Our role in primary care
This week has been somewhat surreal, and you may be wondering what our role is in all this.
The role of The Thornton Practice as the weeks and months roll on may well change. But for the moment, and for the very immediate future, our role is not to be doing the frontline COVID-19 patient care. Our role is to keep primary care open for business as much as we can.
Some patients may feel that primary care is in lockdown. We are not in lockdown!
Our patients will continue to become ill and you need to be looked after just as much as the patients who have COVID-19. One of our major contributions is to keep sick people out of hospital as much as we can, so that front-line staff in hospitals can be free to focus on COVID-19 patients. If we don’t provide access to medical/nursing care for our regularly ill patients, their condition could deteriorate and they could end up in crisis, and potentially need hospital admission. We will do as much as possible of this work by phone, to reduce the risks for everyone, to comply with national guidance, and to do our bit to slow the spread of COVID-19. But when patients need a face to face consultation, that is what they will get.
You will know that we have changed some routine nursing care such as asthma, COPD, diabetic reviews etc. As much of this work as possible is now being done by phone, largely to reduce the risk to our vulnerable patients as much as we can. Although doing this by phone might be sub-optimal, some aspects of care can be achieved, and it is still very important work so that we can keep our patients as stable as possible.
There are some routine services that cannot be done by phone, but must continue as long as possible e.g. childhood immunisation, cervical smears etc. Childhood immunistation appointments will be all offered at our Carleton Branch, which has smaller footfall/waiting room in order to minimise any risk.
Even though this might not look heroic, it is. It is really, really important. So thank you to all our patients for your understanding during this challenging time.