July 2020

Dear Patients,

As we are all aware, the current Coronavirus pandemic has presented huge challenges over the last few months.  Nobody has been immune from the disruption, uncertainty and, at times, distress. The practice has been open all through the pandemic, and our staff have worked every day including bank holidays issuing meds, taking calls, and seeing patients with urgent needs. Where possible this was done by telephone or video call, but some patients were seen face to face when necessary. During the 3 months of lockdown, we gave advice and assistance to 5273 patients including some who attended the surgery thinking they may have covid putting our staff at considerable risk.

The practice team are normal people and we share the same fears and anxieties as all of you.  While the number of deaths from the virus is falling, coronavirus remains a very real threat to everyone and the practice cannot simply return to “normal”.  To let our guard down now would risk the safety not only of staff but also of other patients and this is not something we are prepared to do.


We are therefore looking to continue the working practices we have put in place to ensure the safety of all our patients and staff for the rest of the year. Our aim is to provide as much access to our patients as possible while protecting our staff and patients from the Covid virus. Below is a summary of the Practice procedures for the rest of the year:



The easiest way for you to order your repeat prescriptions is online via either SystmOne or the NHS APP on your mobile phone. If you are unable to access the internet, we have set up a telephone line for you to leave a message with the medication you require. DO NOT hand in paper requests.



Do not attend the surgery to ask for an appointment please telephone or use an eConsult. You can access the eConsult forms on our website or through the NHS APP on your phone. The form asks all the questions the doctor would for the condition you are presenting with and allows you to add a photograph if necessary. This saves the doctor a lot of time and means they are able to help many more people every day. The doctor will read the eConsult form and can then contact you by email or telephone with advice or bring you in for a face to face appointment if necessary.


We offer limited telephone appointments every day for people who are unable to access the internet. These take considerably longer than an eConsult and are dealt with by the duty doctor every day so we are unable to guarantee who you will speak to.


If having spoken to you the doctor feels it is appropriate to see you face to face arrangements will be made for you to attend the surgery.  You may feel you need to “SEE” your doctor, but we can deal with 90% of issues over the phone, and have to carefully consider the risk to everyone of you attending the surgery before you are brought in. We are also able to offer advice and support to significantly more people if we reduce the number of face to face appointments, as each appointment takes 30 mins including the time to clean down the room.  We will therefore only be offering face to face appointments for patients with urgent issues.

We are offering Nurse appointments for smears, B12 and other regular injections, and blood appointments. We have a limited capacity because of the need to clean the rooms after every patient, please ring the surgery to book these appointments.


What we will do for you:

  1. Offer the appropriate advice and assistance for your medical issues

  2. Provide alternative sources of information for other issues

  3. Offer ongoing medical services for Long term conditions and non-urgent treatment

  4. All necessary referrals are sent to the appropriate consultants

  5. Ensure you are seen in a safe  environment

  6. Deal with all eConsults within the same day if received before 3pm

  7. We will arrange to send out by email or post all sick notes and documents where possible to reduce the risk of infection.


What we ask you to do:

  1. Do not contact the surgery for any issues relating to Covid, all information regarding Covid, is provided by the Government and is on their website

  2. Do not attend the surgery unless it is to collect medication or attend an appointment already made

  3. When you have an appointment, attend at the exact time of the appointment as we have limited space in the waiting room, attend on your own and wear a face covering. Patients who refuse to wear a face covering will not be seen.

  4. Do not attend the surgery if you have a cough, or high temperature, or have lost your sense of taste or smell. If you feel unwell or think you have Covid please cancel your appointment.

  5. Make sure we have your correct telephone number and an email address if you have one.


Please understand that if our practice team become unwell we will have to close for 14 days and will not be able to treat patients – we are asking our patients to help us so that we can continue to help you.


We will not tolerate any abuse towards our staff either on the telephones, in person or via Facebook. Anyone threatening or abusing our staff will be removed from the practice.


We know many patients are anxious about the months ahead, managing existing and new health conditions and flu vaccinations.  We are working hard to find new ways of working to ensure the safety of our patients, their carers and our staff whilst ensuring  you receive the care you need.  A huge amount of work and planning is going on behind the scenes to keep you safe – please be patient with us.  If you have urgent concerns, please contact us, by phone, for advice, or check our website.

Thank you for your understanding and your continuing kindness through the difficult times, your gifts and positive comments have kept us all going and are very much appreciated.


www.unionbraesurgery.com      https://www.nhs.uk/                https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus