We are open! But we've made some changes...
Portsdown Group Practice is open and can see patients - HOWEVER it's not business as usual.
We have worked hard to stay open during lockdown and have made frequent changes to how we deliver care to ensure patients continue to receive it.
Now that lockdown is easing we want to bring patients up to date with how we are running our services and how best to access them. We would like to thank all of our patients for their continued support during this crisis.
Our primary objective is to provide accessible care for all patients whilst protecting the lives of our patients and staff. In line with national guidance, when booking an appointment, you may be booked in for a phone call with a clinician first before being offered an appointment in the surgery. We also have the ability to carry out video consultations with patients that have a smartphone. We are utilising these appointment methods in order to keep face-to-face appointments available for patients that need a physical assessment.
We request that if your query is not urgent, please use our eConsult page to contact us.
When visiting a site, patients will be met by a member of the team at the door to check that they are well before entering the building.
Patients that attend for face-to-face appointments will be seen by a clinician wearing full PPE. Areas are cleaned in between appointments. This means that face-to-face appointment capacity is reduced. An example of this is our phlebotomy service which is usually a 5 minute appointment is now 10 minutes. We have limited capacity in the waiting room as we promote social distancing.
COVID is still here which means we have had to change how we operate by creating 'hot sites'. 'Hot sites' are used to see patients with temperatures or respiratory issues. This is to keep patients attending for other appointments safe. As a result you may be asked to attend a different site depending on what sort of appointment you need.
We kindly ask that all patients attending the surgery wear a face mask in line with government guidance.
Coronavirus Information (COVID-19)
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- 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 of smell of tase - this means if you have recently developed a loss of smell or taste, most noticible when eating.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Temporary Changes To Our Services
Due to Coronavirus we have made some temporary changes to our services.
- We require ALL patients aged over 2 years old to wear a face covering if they are visiting any Portsdown Group Practice site.
- We have changed our prescription process. You now need to nominate a pharmacy for us to send you prescriptions to electronically.
- Routine appointment telephone lines are open between 10am and 1pm Monday - Friday
- General enquiries telephone lines are open between 2:30pm and 5:30pm Monday - Friday
These changes will remain under constant review and will be lifted at the appropriate time.
While coronavirus has put limitations on all our lives, it is important that you or your baby or child still have routine vaccinations. They protect against serious and potentially deadly illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community. We recommend that you attend your next scheduled appointment – see www.nhs.uk/vaccinations for details on when they are due.
Travelling to and from your appointment
When travelling to and from your appointment, please follow guidelines which include travelling by car, bike or on foot if possible, keeping a safe distance from others and washing your hands regularly. For more details, go to www.gov.uk and search ‘staying safe outside your home’.
When attending your appointment
When attending your appointment, we will be putting in place a range of measures to minimise any risk of COVID-19:
- social distancing measures will be observed;
- we may have asked you to attend your appointment at a clinic that is not at your usual venue;
- the appointment may take longer than usual.
Due to the ongoing response to COVID-19, our service may have a reduced number of appointment slots available. If you choose not to attend your appointment, please contact your GP practice. It is always helpful for us to know why so we can help you with any concerns you might have. If you still don’t wish to attend the appointment, it can be offered to someone else.
You must NOT attend an appointment if you or any member of your household are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 or are self-isolating. If this applies to you, please contact your GP practice so that you can reschedule your appointment for a different time.
Coronavirus COVID-19 recovery course
If you have recently left hospital following treatment for COVID-19 infection, we reccomend that you complete the recovery course available here.
The course will help you maximise your recovery and look after your health.
Our Paulsgrove and heyward Road branches are now open.
We are slowly reintroducing online appointment booking. We will add appointment types as and when they become suitable for online booking. You can book flu jabs, blood tests, cervical screening and telephone appointments online at the moment.
We would like to encourage patients to not to walk in to our surgeries during this time unless you have an appointment. This is to minimise the risk of virus transmission to patients and staff.
If you are self-isolating you need an isolation note from NHS online. Click here to get an isolation note.
If you have symptoms such as a newly developed cough or a fever above 37.8 degrees celsius, you should stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days.
If a member of your household has been told to self-isolate for 7 days due to a cough, high temperature or other virus symptoms, you must also self-isolate for 14 days. This is because it may take longer than 7 days before symptoms develop.
Please do not call the surgery or NHS 111 regarding coronavirus unless you need help with your symptoms.
Please visit the dedicated NHS 111 coronavirus website: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 for further information.
To protect yourself and others, do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital.
Information for shielding patients
All information on shielding can be found on the NHS Website. Please click here to access the latest shielding information.
Whilst food parcel deliveries have now stopped, you should still be able to access priority slots for supermarket deliveries if you would prefer not to go out and about. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-accessing-food-and-essential-supplies
Areas that are subject to local restrictions may require shielding to resume, or if you work inside an area subject to restriction while living in an unrestricted area, you may need to check local guidance. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19#:~:text=friends%20of%20family.-,If%20you're%20in%20a%20local%20lockdown%20area,stay%20at%20home%20and%20shield.
Returning to Work
If you have concerns about returning to work, you should discuss these with your employer. Your employer should make accommodations if you are extremely clinically vulnerable, these might include allowing you to travel to and from work at quieter times of the day, or reducing the amount of face to face contact you have with the public. Your workplace should be Covid-secure and enable social distancing. You can find more advice and guidance here:
Shielding has been very challenging for most people, and returning to everyday life presents new and sometimes stressful challenges. Looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health. You might find some self-help guidance helpful for your individual circumstances.
If you have or are a carer
If you are, or care for an older person
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression or mental health problems because of coronavirus
For coronavirus support in Welsh, Arabic, Tigrinya, Farsi, Somali, French and Urdu
You may have concerns about how to manage your health going forward. As a practice, we want to offer support to all our patients. Although we still need to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus, we are managing additional services and opening services in a safe and controlled way. Please get in touch and we can arrange an appointment that is most suited to your needs. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
We will shortly be rolling out our annual flu vaccination programme. Vaccination is even more important this year, especially if you are clinically vulnerable, and we invite you to receive a flu vaccination. Please make an appointment without delay. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
Advice for parents and carers of children with asthma
Although the risk of children having more severe covid illness is extremely low, if your child has had a shielding letter they must continue to shield.
All other children with asthma can return to school as the government recommends.
If someone else at home is shielding then the child can go to school and must follow strict hygene and social distancing advice at home and school.
We urge you to read Asthma UK's Back to School advice.
Speak to your GP or asthma nurse first if your child's asthma is poorly controlled.
You can accdess up to date information regarding coronavirus in other languages via the 'Doctors Of The World' website. To access this information, please click here.
How long to stay at home
- if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
Read NHS advice about staying at home.
If you are self-isolating you need an NHS isolation note for your employer. To obtain an isolation note, click here.
How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
It is particularly important for people who:
- are 70 or over
- have a long-term condition
- are pregnant
- have a weakened immune system
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
always wash your hands when you get home or into work
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
only travel on public transport if you need to
work from home, if you can
avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
avoid events with large groups of people
- use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family
If you're at high risk
High risk patients have been contacted either directly by the NHS or by Portsdown Group Practice.
If you have been classed as in a high risk category, the government would liek to know if you require additional support. Please advise them here.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists.
There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.
If you're planning to travel abroad and are concerned about coronavirus, see advice for travellers on GOV.UK.
Treatment for coronavirus
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.
Measures announced over recent weeks to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen people’s day-to-day lives drastically altered. These changes are essential to beat coronavirus and protect our NHS.
The government acknowledges that the order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances are.
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services. You are not alone.
The household isolation instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to:
- coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
- economic abuse
- online abuse
- verbal abuse
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
What signs to look for
If you believe that you or someone else could be a victim of domestic abuse, there are signs that you can look out for including:
- being withdrawn
- having bruises
- controlling finances
- not being allowed to leave the house
- monitoring technology use such as social media platforms
Where to get help
If you believe you are being abused, or worried you may commit domestic abuse, please use the services on this page.
If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.
Local help can be found on the Portsmouth City Council website here.
The Safer Portsmouth website can also offer help here.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police - the police will continue to respond to emergency calls.
If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999, listen to the questions from the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. Then follow the instructions depending on whether you are calling from a mobile or a landline.
If you call from a mobile
If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard - this will transfer your call to the police.
Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.
If you call 999 from a landline
If only background noise can be heard and BT operators cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler.
If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.
When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which you can call for free, and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. Its website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. It also has a form through which you can book a safe time for a call from the team.
Refuge’s website includes a range of resources on identifying the signs of domestic abuse, and a safety guide for women and children who are living with a perpetrator. It also features a tech abuse chat-bot with step-by-step instructional videos on how to secure devices such as phones and laptops. Look for the pink button in the bottom-right corner.
Women’s Aid has a range of direct services for survivors, including a live chat service and an online Survivors’ Forum. They have developed additional advice specifically designed for the current coronavirus outbreak. You can also find your local domestic abuse service on their website. They also provide information on the support helplines available in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Men’s Advice Line
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them.
Telephone: 0808 801 0327
Galop - for members of the LGBT+ community
Galop runs the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse specialist helpline.
Telephone: 0800 999 5428
Hestia provides a free mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.
Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages about identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.
Sexual assault referral centres
Sexual assault referral centres continue to provide non-judgmental advice and support services to victims and survivors of sexual assault or abuse.
Interviews, forensic examinations and sexual health and counselling services are offered in a comfortable environment where staff will ensure that victims and survivors will be managed safely to comply with coronavirus guidance. Please call your local sexual assault eferral centre to arrange care and support, which may be provided in person or remotely depending on your needs.
If you are suffering abuse from your family or community because they say that you have compromised their ‘honour’, or if they are trying to force you into marriage, you can get help. Karma Nirvana runs the national honour-based abuse helpline.
Telephone: 0800 5999 247
Summary Care Record (SCR)
The Summary Care Record (SCR) is a basic summary of your medical information. Access to SCR information means that care in other settings is safer, reducing the risk of prescribing errors. It also helps avoid delays to urgent care. At a minimum, the SCR holds important information about; Additional information in the SCR, such as details of long-term conditions, significant medical history, or specific communications needs, is now included by default for patients with an SCR, unless they have previously told the NHS that they did not want this information to be shared. There will also be a temporary change to include COVID-19 specific codes in relation to suspected, confirmed, Shielded Patient List and other COVID-19 related information within the additional information. All patients registered with a GP have a Summary Care Record, unless they have chosen not to have one. The information held in your Summary Care Record gives health and care professionals, away from your usual GP practice, access to information to provide you with safer care, reduce the risk of prescribing errors and improve your patient experience. Your Summary Care Record contains basic information about allergies and medications and any reactions that you have had to medication in the past. Some patients, including many with long term health conditions, have previously agreed to have additional information shared as part of their Summary Care Record. This additional information includes information about significant medical history (past and present), reasons for medications, care plan information and immunisations. During the coronavirus pandemic period, your Summary Care Record will automatically have additional information included from your GP record unless you have previously told the NHS that you did not want this information to be shared. There will also be a temporary change to include COVID-19 specific codes in relation to suspected, confirmed, Shielded Patient List and other COVID-19 related information within the additional information. By including this additional information in your SCR, health and care staff can give you better care if you need health care away from your usual GP practice: Patients that wish to opt-out of having a SCR should complete this form and return it ot the practice.
The Summary Care Record (SCR) is a basic summary of your medical information.
Access to SCR information means that care in other settings is safer, reducing the risk of prescribing errors. It also helps avoid delays to urgent care.
At a minimum, the SCR holds important information about;
Additional information in the SCR, such as details of long-term conditions, significant medical history, or specific communications needs, is now included by default for patients with an SCR, unless they have previously told the NHS that they did not want this information to be shared. There will also be a temporary change to include COVID-19 specific codes in relation to suspected, confirmed, Shielded Patient List and other COVID-19 related information within the additional information.
All patients registered with a GP have a Summary Care Record, unless they have chosen not to have one. The information held in your Summary Care Record gives health and care professionals, away from your usual GP practice, access to information to provide you with safer care, reduce the risk of prescribing errors and improve your patient experience.
Your Summary Care Record contains basic information about allergies and medications and any reactions that you have had to medication in the past.
Some patients, including many with long term health conditions, have previously agreed to have additional information shared as part of their Summary Care Record. This additional information includes information about significant medical history (past and present), reasons for medications, care plan information and immunisations.
During the coronavirus pandemic period, your Summary Care Record will automatically have additional information included from your GP record unless you have previously told the NHS that you did not want this information to be shared.
There will also be a temporary change to include COVID-19 specific codes in relation to suspected, confirmed, Shielded Patient List and other COVID-19 related information within the additional information.
By including this additional information in your SCR, health and care staff can give you better care if you need health care away from your usual GP practice:
Patients that wish to opt-out of having a SCR should complete this form and return it ot the practice.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and your information
The ICO recognises the unprecedented challenges the NHS and other health professionals are facing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The ICO also recognise that 'Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.'
The Government have also taken action in respect of this and on 20th March 2020 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care issued a Notice under Regulation 3(4) of The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 requiring organisations such as GP Practices to use your information to help GP Practices and other healthcare organisations to respond to and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to look after your healthcare needs during this difficult time, we may urgently need to share your personal information, including medical records, with clinical and non-clinical staff who belong to organisations that are permitted to use your information and need to use it to help deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. This could (amongst other measures) consist of either treating you or a member of your family and enable us and other healthcare organisations to monitor the disease, assess risk and manage the spread of the disease.
Please be assured that we will only share information and health data that is necessary to meet yours and public healthcare needs.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has also stated that these measures are temporary and will expire on 30th September 2020 unless a further extension is required. Any further extension will be will be provided in writing and we will communicate the same to you.
Please also note that the data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop us from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.
It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows us to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.