Transition Phase 2 and changes at Crookston Medical Centre
It is now almost 3 months since the original Coronavirus Lockdown in late March 2020. We have been open (including all public holidays) throughout the crisis. In that time our service provision has changed dramatically. We have been offering same day telephone appointments for all of our patients with late morning and late afternoon face to face appointments if necessary, arranged usually on the same day. This has resulted in us having very high call volumes on a Monday and Tuesday but usually quieter later in the week. We have altered our availability to accommodate this temporary change but will be constantly reviewing it to ensure that we can provide as responsive a service as possible.
There does now appear to be some light at the end of the tunnel from a health perspective, but we do expect that there will be a significant rise in unemployment, financial hardship for many and a host of mental health problems and social stressors in the near future. We are also aware that many patients have put up with some critical health problems rather than use the NHS services.
There have been many requests from our patients regarding shielding letters, proof of medical conditions for furloughing; third party demands and verbal requests from employers, exemption letters for avoidance of wearing face masks on public transport etc.
THIS IS A WASTE OF OUR TIME AND WILL NOT BE CARRIED OUT – SO PLEASE DO NOT ASK!
As everyone who has used our services over the last 3 months will have realised there have been substantial changes to our working arrangements since the first cases of coronavirus were diagnosed at the practice in March 2020. We moved to utilising telephone triage as a screening procedure – offering advice and telephone consultations as our initial source of contact with the clinicians at Crookston Medical Centre. While the Scottish Government continues to recommend caution and minimising contact between people face to face indoors wherever possible we plan to continue with our current system of telephone consultations:
Mornings 9am-1pm - in the morning between 9am-11am Monday to Friday telephone or video call consultations will be conducted with face to face consultations between 11.30am – 1pm (by prior arrangement with the doctor or nurse).
Lunchtimes 1pm-2pm - There will be emergencies only between 1pm-2pm.
Afternoons 2pm-6pm Between 2pm-4pm telephone and video consultations and 4pm-6pm face to face consultations (by prior arrangement with the doctor or nurse).
Housevisit requests should be phoned in as early as possible to the surgery (ideally between 9am-10am) and will be fully vetted by telephone but visits will only be conducted in emergencies or for the truly housebound with the attending doctor using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is for patient and family safety as well as for the NHS workers.
Attend Anywhere / Near Me Video Consultations - We have a facility for safe encrypted video consultations which can be arranged via an appointment – after making an appointment you can access this service via a mobile smart phone or in some cases via computer (you will need Google Chrome or Sarfari as your Internet Browser) by typing in: https://nhsattend.vc/crookstonmedicalcentre then completing your name date of birth and contact telephone number. This will then be flagged up on our system and a doctor will be available to conduct a video consultation (essentially an encrypted Skype/Facetime video consultation)
With your permission we can use your mobile phone or email to send this link to any patients who may want to use this service.
Cleaning, Hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment
The surgery has undergone a deep clean and the work surfaces sterilised after each consultation. We will be opening the waiting room but will restrict this to 5 patients to enhance social distancing. Perspex screens will be used at reception to assist with safety measures for our staff. Anyone attending in person will be asked to attend with a face covering and gloves (ideally disposable). The doctor or nurse will also be using personal protective equipment (PPE) until the transitional elements of the lockdown are eased. An attempt at a one way system of entry through the front door and exit at the rear of the building will be trialled to minimise patient contact with other service users.
Training at Crookston Medical Centre
The transitional arrangements have also involved some of our GP Trainees being moved from General Practice to frontline hospital services resulting in fewer appointments being available for our patients – we appreciate your understanding and forbearance in the circumstances.
Patient Conduct and Bad Behaviour
While the conduct of the vast majority of our patients has been empathic and exemplary – the behaviour of a small minority of our patients, at this difficult time for everyone – has been extremely unhelpful.
The severity of the epidemic has been very traumatic for the clinicians and staff at Crookston Medical Centre – many of whom have been off with symptoms of the virus or having tested positive for coronavirus exposure. We have also had to witness many deaths at our local Nursing Homes and deal with bereaved relatives in as sympathetic a manner as possible considering the distancing and exposure requirements.
In addition, we have had to adapt to changing circumstances and a plethora of bureaucratic edicts to try and contain the spread of the virus and minimise its impact on the most vulnerable.
Thus, while acknowledging the stress on many individuals it is still very disappointing to report the abuse of our repeat prescribing system (which was altered to assist with social distancing). It is additionally the case that certain individuals have been plaguing the practice with daily demands and nuisance calls. With many examples of rude, aggressive and inconsiderate behaviour!
WE ARE A CARING SERVICE DOING OUR UTMOST TO HELP OUR PATIENTS (WHICH MAY INCLUDE SAYING “NO” TO UNREASONABLE OR HARMFUL DEMANDS). WE EXPECT A SIMILAR LEVEL OF CARE IN RETURN!
While we have been obliged to put up with this “bad behaviour” due to the requirements of maintaining a medical service for everyone during the lockdown – this will not continue!
We will be asking several individuals to leave the practice and find another medical service and in some cases the people involved will simply be removed from our Practice List!
We are however a community that has lived through this crisis together and we sincerely hope that the individual characteristics of our country will pull us together and provide mutual support at this challenging time.
We therefore appeal for politeness, care and compassion for our staff and promise that these sentiments will be reciprocated from our clinical team in return!
Services Near Me Community Mental Health and Safeguarding Vulnerable Children
- Community Mental Health Team Rossdale Resource Centre 0141 232 4750
- Mental Health Crisis Team - 0141 232 7060
- Wellbeing Services 232 2555
- Community Addiction Team – 0141 276 3010
- Community Alcohol Services – Rowanpark Clinic 0141 276 8740
- Scottish Adult Mental Health (SAMH) - 0141 531 1000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Southbank Self Harm 0141 232 1112
- Sandyford Rape Support 0141 211 8130
- Lifelink 0141 552 4434 or www.lifelink.org.uk
- Children First 0141 418 5670
- Perinatal Mental Health 0141 211 6500 – 9.30-12.30 Mon Tues Thurs Fri
- Carr Gomm – Mental Health Social Support 0141 445 7490
- Cruse Bereavement Support 0808 808 1677
Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/
NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000 If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, contact NSPCC professional counsellors for help, advice and support.
Childline 0800 1111: Offers free, confidential advice and support for any child 18 years or under, whatever the worry.
MIND: Mental Health Support with specific advice on ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’. www.mind.org.uk
YoungMinds: Supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing. Specific advice on managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus.
ICON: Babies cry: You can cope. http://iconcope.org/
SafeLives: Specific resources for domestic abuse and COVID. http://safelives.org.uk/news-views/domesticabuse-and-covid-19