This page aims to keep patients as informed as possible with regards to the current coronavirus outbreak and how it will affect patients at Cheddar Medical Centre. The situation changes incredibly quickly at the moment so anyone looking for up to date advice should visit nhs.uk
What Should I do?
- Keep Yourself Informed
- Contain the Virus
- What is home isn't safe?
What is Cheddar Medical Centre Doing?
- Admin - letters/referrals/prescriptions
- Access to the Surgery
- Contacting us
- Useful Documents
What Should I do?
Keep Yourself Informed
It is essential that you keep yourself up to date with current advice, you can find this on the nhs.uk website. You can also use this website to access the NHS 111 online service if you are concerned that you may be developing symptoms.
If you are Asthmatic you can find the Asthma UK Coronavirus advice here.
If you haven't already we would urge all patients to sign up for our SMS service. This is by far the fastest and easiest way for us to keep you up to date. You can find the form at the bottom of this page.
At Risk/"shielding" Patients
You may have heard that letters are being sent to patients who are particularly high risk from coronavirus. Please be aware that these are being sent by NHS England, not by Cheddar Medical Centre. We have been made aware that some patients still have not received their letters. We are now able to issue letters to some at risk patients so if you know you are "high risk" and are still waiting for a letter please inform us as soon as possible. You can also self-register as an "At Risk" patient here.
If you are "at risk" and need help getting shopping, collecting prescriptions etc. local support is available from Cheddar Valley Support Group and from Somerset Council.
If you have been advised to "shield" and now want to know whether it is safe for you to go outside or meet people please visit the government coronavirus website for the most up to date guidance.
What if home isn't safe?
Unfortunately home is not a safe place for everyone. We home that you will be able to speak to us if you need help but realise that it isn't always possible or safe for people to do so. If you are in immediate danger you should call 999.
For non-emergencies the following charities are available to support victims of domestic abuse: Somerset Survivors, Mankind (for men) and Refuge (for women and children). All of them protect visitors to their site by telling you how to clear your internet history and having "escape" buttons which redirect you to another website.
Contain the Virus
If you, or anyone in your house, displays either of these symptoms:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
You must not leave your house. Going outside will infect other people with the virus. You can (and should) read the official NHS guidance on staying at home here. Below is a useful guide to how long you should remain in isolation when you, or someone in your house, starts showing symptoms:
Remember that some people who catch coronavirus will have no symptoms at all and can infect lots of other people without ever knowing that they have caught it themselves. So even if you don't have any symptoms at all it is essential that you avoid any unnecessary travel or social contact. Just being outside is not enough to protect you - maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from others at all times.
While most cases of coronavirus are mild they can pose a serious threat to people who are already vulnerable or have underlying health conditions. You should protect these people by:
- Working from home (if possible)
- Avoiding large gatherings or social activities (such as going to cinemas, pubs, restaurants, theatres, parks etc)
- Only using public transport if absolutely necessary
- Washing your hands regularly
- Using tissues to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze (you should dispose of these tissues immediately after using them)
What is Cheddar Medical Centre doing?
Due to the coronavirus outbreak the NHS is under more pressure than ever before. Hospitals are reducing their workload as far as possible to prepare themselves for the expected number of coronavirus cases. In the interests of looking after our patients and staff at this difficult time we have also made several changes to the way we operate.
We are asking all patients to avoid coming to the surgery unless they have an appointment. If you normally collect your prescription from us please choose a pharmacy and we will send your prescription there. If you would normally submit a prescription request on paper you can post your request through the door, sending it to us via post or email it to us (request forms and email addresses can be found at the bottom of this page)
We are continuing to process letters, referrals etc. but please be prepared for a slightly longer wait than usual, especially if yours is a routine request. Letters and other documents which would normally be collected by the patient will be sent to them via post unless otherwise instructed.
We are not able to issue sick notes for people who are self-isolating due to coronavirus. However you can download and print a self-certification letter to give to your employer at the bottom of this page.
The usual rules regarding prescriptions still apply and we will continue to process your requests within the normal "3 working days" timeframe. Please do not order prescriptions early or order more than you need, doing so places additional pressure on pharmacies and may create shortages for people who have run out of their medication.
We will not issue prescriptions for paracetamol.
The main door to the building is locked. Anyone coming through the door is required to answer some questions about their current health and have their temperature checked before they are allowed to come in. This is to prevent people who may have already caught the virus from passing it on to staff and other patients.
If you have a pre-booked appointment and no symptoms of coronavirus you will be allowed into the building. Otherwise you will be asked to wait outside while reception deal with your query. Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus will be told to return home and self-isolate immediately.
As far as possible appointments with GPs will be converted to telephone appointments. Unless instructed to come to the practice you should assume that you will receive a phone call from a doctor at around the time of your appointment. Please make sure your phone is charged and within reach at this time.
We will not be carrying out home visits unless a doctor feels that it is safe and necessary to do so.
Some appointments such as blood tests cannot be replaced by telephone calls and patients will have to continue to come to the surgery. However these will be restricted to only things which are immediately necessary and you should notify us if you develop any symptoms ahead of your appointment.
Our phone lines are extremely busy at the moment. We are doing everything we can to keep answering calls and increase our telephone capacity however there are other ways to contact us.
Online: If you have signed up for online access you can request prescriptions here.
Post: Our postal address can be found at the top of our website. You can find useful forms below which can be printed and sent to us.
Prescription Request Form
Temporary Registration Form
SMS Messaging Service - Consent Form
12 Week Isolation Letter - generates a standard letter which you can give to employers if you have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
Self Isolation Note - you can use this link to generate a self-isolation note in the event that you (or someone in your household) develops symptoms of coronavirus.