A message to patients of The Apples and The Grove Medical Centres and Yetminster Health Centre.
Video Consultations Using accuRx
In light of recent events, Sherborne Area Network (The Apples and The Grove Medical Centres and Yetminster Health Centre), have decided to adopt virtual consultation software in order to minimise contact between patients and clinicians, without compromising on the quality of care given.
They are using a solution called accuRx which is approved by the NHS and is currently in use across many GP surgeries. It removes the need for you to visit the medical centre, yet still enables an ongoing clinical dialogue.
This guide shows you how to accept an accuRx video call from your GP using a mobile phone.
It's completely free to use.
What do I need for it to work?
A smartphone, either with working Wifi/3G/4G connection.
iPhones running older software that has not been updated (iOS 12 and earlier) will need to download the ‘Whereby’ app to join the consultation (you will not require to create a Whereby app account).
You will be sent a link via SMS which will take you both through to a video consultation on your phones.
The link is valid for 24 hours.
Is it recorded?
No. The video and audio communication is only visible to participants on the call and is not recorded or stored in any form.
How do I give my consent to use accuRx for a consultation?
As a patient you agree to take part in the process by clicking on the link to the video consultation. You can dissent at any point by either not clicking on the link to the video consultation or leaving the video consultation.
What are the advantages of video consultations?
Consultations may take place when patients are in self isolation.
Remote consultation significantly lowers the risk of infection to healthcare professionals and administrative staff. Lowers the risk of infection to the rest of the population as infected patients are not travelling or in waiting rooms.
Remember your consultation is private between yourself and your GP. Please ensure that you are in a private, well-lit area where you will not be disturbed during the consultation.
The AccuRx SMS text system secure link has many other facilities to help your GP understand your condition.
You may receive a message asking you to send a photograph of a skin condition.
Your GP may send you a message containing an update following your consultation.
You may be requested to provide additional information on your condition prior to your actual GP consultation.
Minor injuries services in Dorset are being reorganised
To make best use of NHS resources, and ensure robust and reliable services, temporary changes are being made to Dorset’s Minor Injuries Units (MIUs).
Dorset HealthCare recently switched its MIU services to provide telephone support and offer face-to-face appointments only where strictly necessary, to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Since then, we have been able to support the vast majority of people remotely without the need for on-site appointments.
To ensure we are able to continue offering this service to the people of Dorset, the MIUs in Blandford, Portland and Sherborne will no longer be able to see people on site from Monday (6 April).
Instead, staff from these units will help support the MIUs at Shaftesbury and Wimborne hospitals, as well as the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) based at Weymouth Hospital. This will allow us to maintain a number of MIUs across the county, with Shaftesbury and Wimborne extending their opening hours, and to provide a more consistent and reliable service.
MIUs at Bridport and Swanage hospitals will continue running as normal under the current service, providing appointments by telephone only.
If you have an ailment or injury which requires urgent care, please call NHS 111 or 01305 762541 and you will be given advice or – if necessary – booked in for a face-to-face appointment at the appropriate site.
Alternatively, you can call your nearest MIU/UTC direct on:
- Bridport – 01308 426245
- Shaftesbury – 01747 851535
- Swanage – 01929 475 009
- Weymouth – 01305 762541
- Wimborne – 01202 856436.
Phone NHS 111 if you’re not sure what support you need, or call 999 for anything life threatening as normal.
Helen Persey, the Trust’s Acting Service Director for Integrated Community Services, said:
“This is just a temporary change, but an essential one. It will help us manage the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, while still providing a spread of MIU services across the county.
“We are grateful for all the support shown to our staff and the NHS during this time.”
Full details of Dorset’s MIUs and Weymouth’s UTC, plus its Emergency Departments, are available at here.
Changes to NHS services in Dorset to help manage COVID-19
NHS services in Dorset are gearing up for changes help minimise the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and deal with any upturn in patient numbers caused by the outbreak.
This will involve reducing or closing some non-essential services to protect the most essential services and, ultimately, save lives. The NHS regularly plans for such events, so its staff are prepared and have a clear understanding of what will work best.
Dr Steve Tomkins, Medical Director for Dorset HealthCare, said: “We will be looking at providing services in different ways to meet the needs of patients, families and communities.
“Some of our staff will be re-deployed from their usual services to areas where their expertise is most needed, and we are working with teams across Dorset’s NHS system to manage any impact this may have on patients.”
From now on, people won’t be able to turn up at a GP surgery, minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre without an appointment.
Weymouth’s Urgent Treatment Centre and Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) at Blandford, Bridport, Portland, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Swanage and Wimborne hospitals are still running, but by appointment only.
You can no longer walk into these services. If you have an ailment or injury which requires urgent care, please call your local MIU or 01305 762541 and you will be given advice or booked in for a face-to-face appointment at the appropriate site.
If you need GP services, please refer to your practice website for information on how to access GP care. If you do not have online access, please phone your GP instead. The clinical staff in your GP surgery will speak to you on the phone to assess your medical need and how to manage it.
This use of telephone triage will keep both the public and our staff safe. However, rest assured that if you need to be seen, you will be seen.
Practices will be increasingly working together over the coming weeks to support patients.
Emergency departments are still open 24/7 for serious conditions and injuries. Phone NHS 111 if you’re not sure what support you need, or call 999 for anything life threatening as normal.
If you think you have symptoms of coronavirus go to nhs.uk/coronavirus to find out what to do. Staying at home, washing hands as directed for 20 seconds regularly, and observing the latest government guidelines will help keep you and NHS staff safe.
Hospitals have also suspended all non-urgent elective operations for at least three months and there are new restrictions on visiting patients. Check the hospital websites for the latest information.
Dr Tomkins added:
“We know many people will be unsettled and concerned by changes to NHS services, and fully understand that. However, these changes are absolutely necessary to ensure we can effectively manage the current outbreak, keep people safe and, ultimately, save lives.
“We will be contacting people about cancelled operations and appointments, and anyone else directly affected, as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, please remember that our staff are extremely busy at present dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and that you should call upon NHS services only when absolutely necessary. This will help us to help you.
“We thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this challenging time for everyone.”
For regular updates about hospital and community services in Dorset, go to the following websites:
Dorset County Hospital: www.dchft.nhs.uk
Dorset HealthCare: www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/
Poole Hospital: www.poole.nhs.uk/
Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals: www.rbch.nhs.uk/
A Message from The Apples Medical Centre, Sherborne
CORONAVIRUS INFORMATIONUPDATE 23rd MARCH 2020
When collecting your prescription please use your own pen to sign
Please leave at least 2 clear working days to collect
If you have consented to SMS messages, if possible, the Dispensary will text you to inform you that your prescription is ready to collect
We have now been given the list of the most vulnerable patients who will be receiving the letter from the NHS this coming week regarding staying indoors and fully isolating. This is 88 patients out of the 5640 we look after. We understand this is a worrying time for everybody, but PLEASE would you refrain from phoning the surgery to ask if you are on the list. It means that those needing medical attention will struggle to get through. The 88 will be contacted. If you believe you fit the criteria in the link below and haven’t received a letter by 29th March, then please contact us.
For details of the shielding policy including who is in this cohort of patients, please look here:
CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION UPDATE 18th MARCH
When you attend the surgery please ring the doorbell and a member of staff will open the door and ask to take your temperature.
If you have an appointment you will be asked to wait in the car (if you drove to the surgery) or if not, then to wait on the bench in the porch and the clinician will then come and get you.
We have decided to take this approach to try to limit our footfall and the number of patients in the surgery, our aim is to keep everyone as safe as possible from the risk of Coronavirus.
Government guidance has now changed, anyone with a new persistent cough and or a high temperature (37.8 degrees centigrade or higher) should self-isolate for 7 or 14 days from the onset of symptoms.
You no longer need to contact NHS 111 unless your symptoms deteriorate. (https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19)
If you have a non-urgent query please consider using our e-Consult method via our website www.sherborneapples.co.uk
This can be used to upload pictures of rashes etc.
We will be concentrating on the most important types of care. This means we may not be able to do all usual non-essential work such as Ear Syringing, Minor Operations and non-essential bloods tests.
Routine Asthma, Diabetes and COPD reviews will be conducted over the telephone with a clinician where possible.
These changes are intended to reduce the spread of Coronavirus infection and help us deliver the most essential health care over the coming months.
Please pass on to your friends and family who are not on social media.
A Message from The Grove Medical Centre, Sherborne
Electronic Repeat Dispensing:
Electronic repeat dispensing (E-RD) means that you don’t need to request your medication every month, and the GP doesn’t need to authorise a prescription every month and send it to the pharmacy. They can send up to a years’ worth (at GP discretion) in one go so the pharmacy can get it ready every 28 days for you. We are trying to set this up where possible for patients, but please remember it is not something we can do for everybody due to the complexity of their medical needs, or controlled drugs for example.
An example of where we can use repeat dispensing. Patient is on Levothyroxine, has annual blood tests. Bloods come back normal, GP authorises prescriptions for the next year when bloods are due to be re tested. GP then sends E-RD prescription to nominated pharmacy for the whole year. The patient can change pharmacy during the year if they wish to by logging onto the NHS app or speaking to a new pharmacy.
For dispensing patients, for whom E-RD isn’t available (NHS and system suppliers working on it), we do offer a managed repeat service where you place your order for next month when you collect your medication. This reduces the number of calls and online requests to the surgery and helps us manage our workload more efficiently.
Our dispensary team, along with local pharmacies are currently inundated with medication requests. We now require 3 working days between the time you order your medication and the time in which it will be ready for collection. Please do NOT turn up before this time period unless your need is urgent (in which case please notify the dispenser when ordering).
Over the coming weeks we are expecting to have less staff in the building at any one time as we must protect our staff and patients in line with the Government advice, and we also predict staff to be self isolating at times. This may mean that telephone wait times are a little longer than usual. We trust you will be understanding of this. We are still here to help you when you need us, we just ask for your patience. Thank you.