Help us to keep our surgery buildings open and Coronavirus-free.
'We come to work for you...
...please stay at home for us'
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
Updated 3 April 2020
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Also, click on the scrolling messages above (or on 'Latest News', near the top right of this screen) for more detail on each news topic.
If you think you might have coronavirus:
- Go to NHS 111 online coronavirus service and answer the questions so that they can direct you to the best service depending on your symptoms. You will get information more quickly through the 111 online service than by ringing 111 on a telephone, so go online preferably.
- Key symptoms are a temperature, new persistent cough or shortness of breath.
- New government guidelines updated the weekend of 28/29 March mean that we no longer assess patients for coronavirus. You must visit NHS 111 online for this.
- If you need to self isolate, please do not contact us to discuss this. Follow the instructions from NHS 111. We cannot provide sick notes for self-isolation. NHS 111 online can provide you with an isolation note if you need it for your employer, but you must go through the NHS 111 online service first to access this.
- Do not go to the surgery, a hospital or a pharmacy if you think you have coronavirus. We all need to work together to reduce its transmission.
- Only call an ambulance on 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
If you want information or advice about coronavirus:
- Please look online for advice and updates, including from NHS 111, the UK government advice portal, and the BBC. Please also think about who else you could call, such as your pharmacist. We need to prioritise our services for direct clinical care.
- We understand that some extremely vulnerable patients may not have received the promised government letters yet. Please understand that there are two groups: vulnerable and extremely vulnerable and only the extremely vulnerable group will receive a letter. Read our article in Latest News for details of the difference between the groups. Please do not call the surgery as we have limited capacity to discuss this.
- Government guidance to employers asks them to be supportive to their employees who are self-isolating. We understand that some employers are allowing 'infection protection leave' for vulnerable employees without requiring a sick note and we welcome this. Employers are asked to show discretion to employees about requiring sickness certification even when they have symptoms. This allows us to concentrate on clinical care, not paperwork. Please try to work these matters out with your employer without involving us if at all possible.
If you are unwell but don't think you have coronavirus:
- Please consider whether you need to call the surgery. Consider whether your need can be met by another healthcare provider (such as a pharmacist) or whether you can manage your symptoms at home. We are still open so are available if you are unwell and need us.
- If you need us, contact us early in the day if possible. This lets us arrange our workload. The later in the day you contact us, the harder it is to sort out your problem the same day. Our phone lines open at 08:30am, Mon-Fri. Online booking of new appointments is suspended.
- If you have other symptoms of respiratory infection (sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches) call NHS 111 for advice or call the surgery. You will be given a telephone appointment as the first measure.
- DO NOT ENTER OUR SURGERIES unless you have spoken to us by phone or video and you have a prearranged appointment.
- We are restricting face-to-face appointments to only patients who need physical examination or who may need admission to hospital. If the patient is a child we may suggest assessing them outdoors. We will conduct other appointments by telephone or video call.
If you are allocated a face-to-face appointment:
- We are regulating the flow of patients into our buildings. This includes restricting the number of patients in the waiting room. Be prepared to wait outside the surgery until it is your turn to enter. Please do not bring a companion with you unless you need them to help you. Only one adult may accompany a child.
- Your appointment may be at a different surgery and may not be with your usual doctor. This is following new government guidelines from the weekend of 28/29 March, designed to reduce coronavirus transmission through surgeries. When you are allocated a face-to-face appointment, we will tell you where you need to attend.
- Do not come to the surgery for repeat prescription requests or queries. You can still order repeat medications online as usual, or you can ring your local pharmacy to make a request. We will then send your medication directly to the pharmacy you allocate. If your pharmacist cannot resolve it, phone us and ask for a message to be passed to our prescription team.
- We expect supplies of medicines to flow as normal. Do not ask to have the quantity of your repeat prescription increased.
Our other services:
- We are still giving childhood, flu and other important vaccines. If you or your child catch a vaccine-preventable disease and then also catch coronavirus, this could be very serious. Please make sure you/your child's vaccines are up to date. Flu protection is still very important (see our Latest News page). Call us if eligible and you have not had yours yet.
- All other non-essential clinics and services are cancelled, in line with national advice. This is to protect you and to give us capacity to treat increasing numbers of patients with coronavirus. These include minor surgery, most contraceptive implants/coils, the drop-in blood clinic, routine hospital referrals, smoking cessation clinics, cervical screening (smear) tests, Vitamin B12 injections (suspended for up to 3 months), new patient and other routine health checks, non-essential blood tests and nurse appointments. If you are booked for a review and we need to cancel this we will contact you, but if in doubt phone before you attend. Where possible we will replace these clinics with a telephone-based or video review.
- We want you to stop smoking more than ever. Our nurses are providing smoking cessation services by phone. Call us to arrange this. Do it now!
- Our ability to undertake non-NHS work such as forms, medical reports and supplying copies of medical records is greatly reduced. Please avoid asking for such things if at all possible.
- We are still accepting complaints and will investigate and learn from these as always, to improve our systems and actions. However we will not be sending detailed response letters for the duration of the emergency.
- Dovecote and Highfield buildings are closed for patients until further notice. We will be using them for administration and remote working.
Thank you for your patience in these difficult times.
You are helping us to focus on essential clinical care for those most in need. We are sorry for this long list of restrictions and look forward to reinstating normal service as soon as possible.
How you can help
- Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
- If you have access to personal protective equipment which our team could use at the surgery, please get in touch. Specifically we are looking for:
eye protection such as school science goggles or DIY goggles
FFP3 masks as may be used in industry
CQC Inspection Results
The Nechells Practice - Rated overall 'Outstanding 2019'
We are currently accepting new patients. Please telephone Reception to discuss
Would you recommend us to your friends or family?
Please complete the short survey below.
Friends & Family Test (Ridgacre)
Friends & Family Test (Nechells)
For more information about the Friends & Family Test, please click here for a short video.
To book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online please follow the link below. You will need a username and password which can be obtained by phoning reception.
Please follow these steps:
1. Click on https://systmonline.tpp-uk.com/
2. Enter your username and password
If you are experiencing problems please ask reception for a new password.
Ridgacre Medical Centres is now part of Our Health Partnership; for further information click here.
(Site updated 03/04/2020)