Elm Hayes’ Response to the Pandemic


As you may have already experienced we have had to make a few changes to the way we work at the moment.

Consultations with the Doctor or Nurse maybe a telephone appointment initially, and then the Doctor or Nurse may invite you to attend the surgery if required.

We are now able to book up to 2 weeks in advance to talk to a Doctor.

We also hold daily emergency appointments for things that will not wait, and require an urgent Doctor or Nurse review.

Paulton Minor Injury Unit (MIU) are now reopen. A+E are still seeing patients for very urgent situations.

Strain on Primary Care

Although, many patients believe that we are not very busy at the moment, in fact, the opposite is happening.

We have a smaller workforce at the moment. Hospitals are not yet running at full speed. They also have staff shortages and limitations on procedures they are allowed to perform.

Therefore, we are required to keep more patients comfortable in the community, while they wait for their hospital appointments.

All services are dealing with the backlog of work from when we were in total lockdown. Some procedures that we used to do have had to be delayed. We are carrying out risk assessments as required to keep everyone safe.

But please remember we are here to help you. We urge you to contact us if you need medical assistance.

Telephone Appointments

The telephone appointments are at designated timeslots. If you make a telephone appointment it is very important that you are available to receive the call, otherwise the clinician may move onto the next patient on their list, and you will not get another phone call.

PLEASE NOTE: The exception to this is the daily emergency surgery where your phone call will be made by one of the emergency team at anytime throughout the morning, or afternoon, depending on which you have booked.

Video and Text Messages

Like many other Doctors Surgery’s, we have become very reliant on technology to assist us with our daily activities at Elm Hayes.

If you have a visible complaint (such as a rash, spots, throat infection or a burn etc.) the Receptionist or Secretary may ask you to send in a photograph via text message. The reception team will send you a text message, which you reply to with the photo. (Follow the instructions you receive on the text).

If appropriate, your photograph will be added to your medical record. When the Doctor or Nurse telephones you, they have the image in front of them so they can offer advice or treatment.

IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO DO THIS PLEASE TELL THE RECEPTIONIST. This is not obligatory. It is simply to assist the Doctor or Nurse, and if you do not feel comfortable doing this, its absolutely fine to decline.

The Doctor or Nurse may invite you to do a video call. This have become very useful of late and is a great way for the clinical staff to communicate with their patients. You will get a text message to your phone, and you follow the instructions.

The clinical staff are equipped with cameras and microphones so they can talk to you ‘face to face’ so to speak.

Attending the Surgery

We are trying to keep the number of patients that attend the surgery to a minimum so to protect both patients and staff from the possible spread of Coronavirus.

We will see especially vulnerable people first thing in the morning after the overnight clean. However, we have allocated time for additional cleaning throughout the day, and to allow staff to change their PPE between patients.

PATIENTS ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A FACE COVERING and can use the hand gels available at the surgery.

You may notice that we have new glass screens in the reception and dispensary areas. This is to protect you and our staff from the spread of the coronavirus.

You may be asked to wait in your car, or outside, rather than coming into the waiting room. The Doctor or Nurse will collect you from the car park. Your receptionist, Doctor, or Nurse will inform you of the process.

We truly hope that these measures will protect our ongoing services, and our local community, from another potential surge of COVID-19 cases.

We do ask that patients have patience with us at this time. We understand the frustration this huge change has brought.

We are very proud of our team, and all of the teams we work closely with, and hope that we continue to be able to provide a good service to all of our patients.