Further to the recent bulletin we sent out on behalf of the East Staffordshire District Patient Engagement Group, regarding access to GP Surgeries, we have an update regarding our Practice and access to the Health Centre in Monk St.
Discussions have been held with the surgery around re opening the doors and no longer monitoring patients who come in to surgery. However, the issues we are faced with include:
The Practice has sought external health advice on the topic and below is a summary of the advice given:
As discussed as the waiting room is shared between patients of the two surgeries, plus those of several other providers, it would be difficult in practice to control the numbers using the waiting room and to maintain social distancing between them.
Currently access is controlled and numbers in the waiting room limited by patients using the external intercom. In the case of the non-GP surgery providers, the provider concerned meets them at the front door and takes them directly into the clinical room. There are no suitable alternative means of access that may be used by patients and no additional internal space that may be used as a waiting area. The potential exposure of vulnerable persons and potential contamination of the premises from uncontrolled access to the waiting room should also be considered.
In this instance it is recommended that the only practicable measure to ensure social distancing whilst current restrictions are in place is to continue controlling access by patients using the external intercom and being met at the front entrance door.
Our advice is still to space seating in waiting rooms to enable social distancing unless persons are in the same household until further advice has been given by the government.
We appreciate that the above will not be what patients want to hear but we must take on board the advice being given and support the Practice that for now the current system will have to be kept in place.
We will continue to work with the Practice and keep you informed of any further developments. Meanwhile can we please remind people to be understanding and not take their frustrations out on the staff, especially the receptionists who are the first point of contact.
Thanking you for your assistance
Chair, Deputy Chair and Secretary Tutbury Practice Patient Forum
21st June 2021