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Unity Health Coronavirus update

Over the past 8 weeks, Unity Health has been working extremely hard to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic whilst also ensuring that we continue to provide care for those patients with serious health conditions including suspected cancer, heart disease, strokes, long term conditions and other physical and mental health concerns. There have been concerns nationally that patients have been reluctant to contact their GP either because they are concerned about the risk of infection or with overloading the GP service. If you do have significant health concerns do please contact us either via the AskNHS App or by telephone.

Routine healthcare
In addition to contacting us with acute health concerns, we are continuing to provide essential routine care such as cervical smears, baby immunisations and checks, wound care, blood test and regular reviews of patients with long term conditions and we encourage you to attend these when we contact you to make an appointment.

What are we doing to keep you safe?
We are asking patients not to come to the surgery unless specifically asked to do so. Prescriptions are ordered on-line wherever possible and prescriptions delivered automatically to a nominated pharmacy. We have built on our previous telephone triage system for GP appointment and expanded this into video consultations (which are proving very popular with patients) and also to telephone/video appointments with our nursing team. There are many consultations that can be carried out this way which means we have significantly reduced the number of patients who do need to come into the practice to be seen face to face; this minimises the risk for patients and for staff. In some cases we have carried out examinations/injections/blood tests in the patient’s own car if they are particularly anxious about coming into the building.

We have also been asked to maximise the time between visits wherever possible to minimise risk; you may notice we have tried to reduce the time between appointments for dressings (or show you/a relative how to do these); monitoring blood test (usually for specific drugs) and injections. In some cases we will have switched treatments; for example to a drug that doesn’t need such frequent monitoring; an oral drug rather than an injection or a different form of contraception

Shielding patients
We have spent a lot of time working through national searches with the local hospitals and our own records to identify and contact patients with the highest risk factors who have been recommended to rigorously ‘shield’ from contact with others for 12 weeks. This is in place until the 30th June when it will be reviewed again by government and further advice given. This work has all been driven nationally and has, unfortunately, sometimes been confusing both for you and for us! The bulk of this work has now been done and patients identified should have received a shielding letter; if you haven’t received a letter and feel you meet the national criteria (available on-line) please contact us and we will check. We have also tried to contact all our patients on the shielding list to ensure they understand what shielding means, why it is important and that they have everything in place to enable delivery of food, medicines etc. We would like to thank all the volunteers involved in supporting these patients, particularly those who have helped us to set up a delivery service for medications for our dispensing patients who are shielding. All dispensing practices were asked to do this and we couldn’t have done it without you!

Should shielding patients need a face to face appointment then the current national advice is that we should visit patients at home to provide this, where possible. Where patients are not normally housebound this does not fall under the district nursing team so our practice nurses/HCAs are doing these visits.

We are also fortunate that we still have our paramedic visiting service in place who are continuing to visit patients where needed.

Patients with Coronavirus symptoms
The route for patients with suspected coronavirus symptoms remains 111 on-line (or by phone). There is a new symptom of potential coronavirus which is a new loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

Should the 111 service feel an assessment is needed, they generally direct patients to the local ‘hot hub’ in High Wycombe or Stoke Mandeville run by our local GP federation, Fedbucks.

We generally, therefore, do not need to see patients with Coronavirus symptom in the practice. If we do, they are seen in a special ‘isolation’ room at each surgery dedicated to this service. This is a clinical room, remote from the main rooms, with minimal furniture in it to make cleaning much easier. Patients are asked to wait outside the building and are collected by the clinician (in full PPE), asked to wear a mask and taken straight to the room. After each patient the room is cleaned and new PPE put on.

The practice would like to thank everyone who has helped us over the past few weeks to adapt our services – all our volunteers; 3D Print World in Aylesbury who manufactured face shields; Lord Williams School who provided goggles and above all our patients for following the local and national guidance and adapting so brilliantly to the new ways of delivering care which we have had to introduce at speed.

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Upcoming Events

Jun
8
Mon
10:30 am Forget Me Knot Cafe – 2020 @ Chinnor Village Centre
Forget Me Knot Cafe – 2020 @ Chinnor Village Centre
Jun 8 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Forget Me Knot Cafe - 2020 @ Chinnor Village Centre
Our Monday morning Café provides information, peer support and fun activities which are aimed to help with co-ordination, brain stimulation, and general health and wellbeing, for people suffering with dementia, mental health issues, old age or isolation. All welcome – come along with your carer, we would love to meet you. We met twice monthly 10.30-12.30pm at Chinnor Village Centre. You will be welcomed with a cup of tea and biscuit. We start with fun seated exercises, followed by our visiting expert. At the end of the session, we play parachute games, juggling, throwing balls, flat football, floor netball, finishing the session with a poem, lyrical or a reading. PROGRAMME OF EVENTS 2020 6 Jan Rock in the New Year – Steve Ashall 20 Jan…

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Jun
9
Tue
5:15 pm Yoga For Healthy Lower Backs @ Thame Barns Centre
Yoga For Healthy Lower Backs @ Thame Barns Centre
Jun 9 @ 5:15 pm – 6:30 pm
Yoga For Healthy Lower Backs @ Thame Barns Centre
A specialised, evidence-based, 12 week course to promote self-management of lower back pain.  Used in Arthritis Research UK/ University of York Clinical Trial. For more information, see www.yogaforbacks.co.uk   Thame Barns Centre on Tuesday 21 April, 5.15-6.30pm   Please contact: Sue Garrett on 07722 142070; suegarrettyoga@gmail.com
Jun
14
Sun
7:45 pm Beer & Hymns @ Upper Room, Cross Keys, Thame
Beer & Hymns @ Upper Room, Cross Keys, Thame
Jun 14 @ 7:45 pm
Beer & Hymns @ Upper Room, Cross Keys, Thame
Every second Sunday of the month in the Upper Room of the Cross Keys, Thame.   7.45pm for an 8pm start   Free – all welcome

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