Last Updated: 01.09.20 This page aims to keep patients informed with regards to coronavirus and how it will affect Cheddar Medical Centre. The situation is constantly changing at the moment so for up to date advice visit nhs.uk
What Should I do?
- Keep Yourself Informed
- Contain the Virus
- At Risk/"Shielded" patients
- What is home isn't safe?
- Social Distancing
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.
Contain the Virus
If you, or a member of your household, notice any 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)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
You must stay at home. You should arrange a coronavirus test and read the official NHS guidance on staying at home here. You can find full guidance on when to self isolate and how long to stay at home here.
At Risk/"shielding" Patients
You may have heard that letters are being sent to patients who are at high risk from coronavirus. Please be aware that these are being sent by NHS England, not by Cheddar Medical Centre.
The government has announced that shielding will be "paused" from the 1st August. If you have been advised to "shield" and 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.
If you are "at risk" and need help getting shopping, collecting prescriptions etc. local support is available from Cheddar Valley Support Group, Village Agents and from Somerset Council.
What if home isn't safe?
Unfortunately home is not a safe place for everyone. 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.
Remember that some people who catch coronavirus will have no symptoms at all and can infect lots of other people without knowing it. Even if you feel well it is essential to follow social distancing guidance.
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)
- Only using public transport if absolutely necessary
- Washing your hands regularly
- Wearing a face covering while out in public
What is Cheddar Medical Centre doing?
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 wear a face covering if visiting the practice in person. You can find a demonstration of how to make your own face covering here.
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.
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.
The main door to the building is locked. All visitors are required to answer some questions about their current health and have their temperature checked before they are allowed to come in. This is to protect staff and 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 we deal with your query. Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus will be told to return home and self-isolate immediately.
For the foreseeable future the majority of GP appointments will be conducted over the telephone. 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.
Appointments with nurses 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 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.
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.
Prescription Request Form
Temporary Registration Form
SMS Messaging Service - Consent Form