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COVID 19 UPDATES

Monday 30 March 2020 – 7.10 pm

GP practice changes announced

The North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced changes to how local GP practices will operate from Monday 6 April.

This follows the CCG working to best position themselves to deal with the significant challenge of Covid-19 in the most effective way. Patients have started to be informed about the changes by their individual practices today.

The Deputy Leader Cllr Simon Bound, as the Cabinet lead on health, has already shared with councillors the messages that CCG colleagues are sending out to patients.

A news release on the changes is on the CCG’s website.  This says:

“Our top priority is to keep our patients and staff safe whilst ensuring patients get the care they need. Keeping our staff healthy is crucial so that they can continue to care for everybody, therefore GPs and their staff have been working together with other local surgeries to develop a system which will be able to meet these changing needs.

“From now on, when you contact your surgery for an appointment you will receive an initial assessment through e-consult (on the practice website) OR by telephone, by a suitably trained clinician. It is essential that you give an accurate and detailed description of your symptoms when asked. This will allow us to provide you with the most appropriate treatment.

“If you have suspected Covid-19 symptoms and, following a telephone assessment, need to have a further face-to-face appointment, this may not take place at your usual GP surgery. Instead you may be directed to another local site that has been specifically set up to better deal with your needs.

“If you need to have a non-Covid-19 related face to face appointment and do not have any Covid-19 symptoms, you may still be able to access your usual surgery. However, please be aware that this may change. Services may need to be provided from a smaller number of practices if staff become unwell.

“If, over the course of the next few weeks, you do have to go to a different surgery to the one you are used to, you might also see a doctor or nurse who you are not familiar with. Whilst we realise this could be inconvenient, we think it is important to keep people safe, reduce the spread of Covid-19 and get the maximum benefit from the healthcare resources which will be available. Your records will still be accessible securely to you and to them, ensuring they are able to provide you with the best possible care.  A home visiting service, for patients who are housebound, will be provided but increasingly through practices working together.

“Our clinical colleagues and support staff will be working flexibly in order make these new arrangements work and, when circumstances change to make it possible, GP surgeries across the area will resume a normal service.”

Social distancing in the borough

The community safety patrol officers are continuing to provide visible patrols within the local community to offer reassurance to residents. The team are proactively educating and encouraging individuals about the current restrictions during their patrols and the feedback is that the majority of people are following the social distancing guidelines.

If you have any residents asking questions about the restrictions, the guidance around use of green spaces was updated on Friday at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-guidance-on-access-to-green-spaces

There are also FAQs on what you can and can’t do, for example when going out for exercise - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Support for the self-employed

Following the Chancellor's announcement of support for those that are self-employed, the details of the scheme are available at https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/

Bin crews get colourful thank yous!

Families in Tadley showed their appreciation to our bin crews by decorating their bins with messages of support and thanks in preparation for their bin day today.

Other communities are beginning to do the same and the communications team is encouraging them to send their pictures to @BasingstokeGov on Facebook or Twitter. Those taking part in the show of support are being reminded to wash their hands before and after sticking messages on their bin and to give the bin handle a wipe before and after putting it out for collection.

We aim to send out these councillor bulletins regularly as we have more updates.

Dave Burn
Interim Head of Democratic Services Manager
dave.burn@basingstoke.gov.uk