Please see Gary Whiting’s response to an email sent on behalf of the Rockland St Mary Parish Council regarding the opening of Rockland Surgery.
Reproduced by kind permission of Monica Armstrong.
“With regard the re-opening of our Rockland St Mary Surgery, we are being led in some respects by Government policy around patients that are shielding. As you may be are aware, shielding patients are the group of people which have been identified as those at most risk if they catch the virus. Unlike the rest of the public who are adhering to social distancing guidance, shielding patients are those who have been asked to isolate through to 30th June (3 months in total). We are required to offer a location to support these patients if there are ongoing health issues and we are using the Rockland St Mary Surgery to see these patients on a purely invited basis (one in one out, with total decontamination between each). This will help keep these patients safe.
Originally our decision to close Rockland St Mary was to manage resources and our Covid response at one location when we ourselves had staff unwell and in isolation. Temporary closure of the Rockland St Mary Surgery was not an easy one to make. Shortly after this, with a shielding list of over 500 patients across our whole Practice area, we created the ‘shielding clinic’ at Rockland St Mary.
The date of the next review considering the next steps for shielding patients is 30th June and so the earliest date of re-opening Rockland St Mary to the wider public would be 1st July. This is in no way confirmed.
The whole team understand the challenge of the branch surgery being closed, but it has enabled us to maintain full medical services to the most vulnerable and at risk patients in a safe environment.
You ask specifically about the options for patients ……… who need to contact a doctor. This is still an option and many have indeed been in touch. We are still responding to all contacts initially by telephone, video or online consultation, followed by an invitation to visit the surgery in Poringland if necessary. As part of the discussion about the face to face appointment, we would discuss the ability to get to Poringland.
If there is a need to be seen and there are no transport options, we would consider seeing them at the end of a shielding clinic at Rockland St Mary Surgery or visiting them at home in full protective equipment.
No one should feel unable to contact the surgery for support at this time with any of their new or ongoing medical needs.”