In view of working within the current restrictions of Covid-19 we are increasing our availability to patients for non-urgent problems and recommencing a small number of routine telephone appointments in the afternoon.
We continue to run our urgent same day service between 8am-5pm and would encourage patients to call as early as possible to access this service.
Following the speech from the Prime Minister on March 23rd.
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
This includes people of all ages, even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.
You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
These 4 reasons are exceptions, even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
There is separate advice about:
- Staying at home if you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus
- Staying at home if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus
To help yourself stay well while you’re at home:
- Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
- Try to keep yourself busy, you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
- Do light exercise at home, or outside once a day
If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:
- For health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
- For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online
- For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance
Read the full advice on protecting yourself if you’re at high risk from coronavirus on GOV.UK.
If you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you can get an isolation note, you do not need to get a note from a GP.
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Covid-19 and Request for Doctor’s Note (the Med3 ‘Fit Note”)
Request for certification of absence from the workplace may fall into five categories:
Personally affected so isolating for seven days
Patients can and should self-certify for the first seven days as normal if they are unfit to work. They do not need to contact their GP.
Personally affected and remaining unwell for over seven days
If they remain unwell and unfit to work after seven days the current advice to visit www.111.nhs.uk where there is an online self-assessment tools: the patient may be invited to call 111 and given further advice a MED3 certificate emailed to them. They do not need to contact their GP.
Household contact affected so isolating for fourteen days as per government advice.
At risk group so following government advice.
GPs cannot and are not the gatekeeper of the statutory sick pay system. Employers are responsible for putting in place arrangements for home/remote working where it is possible. Where it is not, the employee may self-certify and return to work following the relevant absence which their employer may authorise as per government advice.
Where they do become unwell during or after this time, point 1 or 2 applies. They do not need to contact their GP.
Those in full time education
There is no NHS requirement to issue certification to schools or colleges to confirm absence. These organisations must work with parents and students to ensure that any absence is appropriately recorded, obviating the need for a ‘doctor’s note’. They do not need to contact their GP.
As per the current www.gov.uk S13 Guidance for Employers it should be noted that:
By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine any evidence they require, if any, from their employee. This does not need to be a fit note (MED3) issued by a GP or any other doctor.
Your employee will be advised to isolate themselves and not to work in contact with other people by NHS111 or Public Health England if they are a carrier of, or have been in contact with, an infectious or contagious disease, such as Covid-19.
We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home due to suspected Covid-19, in accordance with the public health advice being issued by the government.
This note has been written for and on behalf of your surgery by Wessex LMCs, the body in statute that represents, supports and advises Wessex GPs and their practice teams.
Our GPs have a responsibility to prioritise the assessment and management of the needs of their patients at this challenging time, we thank you for your support in helping us achieve this.
Due to the status of Covid 19, and in line with the current guidelines, we are reducing face-to-face contact with patients, effective immediately.
All appointments going forward will be a telephone consultation and if the GP feels that you need to be seen they will arrange a time for you to come to the surgery. This also applies to any appointments you may already have booked with the GP.
Do not visit the surgery unless invited by a GP.
On arrival at the practice the front door will be closed. Please use the intercom to contact reception. If you need to come into the surgery for an appointment your temperature will be taken at the door before entry is granted. Staff will be wearing PPE for any clinical examination. Please ensure you continue to contact the surgery for your health needs including all immunisations during this time
Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this difficult time.