Appointments During COVID-19 Outbreak

Appointments Update

We are aware that our telephone lines have been busier than usual recently and we are looking at ways to reduce this.

If you are able to do so, please use our eConsult service. This service allows you to fill in a short form detailing your symptoms and is sent for review by our clinicians. The eConsult service is available 24/7 and will be responded to by the end of the next working day. Our aim is to complete these same-day, however dependent upon demand, this is not always possible. eConsult also allows you to request administrative support, such as fit notes and many more.

In addition to eConsult, we are trialling opening a small number of telephone appointments which can be booked online using Patient Access. These appointments will be released in small quantities whilst we review their effectiveness, therefore please do not expect these to be available at all times.

Using these alternative methods of communication and booking appointments will reduce the waiting time on the telephone for those who cannot use online services and specifically need to telephone us.

Thank you for your continued patience.

Appointments During COVID-19 Outbreak

The staff at Woolpit Health Centre take pride in the accessibility of our services and our aim has always been that patients who want to see a doctor should be able to do so without barriers. Our same day emergency surgery is something we are particularly proud of. We were early to adopt online booking processes to make it as easy as possible for patients to see our doctors and nurses.

The COVID-19 outbreak is a significant public health emergency and is making changes to our day to day lives that are necessary to protect the most vulnerable in society. To protect our patients and staff we are having to, temporarily, take much tighter control over access to appointments. We are hoping to honour all currently booked appointments – however we are going to try to do these by phone where possible. If you have an appointment booked you will be telephoned on the day and advised if you should still attend or not. Due to staff absence the doctor or nurse you will see may change at short notice – we will let patients know if appointments are cancelled.

Until further notice ALL new requests for appointments will be triaged by a doctor. We have disabled online bookings and would ask you to call reception if you want to see a doctor. Our receptionists are not able to book an appointment for you but will arrange a call back by a doctor to triage your request – please keep your phone available while awaiting the call back. If the doctor can help you on the phone and thinks you do not need to come to the surgery they will explain this to you. We will try to complete as much work by telephone as possible until further notice. If the doctor thinks you require an examination they will arrange an appointment for you.

Until further notice our Saturday emergency surgery has been suspended.

Please do not attend the practice unless you have a confirmed appointment or have been otherwise asked to come – you may be asked to leave and to make contact by phone instead.

If you are seen at the practice in person then, depending on your symptoms the doctor may, in line with current guidance, conduct the consultation while wearing personal protective equipment (such as a surgical gown, gloves and mask) – please do not be alarmed at these precautions – they are there to keep our staff and patients safe.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (any new persistent cough or fever) you will not be seen at the surgery – those with symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to manage their symptoms at home and if too unwell to do so please follow the guidance on the NHS 111 website or call 111 if unable to get online.