Letter to our patients – 5th July 2020

We would like to thank you for your understanding and co-operation with the changes we have made in response to the current pandemic.

Please be assured that we remain open for any medical problem which requires investigation or treatment. There is evidence that people are not accessing healthcare as they usually would, because of fears of either overstretching the medical staff or catching COVID-19.

If you have any symptoms then please contact the most appropriate part of the health service – the Pharmacy, the Health Centre, the 111 Service or 999, as soon as you feel you necessary. Waiting may mean missing out on effective treatments or even worse it may mean you have left it too late to receive treatment at all. Whilst we encourage people with minor illnesses and ailments to be managed at home we want to ensure that people with serious health problems access the right healthcare.

How are we operating right now?

We ask that you phone the Health Centre in the first instance if you have symptoms, queries or concerns. You will be asked for brief information regarding the problem in order to make sure that the right person phones you back. The clinician who phones you back will assess your problem. Please be honest about your symptoms. Please do not turn up at the Health Centre without an appointment – this is to keep you, our staff and other patients safe.

A lot of patients have been emailing photographs to us after they have spoken with one of our care navigators, to support their telephone assessment. This has been helpful for treatment. Our email address is cnhc.reception@nhs.net.

We can offer a video consultation if appropriate for your condition. To be able to have a video consultation you will need to have a computer or tablet with a camera, or a smart phone. We use a system called Accurx to call you to carry out the consultation.

Routine telephone contact with your own GP is still possible but these phone calls are not bookable by appointment time. We will take your details and your named GP will call you back within the same week.

If we need to see you then we will make an appointment for you to come to the Health Centre. We are seeing individuals in different areas of the Health Centre and scheduling appointments to help reduce the risk of people coming into contact. We ask that unless you absolutely need assistance that you attend the appointment on your own. Everyone entering the Health Centre will be asked screening questions when they arrive and will be directed straight away to wash their hands. We have hand sanitising stations and hand washing facilities though out the Health Centre to help our patients maintain good hand hygiene.

Clinicians are seeing patients wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in-line with government guidance.

How are we managing referrals to secondary care?

We remain able to refer people to secondary care for tests and assessments for problems such as suspected cancer, urgent heart problems, mini-strokes or other serious conditions. The hospitals have likewise made changes to their systems, sites and appointments to help reduce the risk for patients attending. They are also carrying out telephone or video consultations where this is appropriate.

At the present time (May 2020) hospitals are not accepting referrals for routine problems. We will keep you updated as this situation develops.

How are we managing home visits?

We are assessing requests for home visits on a case by case basis as we always have done. Your clinician will consult with you and weigh up any risk factors. They will visit you if it is deemed safe and the most effective way to deliver treatment to you.

How will we keep you up to date with what is happening?

We are regularly updating our website www.chippingnortonhealthcentre.nhs.uk with information.

If you are happy for us to keep you informed of developments within the Health Centre via email or text message, please make this known to one of our care navigators as we need your consent to add your details to this list. We will contact you directly with useful information about our health service and other local healthcare activities. Thank you to those patients that have already signed up to this service.

We thank you!

We would like to send our thanks and gratitude to all in the Chipping Norton area; the pandemic has brought out the very best of our community. We have had help and support with volunteers helping us in a number of roles at the Health Centre. We have been gifted a selection of morale-boosting treats including flowers to brighten up the outside of the building, scrubs, laundry bags, cakes and chocolates which are very much appreciated during a challenging time.

Best Wishes

The Team at Chipping Norton Health Centre



 What do I do if I have a new continuous cough or a fever?

Patients with these symptoms may have COVID-19. If you develop these symptoms, then go onto the 111 website to access online information or call 111. You and your family members will need to isolate to prevent the spread of infection. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you can also call the Health Centre if needed but your first point-of-call should be 111. DO NOT COME TO THE HEALTH CENTRE.

 I think I should be in the ‘shielding’ group of patients, but I have not had a letter?

Please call us or complete one of our query forms on our website to let us know so we can check for you.

 I have been sent a shielding letter or I am in the ‘vulnerable’ patient group, can I still attend the Health Centre for appointments?

 Yes. We will inform you of the exact arrangements, depending upon what the appointment is for. We have developed a system to ensure we protect shielding patients.

 What do I do regarding work if I am in the ‘vulnerable’ patient group or ‘shielding’ group?

 There is lots of information regarding this on the gov.uk website relating to COVID-19. You will need to speak to your employer, and/or the occupational health team through your employer, about an assessment of your specific job role and what you need to do.