Temporary removal of routine D4 medical for renewal of HGV licences
The government has announced a temporary relaxation of the requirement for bus and lorry drivers to provide a doctor’s medical report in order to renew their licence. Under the scheme, drivers will be able to receive a temporary 1-year licence, providing they do not have any medical conditions that affect their driving and their current licence expires in 2020. This will help to reduce workload for doctors whilst ensuring that drivers can still have licences renewed.
Drivers with health issues will still need to declare these, and those with health issues that prevent them from driving safely will not have their licence renewed. This temporary change will only apply to those drivers whose licences are due to expire or have expired since 1 January 2020 and not for those making their first application for a Group 2 bus or lorry licence.
Online Counseling - Children and young people.
Children and young continue to receive emotional and mental health support via online platforms and telephone support. Kooth https://www.kooth.com/ provides a range of mental health support for children and young people on weekdays 12pm – 10pm and on weekends 6pm- 10pm for ages 11 to 18.
A new course 'Coping during the pandemic' is now available from our Recovery College Online. The course includes information on preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), advice on managing your concerns and supporting your wellbeing and advice on supporting children and young people. This course is completely free to access via the link below:
Please note the practice will be open on Good Friday and
Easter Monday from 08:00 - 17:00.
Coronavirus support in County Durham
Information for those needing help and support:
A list of local support groups and organisations to provide assistance can be found below:
www.durhamlocate.org.uk – click on coronavirus section
If you don’t have anyone to pick up medication, please contact your pharmacy.
If you are unable to access support for help with essentials such as food supplies or need someone to listen to and support you, contact Durham County Council:
- Email email@example.com
- Fill in the covid 19 Help form at www.durham.gov.uk/covid19help
- Call 03000 260 260
Coronavirus- can you help?
Local voluntary groups, businesses or other agencies offering help in the community are asked to join the community hub by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/covid19volunteer or call 03000 260 260.
Individuals who are interested in volunteering to help those confined to their home can:
- Find local support groups on www.durhamlocate.org.uk
- Register as a volunteer with Durham County Council at www.durham.gov.uk/covid19volunteer
-Register as an NHS Volunteer Responder at www.goodsamapp.org/NHSvolunteerresponders
As a temporary measure in response to COVID we are looking to reduce the footfall into the surgery where it can be done another way. So we are opening up our phone lines to requests from 12:30 to 2pm Monday to Friday – 01207 585890. This will be for routine requests only and will be processed within 2 working days.
Online access can be obtained for patients without needing to attend the surgery with ID so please contact us to arrange this.
If you are absolutely unable to order your medication by either of the above methods then a paper request can be posted into the letterbox located by the front gates.
Urgent requests are only for specific items where you have less than 2 days’ supply and MUST be handed in to reception. They will only be processed that day if given to us before 12pm. If you have lost your medication and it is a controlled drug we will only accept this request if it is accompanied by a crime reference number.
Only the following medications are allowed to be requested urgently other requests must be made using the usual methods
Antibiotics where patient is on long term use
Beta blockers e.g. bisoprolol, propranolol, nebivol, metoprolol etc.
Diabetic medication and testing equipment
Reliever inhaler e.g. salbutamol/terbutaline
Steroids where patient is on long term use
Hospital medication that has been requested to be prescribed by the GP are in the majority non urgent and please book in for a call with our practice pharmacist to arrange. If you feel they are urgent then please contact the hospital clinician to obtain an initial supply.
Temporary change in opening hours
As of today (27/03/2020) we are no longer providing extended hours appointments at our surgery on Tuesday and Thursday. Our new opening hours are Monday-Friday 8am-5pm until further notice.
As a practice we now have the ability to use video consultations. Some patients will be offered this after speaking to a clinician over the telephone if the clinician feels this would be suitable. All you need to access a video consultation is a device for making video calls (such as a smartphone) and an internet connection.
Video consultations allow us to assess patients at home without the need to bring them into the surgery. This is particularly helpful due to the current Covid-19 outbreak and will reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to both patients and staff at the practice
Practice Facebook Page
The practice has created a new Facebook page with information and updated news for patients. Please follow the link: https://www.facebook.com/queensroadsurgeryQRS/
Given the current pandemic, please respect the need for NHS services to remain as safe as possible. Please be aware that we are extremely busy. Please do not enter the GP surgery unless you have already arranged an appointment with a doctor or nurse. If you need to drop off a prescription, please do so in the box provided outside the building without entering the premises. You must attend the surgery alone unless you have a carer.
If you or someone you live with have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough or a high temperature, stay at home for 7 days. Do not book a GP appointment, call your GP or attend your GP practice. If you live with other people, they should also stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.
If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do. Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or cannot go online. For the latest COVID-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
What should I do if I have symptoms of a cough or fever?
If you have a cough or fever, do not visit your GP surgery or book an appointment. There is no need to call the surgery. You should self-isolate for seven days. Anyone you live with should self-isolate for 14 days.
Can I still attend the GP surgery for my appointment?
We are trying to keep appointments for priority patients at this time. We are also trying to reduce the number of patients in the practice at any one time to reduce the risk to patients and staff. Please help us to do this.
You can book an appointment directly with the practice for some things that should not be postponed. Please do this by phone or on line if you would like a telephone appointment.
If you feel you need to see a GP, we shall arrange a telephone consultation, and if the GP feels that they need to see you they can arrange to do this.
Please follow self -isolation advice if you are over 70 or received a high risk patient letter and do not come to the surgery.
If you have a hospital appointment please contact your specialist’s secretary or hospital (the phone number will be on the letter with the appointment).
Can I still drop off my prescription at the surgery?
If you have a prescription to drop off at the surgery, there is a box on the outside of the building for you to use. Please do not enter the building. You are also able to order prescriptions online.
Should I still attend for my annual health check?
If you have an annual health check for a long-term condition, our nursing team will contact you to update you regarding this. Some patients may not need to come into the surgery for their health check. If you are over 70, you should not attend your annual health check to reduce your risk of infection.
If your annual health check is cancelled, you will be added to a waiting list and once the operation of the surgery returns to normal, you will be asked to attend your health check.
How dangerous is coronavirus for people who have asthma?
The government says people with asthma may be more vulnerable to the coronavirus. That’s because when people with asthma get respiratory infections, such as coronavirus, it can set off their asthma symptoms.
If you have severe asthma, you may have received a letter asking you to stay at home for 12 weeks. Please adhere to this advice for your own safety.
We are aware that there has been a information circulating online regarding special ‘rescue packs’ for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma. This is false information. Please do not contact your GP practice for a rescue pack, as we are not able to provide these. You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 before doing anything else.
Should I be going into work?
Please work from home where possible. If you are unable to work from home, go to work unless you or someone you live with have symptoms of a cough or a fever. You should also stay at home if you have received a letter from the NHS asking you to stay at home for 12 weeks. Please contact your employer for advice on this matter, rather than contacting your GP surgery.
You can self certify your illness for the first 7 days. If you are advised to self isolate for 14 days we expect your employer to be sympathetic. You may also be able contact NHS 111 to obtain an e-mail confirmation of Coronavirus diagnosis to show your employer if needed.
Will I receive a letter telling me I am high risk and need to self-isolate for 12 weeks?
NHS England (not the GP surgery) is sending out letters to patients that are high risk. This is for a small number of patients ( 1.3%) so you are unlikely to receive this letter. The GP surgery is checking the list from NHS England and making sure none of the high risk practice patients have been missed.
Should I order extra medication?
You should order your medication as normal, which is every 2 months. If you are on medication that needs monitoring , the pharmacy team will be looking to check if your monitoring tests have been stable in the past. If you do need monitoring the practice will be in touch.
Please order your prescriptions on line whenever possible to free up telephone lines for staff to speak to patients.
Our highest priority at Queens Road Surgery is our patients health and well-being. To protect other patients and our staff, so we are able to continue working during the coronavirus pandemic. We have been advised to make changes to our appointments system:
Anyone with a fever OR new continuous cough (even if mild) in the past 7 days, OR a household contact with new continuous cough or fever in the past 14 days must NOT attend the surgery unless advised otherwise by the practice. If you have symptoms and they are mild then stay home and follow NHS online guidance. Anyone with cough or fever who is unwell please contact nhs.11.uk or 111 by phone. We are trying to provide as much care as possible remotely through e-consultations, telephone, video, and text messaging. All patients who need to be seen in the surgery will be screened by telephone or text beforehand or as you enter the building Please avoid attending the surgery in person unless you have been asked to attend. Prescriptions can be requested online or via our email address firstname.lastname@example.org
This a difficult and worrying time for us all and we are constantly updating our procedures in line with national recommendations. We appreciate your patience at this difficult time.
Thank you for your support and understanding
Dr English & all the staff at Queens Road Surgery
*Important Information* COVID19
Any patient with a chronic illness who would normally attend the surgery for an annual review appointment please be aware that these appointments will now become phone consultations. Your nurse will contact you on the date and time that would have been allocated for your appointment. Please do not attend the surgery.
Changes to our computer system
We are changing our computer system at the end of May, which will be of benefit to both you the patients and us the staff.
In the weeks leading up to this and during the changeover period there may be some minor disruptions but we will try and keep these to a minimum and there should be no impact to the care given to you by the practice.
Online access will be limited during this period. We are in the process of issuing new login details. If you need this urgently please contact reception.
We will keep you updated as necessary and thank you for your patience over this time.
GP and Nurse appointments on evenings and weekends
GPs in Derwentside, Chester-le-Street and central Durham are working together to offer extra GP appointments from 6.30pm on weekday evenings as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Just call your surgery to book any available evening and weekend GP appointments. These appointments are held at Queens Road Surgery and Tanfield View Surgery. To book an 'Extended hours' appointment please contact the surgery Monday-Friday 08.00-4.00. When the surgery is closed, please call 111 to access these clinics.
If you need to cancel your extended hours appointment (at either Queens Road Surgery or Tanfield View Surgery) please call the surgery you are registered with during normal working hours. Outside of normal working hours please call 07581 214299
Friends and Family test
Have your say on how to improve your healthcare by completing the Friends and Family test.
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
As from 25th May 2018, the new GDPR becomes law. For more information please see the page "GDPR - your data, privacy and the law"
Queens Road Surgery car park
Due to increased abuse of the car parking facilities at the main surgery, the Practice has implemented car parking control measures to ensure that our patients can get to their appointments on time, and not be inconvenienced by drivers using the car park whilst they go to the Hospital. We have decide to use this system after exploring a number of other options.
There are signs informing everyone entering the car park that they must obtain a permit from the surgery. As a reminder there are signs throughout the building informing you of this.
When you visit the surgery please enter your registration number into one of the four panels situated around the building, regardless of the reason for attending.
The panels are located next to main reception, within Low's Pharmacy, the top of the main staircase, and in waiting room 6.
Please ensure that every time you visit you do the same.
The Practice does not make any money from any car park charges, we have been forced into this decision to ensure that patients can attend the surgery.
Evening Surgeries - Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5 pm until 7.30 pm
As part of our ongoing commitment to our patients to offer appointments that fit in with their lifestyle, we offer evening appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 5 pm and 7.30 pm, with Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Practice Nurses and Health Care Assistants. These appointments may be booked in advance.
How to book an appointment at the Surgery
TRIAGE will be open daily from 8am-12.30pm ONLY. This service gives direct access to a nurse practitioner or GP who can usually offer same day advice or appointments.
As always, emergencies will be dealt with at any time. Requests for home visits need to be made by 10.00am.
Appointments can now be booked in advance. Please help us by allowing the receptionist to ask questions about the nature of your appointment where appropriate. This helps us give you the right kind of appointment with the right person. Please think carefully whether you need to come into the surgery, or whether your problem can be dealt with on the telephone. Telephone appointments are 5 minutes, face-to-face appointments are 10 minutes. Complex or multiple problems need longer appointments - please discuss with reception.
The telephones are closed between 12.30-1.00 pm, although the answer machine gives details of the practice mobile for emergencies not requiring 999 over this 30 minute period.
The triage service is not for lost/forgotten prescriptions - they can be ordered by fax, online or in writing. Any urgent requests can be discussed with your usual dispensing pharmacist who may be able to offer an emergency supply if the surgery is closed, or with our prescription staff.
Results - the practice policy means that we will contact you if there is a problem or repeat test needed. We do not usually ask you to ring for result unless there is a specific reason. Ringing the duty doctor on triage for results ordered by another doctor is causing delays to the triage service and duplicating work within the practice.
Medical Students at Queens Road Surgery
Medical students from Newcastle University are often attached to this surgery - 3rd year students and final year students. If you would like to volunteer to be a 'practice' patient for the medical students, please leave your name at reception. This tends to take 30mins and is on a Wednesday morning. Everyone has to learn and in order to recruit good GPs for the future, it's time well spent! You may be asked to see a student at other times, especially a final year student, who is often shadowing various staff members but is also needing to experience independent (but supervised) practice.