21/12/2021 – Changes to GP Services until January 2022

GP surgeries across the country have been asked to focus on delivering the Government’s target of offering a COVID-19 booster vaccine to everyone aged 18+ before 31st December. This is due to the rapid rise in the number of infections of the new coronavirus variant called Omicron.  As a result the UK has moved to COVID alert level 4 – which is the second highest level.

In order for the NHS to deliver the vaccination target, NHS England and Improvement has requested all practices stop routine and non-urgent care so that staff can support delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations. Like all other practices, we are following guidance that was circulated by the Royal College of General Practitioners and British Medical Association earlier in the pandemic.

We understand this will cause considerable frustration to our patients, and we want to reassure you, that we are still open and here for you for your urgent healthcare needs. All critical appointments relating to possible cancer, high risk or vulnerable people living with long term conditions or urgent and emergency care will be dealt with.

However, much like other practices across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, we have to make some changes:

Temporary switch off to eConsult – In order to support the booster vaccination programme we have made the difficult decision to temporarily stop access to e-Consult so our staff can focus on your urgent requests. Access to eConsult will resume in January. If you are seriously unwell, then please contact the surgery by phone.

No routine appointments – you will not be able to book routine appointments until January so please contact us again week commencing 10 January 2022 to book a routine appointment. If you become seriously unwell, then please contact the surgery by phone.

To help you decide if your concern is urgent or non-urgent, we have put together the following guidance:

If you think you have a potential cancer symptom, then please call us.

Symptoms include:

  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Blood in stool
  • Blood in urine
  • Breathlessness or coughing up blood
  • Change in bowel habit to looser or more frequent stool
  • Sudden worrying skin changes

Time critical emergencies cannot wait and if you have any of the following then please call 999 immediately:

  • Severe chest pain or breathlessness
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Symptoms of stroke – one sided weakness, speech or visual problems
  • Mental health crisis with the risk of harm to self
  • Severe new onset headaches
  • Non-blanching rashes
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Children with breathing difficulties
  • Sudden changes in vision

We understand that sometimes it can be hard to define what is urgent. If you are worried please call the surgery and we will help you decide if you need to be seen or the best course of action. We are experiencing a high volume of calls so please be patient while we work hard to get to you as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your understanding.