Important changes to routine and non-urgent blood test appointments - as of 23rd August 2021
All GP practices are affected by the current national shortage of blood tubes and are taking urgent steps alongside our hospitals to prioritise their use for people with the greatest clinical need. This includes testing for serious conditions such as cancer.
We are following national guidance which has been issued in response to the shortage. As a result, we need to cancel and delay a number of patient appointments for blood tests deemed routine or non-urgent. If you have a routine blood test appointment the reception team at the surgery will be in touch directly if they need to cancel your appointment, this will be by phone or by text message.
Please be assured that appointments will be rescheduled once the situation has improved, and in line with national guidance. There are a few things you can do if you are affected by this change:
- Keep checking our website for regular updates – we will be sharing the latest patient information here as soon as we receive it.
- Check your phone for messages from us – we will also be using our patient text service to keep people informed.
- Please don’t call or contact us with questions about routine blood tests – we are experiencing exceptional levels of demand at the moment, and your cooperation will help us to reach those without smartphone or internet access with this critical information.
- Do get in touch online if your condition worsens or changes so that we can prioritise your blood test if necessary following clinical review
The changes are likely to be in place for at least four weeks. We will keep all our patients regularly updated as the national situation changes. We fully understand the frustration this is likely to cause, and apologise for the inconvenience.
Important news from NHS Kernow
All our health services are busy right now, especially our ambulance service and the emergency department team at Truro hospital.
You can play your part in supporting us to care for people with serious and life-threatening illnesses.
Did you know you know you can get help and advice by calling 111 or go online at 111.nhs.uk? You may not need to go and wait in our busy emergency department and could be directed to a minor injury unit which will be quicker and closer to home.
Only dial 999 for an ambulance in a genuine, life-threatening emergency, for example:
- Chest pain / breathing difficulties / heart attack
- Severe bleeding
- Severe allergic reactions
- Severe burns or scalds
- Serious head injuries
- Major trauma such as a road traffic accident or a fall from height
If you have called for an ambulance, please do not ring again asking for a time of arrival. Only call again if:
- The patient’s condition worsens
- You no longer need our help
The call handlers must prioritise speaking to the most seriously injured and unwell patients.
If you don’t think it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency:
- Call your own GP. Even if you are in Cornwall on holiday, you could get a phone or video consultation with your doctor at home.
- Go online at 111.nhs.uk or call 111 to get expert advice and be signposted to where you can get the best and nearest care for your needs.
- Ask a pharmacist for advice – they’re experts in treating minor health issues like colds, urinary infections, stomach upsets, aches and pains.
For further information please visit NHS Kernow CCG at https://www.kernowccg.nhs.uk/get-info/choose-well/
Thanks in advance for your assistance in this matter.
Practice News update
We have made some changes to the way we are running our surgeries, to try to keep everyone safe.
Please stay at home if you have either a high temperature and or a new, continuous cough. Do Not go to the GP Surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
Changes to our Appointments
If you call for an appointment, you will be asked a series of questions by our trained staff. Any information given will be in strict confidence, and is at the request of the clinicians. You will be asked if the problem is urgent for today or related to an ongoing or non urgent medical problem.
If you wish to speak to your usual GP regarding a follow up, ongoing issue or non-urgent medical problem, we will offer you their next available appointment slot. If you have a new and urgent problem, your name will be added to our Acute Team's triage list, along with the information given. Our Acute Team of clinicians review this list, and you should be contacted on the day and given an appointment with the appropriate clinician or health professional.
If you would prefer not to call us, you can alternatively use our eConsult service by clicking on the eConsult blue banner directly below, where it says Get Started. This service allows you to seek health advice, submit your symptoms or requests electronically to the practice, as well as offering around the clock NHS self-help information, signposting to services and a symptom checker.
If you are visiting Cornwall, and not registered with us, we ask that you contact your own GP or the 111 service.
The doctors like to look after their own patients whenever possible but you may make an appointment with any of them. If appropriate, an appointment can be made with one of our practice nurses.
If you are invited to the surgery for an appointment we ask that you wear a face covering where possible, or a visor if not.
Routine or pre-booked appointments
We are managing many of our routine appointments remotely, and will be bringing in patients to the surgery where appropriate.
If you are visiting Cornwall and are not registered with us
Please contact your own GP or the 111 service for advice.
When visiting the Practice
Please avoid visiting the practice unless you have an appointment booked.
On arrival for your appointment please let us know you are here via the intercom.
When you waiting for a clinician to come and let you in please keep a distance of 1 metre (3ft)between yourself and others.
Please can we ask you to wear a face covering when visiting the surgeries, to keep you and our practice staff safe.
When you come to collect prescriptions, please keep a distance of at least 1 metre (3ft) between yourself and others.
(At St Columb Major please queue at the window on the left hand side of the building, following the signs for the dispensary.)
Our Dispensary hours have changed.
At St Columb Major and Padstow we will be open for prescription collections from:
10.00am – 1.00pm
3.00pm – 5.30pm
At St Columb Road we will be open for prescription collections from:
10.00am – 1.00pm
3.00pm – 5.00pm
Note: this is subject to change at short notice, please check here or our web page for further updates.
Self-Isolating and Prescriptions
A friend or neighbour can collect your prescription on your behalf.
Online Isolation notes for those self-isolating due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, can be accessed through the https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/.