COVID: the third wave and it’s impact on the surgery

Posted by: Simon Sherwin - Posted on:

There is little doubt that we are now in a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. In the first two weeks of July we have had more positive results than the previous four months combined. This is now having a significant impact as more and more people are being contacted by the track and trace service.

In fact, we have had three instances in the last two weeks where members of staff have been contacted and asked to self isolate. As a consequence, our administrative staff are now operating on a barebones “skeleton crew”. Put simply, this means that we are not able to operate at the speed or efficiency that we normally do when we are fully staffed.

In addition, demand is at its highest. Between 8 am and 4 pm on Monday 12th July we received 1064 telephone calls. We only have 7100 patients…. Demands like this is unprecedented and means that there will undoubtedly be delays in your call being answered. We would ask you to consider self-management where possible, or to seek advice from your local pharmacist or 111 first.

The expectation is that as we move out of lockdown, this will only get worse for us. We hope that the rules around medical staff who have had two vaccinations needing to self isolate will soon change but for now we have to follow current guidance.

Our last two Covid vaccination clinics have extremely poorly attended and we are struggling to get patients between the ages of 18 and 30 to attend either our vaccination clinics or those provided by the national vaccination centres. If you know of anyone who is over 18 years of age and has yet to have their first vaccination, then please encourage them to book their vaccination as soon as possible.

Currently, despite multiple invites:

24% of our 40-49 yr olds, 32% of our 30-39yr olds, and 35% of our 18-29 year olds have not come forward for their fist vaccine. You’ve heard it before, but our way out of this pandemic is by vaccinating sufficient enough members of the public.

Even after legal restrictions for wearing a face mask end on the 19th of July we will be asking all patients who attend our surgery to please continue to wear a face mask and protect both of staff and other patients in the building. In addition, our current understanding is that our infection control regulations will remain in place which means a maximum of four individuals may sit in our waiting room. We will keep you posted of any changes that might occur.

For now we would implore everyone to continue to apply common sense, to stay safe and to show personal responsibility when it comes to minimising the spread of coronavirus.

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