Covid-19

Our Response

Wem and Prees Medical Practice has continued to care for and treat patients both face to face and remotely throughout the pandemic. We have experienced very high levels of demand for appointments with more calls being taken in March/April 2021, then any previous time on record. The practice also supported the covid vaccination programme through the North Shropshire PCN hub based at Prees surgery.

We ask that our patients are understanding of the huge pressure our reception team is under and behave in a polite and considerate manner at all times. Threatening, abusive or derogatory language either directly towards our staff or indirectly via social media is never acceptable and will not be tolerated according to our zero tolerance policy, please see Practice Policies for further information

Appointments

Patients are asked to call the practice to make an appointment or use eConsult. Nurse appointments for smears and health checks and some phlebotomy appointments are available to book online via NHS App, Patient Access and other online service providers. If you are unable to use these methods to contact us, you may attend the surgery to speak to a receptionist. However we operate a 2m social distancing policy and you may be asked to wait outside. Please note we do not offer a walk-in-service for appointments.

 

Care Navigation

Our reception team are trained care navigators. They will ask you for a brief outline of the problem, so that they can book you the most appropriate type of appointment.  Many consultations can safely be carried out over the phone or by video call, however if a face to face appointment is needed or specifically requested this can be arranged. See our Appointments section for more information about care navigation.

 

What If I am feeling ill and think I have Covid-19?

Please refer to the following government guidance on symptoms of Covid-19 and how to book a test

https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Do not attend the surgery if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or if you are self-isolating and waiting for a Covid-19 test result.

 

Patients with fever/cough

Patients with either cough or fever who need a face to face assessement at the surgery are able to be seen in our “hot clinic” room in Wem. The clinician will let you know if this is the case and will ask you not to enter the building until you are asked to do so. You will be shown directly to the hot clinic room to wait for the clinician. It is mandatory to wear a face covering.

 

Long Covid

All our clinicians have received training on Long Covid. Patients with prolonged symptoms after suspected or proven Covid-19 infection are encouraged to contact the surgery to discuss their concerns with a clinician. Onward referrals to the Long Covid service can be made if appropriate.

https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/ has useful information.

Prescription Changes

Wem & Prees Medical Practice are asking all our patients to order repeat prescriptions through the Prescription Ordering Direct service (POD).

PRESCRIPTION ORDERING DIRECT (POD)

This is a convenient telephone service available Monday-Friday between 8am to 5pm. Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) can be contacted on 033 3358 3509 or emailed on shropshire.pod@nhs.net. 

Please ensure the following information is included in your email request to ensure it can be accepted - Name of GP Practice, your full name, date of birth, first line of address, the medication you require including strength and formulation. If you are ordering on behalf of someone else please include your name and your relationship to the patient.

Patients are asked to order repeat prescriptions at least one week in advance. Alternatively if you have access to online prescription ordering such as patient access please continue to use this service.

REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS

Repeat prescription boxes have been removed from both surgeries and patients are asked not to bring a repeat prescription request to the either practice as these will not be accepted.

NOMINATED PHARMARCIES

We are encouraging all our patients to nominate a pharmacy for prescriptions to be sent to electronically. Once your prescription has been processed by the surgery rather than it being printed it will be sent electronically to a pharmacy of your choice.

Prescription Volunteer Delivery Service

Wem and Prees Medical Practice are pleased to say that due to working in conjunction with local volunteers we are in a position to deliver prescriptions to patients who cannot pick up their prescriptions from the dispensary in Prees.

This service will operate Monday - Friday morning until further notice. Please do not contact the surgery to ask when delivery will arrive we will contact you by telephone to let you know that your prescription is on the way.

Without the support of the local volunteers this delivery service would not be possible.

On behalf of the Practice we would like to say thank you to the community for their help during this time.

DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS – ask a friend or neighbour to collect on your behalf 

 

 

Third Primary Dose

The JCVI is advising that people with severely weakened immune systems should have a third vaccine dose as part of their primary COVID-19 vaccination schedule - this is not a booster, but a third dose to ensure that such people receive the same protection given by two doses for those with normal immune systems.  

The third dose should be given at least 8 weeks after the second dose. Please note, those receiving a third primary dose will still need to receive a booster dose at least six months (a minimum of 182 days) from the date of their third primary course dose.

Letters are being sent from specialist teams at the hospitals and/or General Practice to invite those eligible to receive their vaccine. People who are eligible can then book appointments or walk in to any of our vaccination sites with their eligibility letter to receive this third dose. 

  • People receiving a letter, email or text from specialist teams at the hospitals will be asked to book into the vaccination centre (at RJAH) or a hospital hub (at either Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or Princess Royal Hospital). A link to book an appointment should be provided in the letter.
  • People receiving a letter, email or text  from their GP, will be given local booking information along with the links for secondary care clinics to book an appointment.

Alternatively, patients can visit a walk-in clinic but must take their letter, text or email as proof of eligibility. Walk-in clinic times can be found here: COVID-19 Vaccination Walk-in and Pop-up Clinics (stwics.org.uk) 

Further information on the third primary dose can be found here: Third dose information (stwics.org.uk)

Coronavirus Support

The Government have launched a website where you can find further information about - feeling unsafe, going to work, paying bills or being unemployed, getting food, having somewhere to live and mental health and wellbeing.

https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support

The government have produced a link containing information on what to do if you have Coronavirus symptoms for the second, third, fourth time and so on

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/what-to-do-if-you-get-symptoms-again/

If you are an essential worker you can request a test via the below link

https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers‚Äč

Face Masks 

In England, you must by law wear a face covering on public transport and in shops and supermarkets as of 24 July 2020.

The Government guidance suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption. It should be sufficient for someone to declare that they are eligible for an exemption direct with the person questioning them (eg bus driver).

Practices are therefore not required to provide letters of support for those who fall under the list of exemptions, or to those who do not fall under the list of exemptions.

Some transport providers are providing evidence of exemptions themselves, see for example this information from First Bus and Arriva.

Please check the Government website for further information - 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own 

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

Please use the following link for updates and to pregnant women and their families during COVID-19

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/

 

 

Making Advance Decisions

In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic many patients may wish to make decisions regarding their future care

This can be done in a variety of ways.

Complete a ReSPECT form.

Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment is completed together with your doctor or other suitably trained health care professional. They allow you to document your wishes regarding resuscitation, and escalation of care, for example invasive treatment such as intensive care/ventilation. They are not a legally binding document, but copies of the ReSPECT form are kept on your medical record, and can be shared with other healthcare organisations with your consent. A paper copy is also kept at your home address. If you would like more information please visit: https://www.resus.org.uk/respect/respect-patients-and-carers or speak to your GP/community nurse.

 

What is an Advance Decision (‘Living Will’)?

An Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment allows you to record any medical treatments that you do not want to be given in the future, in case you later become unable to make or communicate decisions for yourself. It can only be used if you cannot make or communicate a decision for yourself. It is commonly shortened to Advance Decision, and was previously known as a Living Will.

Advance Decisions are legally binding in England and Wales, as long as they meet certain requirements. This means that if a healthcare professional knows you have made an Advance Decision, they have to follow it. If they ignore an Advance Decision and provide treatment that you have refused then they could be taken to court.

You can use an Advance Decision to refuse any treatment, including life-sustaining treatment such as resuscitation, artificial nutrition and hydration, or breathing machines.

You cannot use an Advance Decision to:

  • request or demand particular treatments
  • ask for anything illegal, such as assistance to end your life
  • refuse basic care that keeps you clean and comfortable
  • appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf (choosing another person to make decisions about your health and care is done by making a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare).

Making an advance plan or living will is very easy to do and can be done online

Living Will

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to give someone you trust the legal power to make decisions for you in case you later lose capacity and are unable to make decisions for yourself.

  • An LPA for Property and Financial Affairs covers decisions about money and property
  • An LPA for Health and Welfare covers decisions about health and care

The person given the power to make decisions is called an ‘attorney’. An LPA for Health and Welfare allows you to appoint one or more attorneys to make decisions for you. They can make decisions about anything to do with your health and personal welfare, including medical treatment and the type of care you receive. You must choose whether or not you want your attorney to be able to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment.

You do not need to have an LPA for Health and Welfare to make an Advance Decision.

You can have both an Advance Decision and an LPA for Health and Welfare. If you do, the one that you made more recently will take priority when a decision needs to be made about your treatment or care.

If you have made an Advance Decision before registering an LPA your attorneys will be able to override what is written in your Advance Decision, if you have given them the power to make the decision in question. However your attorneys must always make decisions that are in your best interests. This includes taking into account anything that you have said or written down, including an Advance Statement or Advance Decision.

If you have made an Advance Decision after registering an LPA your attorneys will not be able to override what is written in your Advance Decision. In this situation, if a decision needs to be made about something that you have not included in your Advance Decision, then your attorneys will still be able to act on your behalf. If you have both an Advance Decision and an LPA you should discuss your Advance Decision with your attorneys and give them a photocopy.

Enduring Power of Attorney

If you made an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) before October 2007, you do not need to include this on your Advance Decision form. This is because an EPA only covers finance and property and does not give an attorney power to make decisions about health and personal care.

  1. Choose your attorneys
  2. Complete the form (available from the Office of the Public Guardian)
  3. Register the form with the Office of the Public Guardian

An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian to be valid (this can take up to ten weeks). The Office of the Public Guardian is part of the government’s Ministry of Justice department. It manages the LPA registration process and has a register of all LPAs. It can also investigate if somebody has concerns about the way an attorney is acting.

  • Complete the form online using the Office of the Public Guardian’s website.
  • Download the form from the Office of the Public Guardian’s website.
  • Request a paper form by calling the Office of the Public Guardian on 0300 456 0300.