Wychwood Surgery during lockdown

katiewalshDr Katy Walsh looks back at a very challenging time at Wychwood Surgery

During this difficult time for many, in some respects at Wychwood Surgery, work continues as usual: there are patients to assess, results to check, prescriptions to sign, letters to read, emails to answer and coffee to drink! The surgery team are, as always, very supportive and prepped for whatever the day brings.

Of course, there have been vast changes too. A key focus has been to reduce footfall. This enables us to minimise the spread of coronavirus in the community, and helps protect vulnerable patients. So, for the time being, we have no walk-in appointments. The GPs first assess patients by telephone or video. This is a huge change, but there is often a great deal of help we can provide by phone. If the necessity is there however, we can then go on to book face to face appointments. Furthermore, if we feel it’s critical to see a patient with coronavirus symptoms, we have an isolation room and PPE prepped.

The nurse and blood test clinics are still in operation, but all appointments are booked by telephone and spread out, so that there are as few patients as possible in the building at any one time.

Every day, we have new guidance about Covid-19 from a range of organisations via email or seminars. Keeping up with the evolving recommendations certainly takes time.

Some changes I would definitely call improvements… The doctors wear scrubs. We’ve had regular deliveries of outstanding cakes, lovingly handmade by the local Women’s Institute. We’ve been so grateful for these treats! And lastly, the clinical team spend ten minutes of light relief together doing a stint of exercise!

Through this intense time, we’ve been blown away by the community spirit. Volunteers delivering medication and food to the vulnerable have been truly spectacular. The Thursday applause and ‘thank you NHS’ signs have really spurred us on. We are sincerely grateful.

On a more serious note, it’s important for patients to know that, if they have concerning symptoms, unrelated to Covid, it’s still very important to seek medical attention. Also, with the ever changing landscape that we find ourselves in, we are releasing helpful information on our ‘Wychwood Surgery’ Facebook page, so stay tuned if you can.

June – July 2020