Information for patients about the work your GP surgery has been
doing during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Frequently Asked Questions
‘Why have you been closed during the pandemic?’
Despite what the media say, we haven’t been closed even for a single day. In fact, we have worked extra days, weekends, evenings and bank holidays to keep on top of patients’ needs and care. Current infection prevention guidelines and social distancing guidelines prevent us from having too many people in the waiting room at the same time.
Our GPs have been seeing patients face to face throughout the entire pandemic where there is a clinical need, following a telephone call first to discuss what problems they are having. Our Nurses and Healthcare Assistants have also been seeing patients face to face.
‘Why can’t I get an appointment?’
We are experiencing the highest patient demand for appointments in history. Nationally, GPs saw a record breaking number of patients in April 2021. Demand on General Practice is estimated to be beyond 157%.
We are trying our best and trying to catch up with a backlog of patients who have not attended the practice for their annual checks for over 1 year now.
Thank you for your patience.
‘Why do I have to wait so long?’
Our staff have been involved in delivering the Covid vaccination programme to the vulnerable and elderly in Thornton Heath since January 2021. Almost 40,000 vaccinations have been given by our network of local GP practices. This has taken up huge amounts of time and effort.
This is all whilst maintaining normal patient services back at the practice. Hospitals have been discharging patients early due to the risk of infection, General Practice then needs to look after these patients. Hospitals also have longer waiting times now and so it is left to GPs to manage and treat patients at home while they wait months for appointments.
‘Why are you short of staff?’
Our staff are exhausted. We too have experienced staff illness and staff needing to isolate. They have endured the pandemic like yourself which involves high levels of stress about their families, children, illness and work.
Staff have received abuse and aggression from some patients. They have worked above and beyond their job descriptions, learning new ways of working with new technology and some have lost loved ones along the way.
We’d like to thank you for your understanding and compassion after the past year. We have no doubt that things will get back on track and our staff will continue to make headway into the backlog of problems patients have had. However, we cannot do this without your support and appreciation.
General Practice sees 90% of all NHS patients for 9% of the NHS budget.
Thank you for being kind to our staff.