COVID-19 FAQs

Our role in Primary Care

The last couple of weeks have 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 immunisations, cervical smears etc. The 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.

Frequently Asked Questions by our Patients

Not surprisingly we are receiving many questions and requests from individual patients about all sorts of things to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.  We know that you understand this because you are saying so and you are apologetic for asking us!  We thank you very much for your understanding and patience.

We know this is a really difficult time for everyone, and that people who have underlying health conditions are understandably worried about a number of things.

At the moment our priority absolutely has to be to keep the service going for people who are unwell and who need medical or nursing attention, at a time when our staff may also be unwell and resources are very limited.

Unfortunately this means that we probably won’t be able to answer all your questions, or respond to all your requests individually.  We will help if we possibly can, but almost certainly we won’t be able to offer appointments to talk about these things or complete forms as soon as you would hope.

We understand this will be disappointing and frustrating, and we are really sorry.

Below you will find some of the questions that are coming up frequently, and our general answers.  Also, you will find our request to you about how we manage your queries.

We are really sorry if the answers aren’t what you were hoping for.

As you know this is a situation that is changing quickly.  New guidance is coming out from the Department of Health and Public Health England at a rapid rate – sometimes several times a day.  We will do our best to keep the information on this website up to date, but please do check the information from the Department of Health as well, or even first, to make sure you are getting the very latest guidance.  The website is:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Coronavirus

Further Information