The government’s announcement ending legal Covid restrictions is an important step forward that we all can welcome. In the NHS, however, we need to keep protecting vulnerable patients and to keep the surgery safe from spreading coronavirus.
Therefore, although the legal restrictions have been relaxed, NHS guidance still requires some measures to remain. These include minimising the number of patients in the surgery, keeping patients who may have Covid out of the surgery, and requiring you to wear a mask unless exempt. Staff who test positive must still self-isolate.
Despite needing to keep these measures, we are moving forwards, with access to our services being our priority. We are steadily reinstating online booking, and your ability to choose between face-to-face and telephone consulting. We also really want to bring back booking ahead and your choice of clinician. With the continuing challenges of high levels of patient need and staff absences with Covid, this may take longer than we all would like, but please know we are continually adapting our processes to find our way forward. As an example, the next time you need to call us, you may note that the initial message before you are placed in the phone queue has been reduced from over a minute to a small number of seconds. This is a small thing, but given that we receive up to 1000 calls a day, it means around 16 hours of time saved on the phone.
As ever, thank you for your continued flexibility. With your support we will succeed as soon as possible.