The practice has not been closed during the pandemic

Dear Patients, we feel compelled to post this to try to dispel the myth being generated by the media and seemingly supported by the government, that we have been closed for the last 18 months and that we continue to refuse face to face appointments.

The fact is that we have never refused to see any of our patients face to face where there has been a clinical need to do so.

It is true we have changed the way we operate, by using technology like eConsult, video and telephone consulting to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible – it would be irresponsible of us not to do so. Working this way means we can consult with more patients, and some patients find it much more convenient than having to leave work or home to come to the surgery.

The current media campaign is creating a belief that “lazy GP’s” have been sitting in their surgeries refusing to see patients, which is now causing frustration amongst patients who believe they are not being given the service they deserve. The GP’s at Port View (and we are sure in every other GP Practice around the country) are currently working up to 15 hours each day, consulting with at least 40 patients a day each and then working their way through 100’s of test results, prescription requests (over 1500 in a week), onward referrals and letters from other agencies which all demand their time and careful attention.

Our nursing and admin teams are working equally as hard, with the nurses providing nearly 350 appointments (mostly face to face) over the last 7 days alone. Our Admin team have dealt with more than 2100 telephone calls in the last week and that is before they have looked at the 100’s of emails and queries which come in via our website or assisted those patients attending the surgery.

Have no doubt that we are still very much dealing with a pandemic, infection rates are high in our area and with the winter illnesses beginning to surface, we must ensure keeping our patients and staff safe is our priority. NHS staff, even though they are double jabbed, still have to stay away from work for 10 days if a household member tests positive, so we are trying to manage this ever-increasing workload with fluctuating manpower.

Things are tough for everyone at the moment, and we understand it can be frustrating when you feel your needs are not being met as quickly as you would like, believe us we are frustrated too, but please don’t believe everything you read or hear in the media. We really are all just trying our very best to help you as quickly and as safely as we can. Thank you for your continued support.