALK-INS please – think of our staff and other vulnerable patients.

Covid-19 Testing:

GPs are now in a position to refer patients for testing which is a good thing. HOWEVER there is strict criteria as to who we can refer for testing. We will not be referring any of our patients if you are worried you may catch the virus or have symptoms of the common cold for instance. If you are concerned that you may have symptoms of Covid-19 please do contact us though and our medical staff will carefully assess you by phone and if necessary, refer you for testing. Please remember that the HSE is dealing a huge ramp in testing and this is putting a great strain on the system.

Patient Symptoms:

*Please check UNDERTHEWEATHER.IE for advice on minor illnesses. This advice still stands unless you have symptoms of Covid-19. If you have symptoms of common cold, hay fever etc please don't phone us but instead we direct you to undertheweather.ie

*If you have symptoms of COVID-19 please phone us for advice. So, if you have recent onset of fever or chills and/or symptoms of respiratory tract infection, which includes cough. Otherwise there is no need to contact the surgery and you can self care at home for minor illnesses as you always would.

Telephone Procedure:

**Reception/Admin staff will inquire regarding the reason for your consultation, and if it is a respiratory illness ( cough, cold, shortness of breath, fever) you will be contacted by a doctor/nurse by telephone to discuss your case.

**If the doctor/nurse feels you need a review you will be given a time to attend a specialised clinic, where patients will attend one at a time, with strict infection control policies in place with separate waiting are and isolation room. Please don't arrive early or late. We will give you specific instructions by phone.

Prescription and other requests:

We want to reserve mornings to deal with unwell patients, assess those that need medical advice and work out who needs to be seen and who can stay at home. This is so important for the effective running of the practice.

*To order your repeat prescription please email a list of your medication, along with your details and your designated pharmacy to avenuefamilypracitice@gmail.com. Please ensure you include your telephone number so that we can contact you if needed. We will then have scripts faxed to your designated pharmacy as soon as possible and within 5 days. We will organise your prescription to Pharmacy – please do not come to the practice to collect these

****By implementing these changes we hope to continue to run routine blood and other routine and acute care, while maintaining a safe environment for patients and staff.

****We appreciate your cooperation at this difficult time. This is an evolving situation and this advice will change.