Germ Defence is an evidence-based behaviour change website that provides advice on infection control at home. A clinical trial of 20,000 people during the time of the H1N1 pandemic and seasonal ‘flu (published in The Lancet) showed that using Germ Defence successfully reduced the number and severity of infections in the home, as well as the need for primary care consultations and antibiotics.
We are now examining whether the updated COVID-19 version of Germ Defence will be effective at reducing infections and GP consultations this Autumn/Winter. Half of practices in England are being asked to promote Germ Defence to their patients now and the other half after Christmas. We will then use anonymised national patient record data to assess the website’s effectiveness. Towcester Medical Centre (K83022) has been randomised to promote Germ Defence immediately.
SECOND LOCKDOWN – November 2020
As we go through the second lockdown – we, as a medical centre, are still open for telephone consultations and to see patients if necessary.
Nurse and blood test appointments are going ahead as normal.
Immunisations, wound dressings are going ahead as normal.
If you have an appointment booked in please attend wearing a face mask, practice the social distancing rules and follow the guidance. Please wear your face mask when you approach the window reception area and please do not be offended if we ask you to put a face mask on if you are not wearing one. The mask is to keep our staff and other patients safe and our staff wear a mask to keep you safe.
HAND SANITISE – HAND SANITISE – HAND SANITISE – HAND SANITISE
During Coronavirus outbreak – the following arrangements are in place to keep our patients and our staff as safe as possible during the pandemic.
Appointments will firstly be by telephone with the GP having some availability to arrange for patients to come down to the surgery if necessary. We will try to minimise footfall and deal with issues remotely if possible to try to protect patients and staff.
Most Nurse appointments will be by phone unless absolutely necessary, for example dressings, baby immunisations and some injections.
Influenza vaccine clinics are under way – only attend if you have made an appointment in the clinic. Please attend wearing a face mask and be prepared to wait in a queue outside.
Blood test appointments are going ahead at Towcester.
Please do not come to the surgery unless you have had a phone call first and only then if asked to attend the surgery by a clinician or arranged a necessary face to face appointment with the nurse.
We are working harder than ever to deliver high quality care in a safe way during the pandemic.
If you do have to attend:
- Come by car – aiming to arrive just in time for your appointment
- Wait in your car
- Ring 01327 359953 to advise reception you are there and provide the make and colour of your car
- Clinician will come to see you at your car and may only then take you into the surgery.
- If you have to walk, please do, again aiming to arrive just in time. Please come dressed for the weather and be prepared to wait outside.
SCHOOLS OPEN AGAIN
What should you look out for when considering whether to keep your child off school? This flowchart information may help:
Handwashing remains Critical.
Keep a safe distance from others.
Limit contact with other people.
For more ways to stay safe go to gov.uk/coronavirus
When visiting parks, please ensure you use the hand sanitiser available and in particular keep your children’s hands clean after using the play equipment. #NorthantsTogether
Help us to help you
Recovering from Coronavirus:
If you are recovering from Coronavirus you may find it difficult to come to terms with what the virus has done to your mind and body. For help recovering from Covid 19 follow this link: Your covid Recovery Support
If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste), isolate immediately and book a free coronavirus test by calling 119 or via nhs.uk/coronavirus. #NorthantsTogether
We wear face coverings to protect you – please wear yours to protect us
The latest news and posts:
We would like to thank all our patients for their support during the pandemic – thank you for adhering to the Government guidelines. Please continue to stay alert and control the virus as the lockdown eases slightly – help us beat this pandemic!
THE PRINCIPLE TRIAL
The Principle trial aims to find treatment for Covid 19 for older people. The study aims to identify medicines that can help people with Covid 19 symptoms get better quickly and stop them needing to go to hospital.
Principle is the first trial to test treatments for Covid 19 through GP practices. People with symptoms aged 50+ and with underlying health conditions are taking part. It’s supported by NIHR and UKRI. The following video explains a bit more…
NORTHAMPTON BOROUGH CASES INCREASE
Act Now – be safe:
Watch this video from Darin Seiger for information on staying safe in Northampton:
As the pandemic is easing slightly – we must all still be aware that Coronavirus has not yet gone away. Remain vigilant –
STAY ALERT > CONTROL THE VIRUS > SAVE LIVES.
TOWCESTER MEDICAL CENTRE APPOINTMENTS – Northampton Borough has recently had a spike in cases which has resulted in some further measures to try to control the virus. At the moment South Northamptonshire is staying below the recommended ‘R’ rate.
At Towcester Medical Centre we can now offer non-urgent telephone appointments. We still have our duty doctor available on a daily basis – but any non-urgent issues can be booked in a few days in advance. The initial consultation is still by telephone but the doctor has appointments that they can make if they feel that you need to be seen.
We are trying to minimise contact as much as possible to protect our staff and our patients. Therefore you may find that when you have an appointment, any reviews or measurements such as blood pressure, BMI etc may be done at the same time to minimise the number of times a patient has to visit the surgery. We hope you bear with us.
We are currently still advising patients to wait outside, alert Reception to the fact you have arrived and then wait in your car or outside until you are called by Reception or clinician to come in. Again this is to protect both our staff and our patients as far as possible.
TOWCESTER MEDICAL CENTRE – IN LOCKDOWN – BUT STILL OPEN FOR (SOME) BUSINESS! For those of you who have received an invitation to book a cervical smear test – please contact us on 01327 359953 in order to book an appointment – you will be asked to provide answers to some questions prior to the appointment and please bring and wear your own mask to your appointment.
DO NOT COME TO THE SURGERY – unless you have been asked to by a clinician following an initial telephone call. If you are asked to attend, please bring and wear your own face mask (so we can maintain our own stocks for our staff) please come by car, aim to arrive just in time and wait in your car – the waiting room is closed. Please ring the surgery on 01327 359953 to let reception know that you are there and provide and make and colour of your car. The clinician will come to see you at your car and only then may take you into the surgery. If you are unable to come by car, please do walk but please dress for the weather, wear your own face mask and be prepared to wait outside until the clinician comes to see you.
EYE CASUALTY – NORTHAMPTON GENERAL HOSPITAL
Eye Casualty at NGH no longer offer a walk-in eye casualty service. Please contact the clinic on the below numbers BEFORE going to eye casualty – they may be able to advise you on your eye condition over the phone:
01604 545085 or
01604 634700 ext 8011
Eye casualty opening hours:
Monday to Saturday – 8:30am – 4:30pm
Sunday & Bank Holidays – 9:00am – 12:30pm
TOWCESTER MEDICAL CENTRE – IN LOCKDOWN BUT OPEN FOR BUSINESS:
Just a note to let you know that although we are operating an emergency service essentially during this lockdown – we are still open for business for the following:
- Contraception queries
- Immunisations – including baby immunisations
- Baby checks
- Vitamin B12 injections
- Cancer care
- Patients who are acutely unwell
- Medication dispensed at Paulerspury for those who are eligible
- For details of the full list of items that we can and cannot deal with during this pandemic go to our Appointments page or click this link.
Don’t worry – we have processes in place to protect you if you need to visit us – we either ask you to wait in the car to avoid coming into the surgery at all – or we will make sure you can enter the surgery in a way that does not mean you will come into contact even remotely with anyone with Coronavirus. We can reassure you that there are different entrances in use and Coronavirus and suspected Coronavirus cases are kept very separate from other patients. Please contact us if you have any queries.
ROYAL COLLEGE OF GENERAL PRACTITIONERS (RCGP) – RESEARCH & SURVEILLANCE CENTRE PRACTICE
This practice is one of over 600 practices in England contributing pseudonymised data for national research and surveillance.
These data enable continuous monitoring of infections and diseases in the community and is used in ethically approved research. The RCGP RSC is the main source of information for Public Health England (PHE) and helps with prediction and management of flu outbreaks and pandemics.
Providing pseudonymised data does not affect patients, their care or privacy, however if you no longer wish to allow your information to be used please speak to your GP.
For more information please go to the Clinical Research page and scroll down to the RCGP section.
Access to NHS Dentistry is currently limited during the pandemic as all dentists have been asked to stop all routine “face-to-face” dental care.
However, if you need urgent dental care, help is at hand.
CALL your dental practice.
They will give you advice over the telephone and make arrangements for you if you need to be seen.
If you don’t have a dentist, find your nearest dentist and CALL them. You can search for your nearest dentist at: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist
You can also contact NHS 111. You can ask for a translator if you need one. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you’re deaf, you can:
- use the NHS 111 British Sign Language service: interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111
- call 18001 111 on a textphone
Do not worry if you have COVID-19 symptoms, appropriate arrangements can be made to see you if you need urgent dental care.
SCRUBS UP – A HUGE THANK YOU to Scrubs Up for Northants NHS for donating scrubs for our doctors and nurses – invaluable PPE in times of national shortage – thank you volunteers for stepping up – this is a pic of one of our doctors modelling the kit!
Scrubs Up are a charity – here is a link to their Facebook and Just Giving page:
RENEW BUS/COACH/LORRY DRIVING LICENCE – Due to Coronavirus you do not currently need to provide a medical report to renew your licence. Follow this link to find out more: Renew or change a lorry or bus licence
HELP FOR HIGH RISK AND VULNERABLE PEOPLE – A support helpline managed by the Customer Service Centre at Northamptonshire County Council, went live on Tuesday 31st March. It allows those who cannot leave their homes under current restrictions and those who are self-isolating and have nobody to call upon for help to request support in getting access to food, prescriptions and other vital services that they require. It means that care can be provided to those that really need help. Others in need include those with existing health conditions, those who are pregnant or those aged 70 and above. Each call to the helpline will be assessed so that individuals receive the care and support that is appropriate to their needs. The Community Resilience Service will co-ordinate requests for help in conjunction with the district and borough councils, mapping those requests by area and linking them up with local community groups, volunteers and voluntary organisations who have pledged their support.
Those requiring help are asked to call the support line on 0300 126 1000 (option 5) – Or go online at https://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/Pages/request-help-and-support-coronavirus.aspx
A national scheme also exists in conjunction with the Royal Voluntary Service and GoodSAM app. This is to be used if the local service cannot help. You can either contact us and we can refer you, or you can self-refer if in a high risk group by phone using this number 0800 028 8327.
BLOOD TESTS – Blood Tests at this surgery – only at the doctors request – all annual and medication blood tests are put on hold until further notice. Blood tests at the Northampton General Hospital – follow this link to find out the latest guidance for blood tests at the hospital.
CONTACTING THE SURGERY – Please see our Appointments page for more information on what you should and should not contact the surgery for during Coronavirus outbreak. https://www.towcestermedicalcentre.co.uk/appointments/
PLEASE, PLEASE do not come to the surgery unless you absolutely have to.
PREGNANCY – If you are pregnant and concerned about the Coronavirus follow this link for more information.
REPEAT MEDICATION – ALL repeat medication must now be done electronically – you will be asked to name the pharmacy where you wish your future prescriptions to be sent to.
FIT NOTES – (new name for sick notes) can be sent electronically by email and will be done so wherever possible.
URINE & OTHER SAMPLES – Please do NOT provide urine or other samples unless they are requested by a GP and please provide them in the appropriate sample bottles – available from GP surgery – however, please ring first before coming to collect those bottles.
NORTHAMPTON GENERAL HOSPITAL – Visitors update: Northampton General Hospital are further restricting visiting to the hospital to help to protect patients and staff and stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). With immediate effect no visitors into the hospital. By not visiting the hospital you will help to keep our patients and staff safe and save lives.
Blood Taking Unit has also made some changes by redirecting to Three Shires where possible – follow this link to our News page for more information.
The following departments have some exceptions:
- Maternity- one birth partner only as long as they are not displaying any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Disney and Paddington wards- one parent or guardian only. No other visitors or siblings.
- Gosset ward- one parent only. No other visitors or siblings.
- Accident and emergency– one visitor only and no children as visitors. Please be aware that if you do bring more than one person with you our teams will ask additional visitors to leave unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- Outpatient and other appointments– If you come to the hospital for any other reason please don’t bring a visitor with you. If it is essential that you have a visitor with you please make sure that you only bring one person and that you do not bring any children.
In the upsetting or difficult circumstance where patients may be at the end of their lives different visiting restrictions will apply. These times are to be agreed at the discretion of the nurse in charge.
If you do need to visit the hospital you MUST use the hand gel provided or wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. This should be done when you enter the hospital site, when you enter a clinical area and leaving the site.
Please do not visit the hospital unless you have an appointment or need emergency care.