Welcome to Southwell Medical Centre
Please note: Due to the current circumstances we will be opening on Good Friday and Easter Monday. However we will be closed on Easter Saturday.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do
Stay at home
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Advice for people with severe health conditions
This week NHS services will be contacting people with a range of severe health conditions urging them to self-isolate for 12 weeks. We have also contacted all local patients with a generic message following the prime ministers advice yesterday (23 March). Please don’t panic if you have received the text and don’t have a severe health condition. Health advice will be confirmed by letter to those identified this week. There is no need to contact your GP about the message.
Visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for Full guidance on staying at home and away from others
A message to all our patients (23.3.2020)
We wanted to update our website to tell you about some of the changes that have been put in place since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We also want to share some advice and resources that you may find helpful. As we are sure you appreciate, this is a rapidly changing situation and whilst we endeavour to keep this site under review, we cannot guarantee that any web links will always be up to date. If new government announcements are made, please follow that advice as it emerges.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation during these unprecedented times.
The Southwell Medical Centre Team.
Is the surgery open?
Yes! We are open and we have been working really hard to make sure that we have everything in place to be able to continue to give you high quality medical care both now and if the situation with COVID-19 escalates over the coming weeks.
However! We are not operating in the usual way, so PLEASE DO NOT WALK INTO THE SURGERY TO ASK FOR APPOINTMENTS AS WE ARE ONLY MAKING APPOINTMENTS OVER THE PHONE. Please see the information below that outlines the reasons why we have changed our systems and how they operate.
We would like to reassure you that in the currently unlikely event that the surgery would need to close at any point in the future (for example due to staff shortages), we work closely with a number of neighbouring practices and together we will continue to provide medical care for you and your families.
How should I access healthcare?
If you have a new continuous cough and/or high temperature (37.8 degrees or above) then you advised to self-isolate at home. YOU SHOULD NOT GO TO A GP, PHARMACY OR HOSPITAL. You should only call 999 if you are seriously unwell and feel it is a medical emergency.
The following NHS website is regularly updated with the latest advice:
It also provides information about self-isolation, including practical advice and recommendations about how long this should last.
If you need to seek medical advice initially then please use 111 online:
If you have any other medical related problem that requires advice please consider approaching this in the usual way whilst remembering social distancing measures:
Seek advice online from 111 https://111.nhs.uk
Phone pharmacy if appropriate
Phone GP surgery if required
Please use all services responsibly and appropriately
Can I get a test for COVID-19 (coronavirus) at the surgery?
No. Testing is not currently available in the community other than in very specific circumstances (and this service is not run by GP surgeries).
How do I contact the surgery and how will the surgery contact me?
The surgery has temporarily suspended all pre-booked appointments and online bookings. We have moved to a fully telephoned triaged system. This means that if you wish to make an appointment you will need to telephone a member of staff first. Please do not come into the surgery to make an appointment..
If the surgery needs to contact you, it is likely that we will use our text messaging service more frequently over the coming weeks, as this is an instant way to keep in touch with you. If we telephone you from the surgery it may appear as an unknown number on your phone, so please ensure that if you are expecting a call back you answer.
Why has the surgery changed the appointment system and access?
You will have heard of the need for everyone to be socially distancing themselves from others and this advice is especially important in doctors’ surgeries. With COVID-19 now circulating in the community, patients coming to the surgery have the potential to spread the virus to staff who can then go on to infect others, some of whom will be very vulnerable to infections. In addition, we could very quickly see large numbers of staff self-isolating leading to real gaps in service provision. We hope you can, therefore, understand why we don’t want you coming to the surgery unless it is absolutely necessary, however if you do need to visit us we will make it as safe as possible for you to do so.
We will try to deal with as many queries as possible over the phone or in some cases, via video consultation. You will be advised of the process for this if required. Some routine work, such as chronic disease reviews, may need to be postponed, but some of our usual work will continue. We are looking to do this without you needing to come into the surgery wherever practical. A good example of this would be ordering repeat prescriptions, please see below for more details.
Of course, some patients may have to come to the surgery during the next few weeks, either for routine care which cannot be postponed, for example childhood immunisations and others will need to be seen with more urgent illnesses. We have processes already in place to ensure that our staff knows who does need to be seen and what work can be deferred. These decisions have been made by doctors, nurses and other members of our clinical team, so please do not hold the reception staff accountable for this.
What will happen if I do need to come to the surgery and why?
If you do need to come to the surgery we have systems in place to prioritise your safety and the safety of our staff. Firstly, we aim to keep anyone who has any possible symptoms or signs of any general infection away from others and therefore we have a special appointment system in place for these patients. They should not be sitting in the general waiting areas.
We also want to ensure that we enable other patients to follow social distancing guidelines even within the surgery. For that reason we ask that you aim to keep 2 metres distance from others in the waiting room wherever practical. This is particularly important for those in the ‘at risk’ groups and they will be given additional advice accordingly. We have a special appointment system to protect these potentially vulnerable patients as much as possible.
As you might imagine, these processes are evolving all the time, so please listen carefully to the instructions you are given by a member of staff if you are given an appointment.
Our staff may need to wear protective equipment during the consultation, such as gloves, a gown and a facemask. Please do not be alarmed by this. If bringing a child it may be helpful to warn them of this in advance.
Please do not approach reception unless absolutely necessary. On arrival please use wash your hands or use the hand gel available.
Repeat Medication requests
How to order:
If you already order your prescriptions online then please continue to do so in the usual way. If you do not already use electronic prescribing it is quick and easy to set up via the following link https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/the-nhs-app/ If you are unsure how to do this then please ask a relative to do this for you. This is the safest and most efficient way to get your prescriptions to you.
If this is not possible then please contact the surgery, after 10am, for further advice.
Please allow 3 working days for us to process your prescription requests at this time.
What to order:
Please be aware that the current medical advice for those people with any long-term conditions is to continue taking your usual prescribed medication unless advised to stop by a health professional. In line with government guidelines, we respectfully ask that you DO NOT REQUEST EXTRA QUANTITIES OF YOUR MEDICATION at this time. We will continue to process prescriptions promptly.
Request for medical certificates
There have been some recent changes to the medical certificate and benefits systems to ease pressures for both users and service providers during these busy times. Please see link to latest government advice regarding current guidance for all claimants during COVID-19 outbreak:
Remember that you can always self-certify for up to 7 days for any reason.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, 111 are providing an easy online service to obtain certificates for if you are isolating relating to either personal illness from coronavirus or following advice to protect others. The online certificates can be issued for longer than 7 days. Please note that we have been advised that self-isolation is regarded as illness for employment purposes. This service has been created to avoid unnecessary administrative work for surgeries during this extremely busy period and therefore this will be the only way to obtain certification for isolation at the present time.
If you need a medical certificate for any other reason (beyond 7 days duration) then you will need to telephone the surgery, after 10am, to request it. It is likely that you will be emailed the certificate, so please have your email address to hand.
Request for non-NHS work for example insurance reports
We will be very unlikely to be able to process these types of requests at this time due to volume of workload and prioritising patient care. This is the position we have been advised to take by local bodies. Please consider whether this request can be postponed if at all possible.
Working together to provide high quality medical care
We want you to know that we are here for you. We know that if we all work together as a team of patients and staff then we will be able to continue to look after you to the best of our ability.
Please update us with your mobile number and consent to receive SMS messages if you wish to receive text messages from us.
Self-Referral For Physiotherapy
You can now self-refer for physiotherapy WITHOUT SEEING A DOCTOR.
Have a look at the poster below and then complete the form. This can be returned directly to the Physio team by
email, post or via the surgery - there are even physio sessions at the practice.
Physiotherapy self-referral poster
Physiotherapy self-referral form
The doctors and staff seek to provide the highest level of care for all patients and also wish to develop, through Southwell Patient Participation Group (SPPG),
a partnership between our patients and the professionals involved in your care.
As a Training Practice we often have trainee GPs working with us. They are fully qualified Drs who is now training with us to specialise as a GP.
Our current trainees are Dr M Seth and Dr J Mabbott.
All our patients have a named allocated GP (known as "usual GP" here at SMC).
You can ask any member of staff if you want the name of your allocated GP.
In order to maintain the highest possible standards of medicines safety, we require at least 2 full working days to fulfil any requests for repeat medication.
We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause, but hope that patients will understand that the longer time is needed to ensure patient safety at all times.
Please be aware that ALL telephone calls IN and OUT of this practice are now recorded for patient and staff safety.
Recordings are securely stored for 5 (five) years.
Are you interested in the GP patient survey?
Find out more by clicking the patient survey icon below.
(Site updated 02/04/2020)