Coronavirus - Important Advice
The NHS in Ipswich and East Suffolk and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.
Call 111 now if you've been:
- To Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms) • To other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it's mild)
- To Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it's mild)
- In close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus
Do not go to a GP surgery, community pharmacy or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.
Further information is available on nhs.uk.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan or Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
The Coronavirus is extremely contagious so please heed the advice provided.
Further information can be obtained from Public Health England on the Government Website:
Thank you for you cooperation.
Pete Keeble, Practice Manager
Please note that we do not offer any private travel vaccines. If you require any vaccines that are not covered by the NHS you will need to search for your nearest Travel Clinic. For more information please visit www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
New eConsult Service
You can use our eConsult service to request advice on any non urgent medical or administrative issue.
For further information regarding the eConsult service at the Practice please click on the following link:
- eConsult is an online triage and consultation tool
- Save time, you may not need a trip to the surgery and your query may be resolved with a phone call
- Continuity of care from your own GP practice – Patients complete an online GP consultation with their practice when they need to
- Medical advice 24/7 – check your symptoms and receive on the spot medical advice and treatment guidance thanks to NHS Choices content
- A response by the end of the next working day or sooner
- Access wherever and whenever you want from any device, and complete at a pace that suits you
- Request sick notes and test results without the need for an appointment
From 8th January 2020 Ear Irrigation (Ear Syringing) will no longer be available at Constable Country Medical Practice
we endeavour to provide the best practice and high quality medical care to our registered patients. Ear syringing is no longer considered to be the first line of treatment for the clearing of ear wax and it is not a funded service within the NHS for general practice.
Current guidelines are that ear drops should be used to soften the wax which will then enable the natural movement of the wax from the ear. Further information and treatment options are available on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/earwax-build-up/
In line with current best practice and many other GP surgeries nationwide, Constable Country Medical Practice has made the decision to withdraw the ear syringing service with effect from 8th January 2020.
As last year, patients over 65 will be administered a different flu vaccine to those under 65. Unfortunately, there have again been delays in manufacture which means that delivery of the under-65’s vaccine is staged. This complicates the vaccination programme and we will therefore implement a similar system to last year.
We will hold a number of flu clinics and will send personalised letters to every eligible patient inviting them to attend on specific dates. These letters will be sent through September and October. Please attend on the earliest date possible when you receive a letter. Please don’t attend a flu clinic if you don’t receive a letter as we may not have taken delivery of the vaccine you require. If you haven’t received a letter by the end of October and you are over 65 or believe you are eligible for a free vaccination because of your medical condition, then please contact the practice.
Appointment System Update
The practice will be implementing a new appointment system on 2nd September. The two open days we held in July were a great success and we have updated our appointment system leaflet to answer queries raised by patients. Please visit our website or pick up a leaflet for more information.
Please note that there will be no pre-bookable appointments. If you need to speak to a doctor you can request them to call you the same day. If you need to be seen (about a third of all cases) the doctor will arrange for you to be seen the same day.
Patients can request a call back from a doctor online from 7am, or phone the practice or call in to request one via a receptionist. It helps if you tell the receptionist the nature of your problem as it may be more appropriate for you to speak to our pharmacy technician or another member of our clinical team. They can also inform the doctor if your need is urgent.
The new system will be more convenient for many patients as they won’t have to physically come to the practice. Having no pre-bookable appointments means that there is no need to call the practice at 8am, though if you think the doctor may wish to see you in person please call in the morning. You will usually be able to choose which doctor you would prefer to call you back. You can also submit an online consultation request via our eConsult service.
Appointment System Update
The practice will be implementing a new appointment system on 2nd September.
We will be holding open days at The Vine Lounge, Capel St Mary on Tuesday 23rd July between 2pm and 6pm, and at the East Bergholt Medical Centre on Wednesday 24th July between 6pm and 8pm. These are drop-in events and patients are welcome to call in between these times.
We will be able to explain the new system and answer any questions on either the appointment system or any other aspect of the practice. In the meantime, information leaflets will be available in waiting rooms and on our website which explain the new system. We want to ensure the new system will improve access when we introduce it and we value your feedback to enable us to finalise the details.
I’m pleased to announce that from 1st July the practice will be extending its opening hours. Our Capel St Mary site will now be open every Tuesday from 7am to 8am and 6:30pm to 7:30pm for patients with pre-booked appointments between these times. We will be holding two phlebotomy clinics between 7am and 8am and a dressings clinic between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. These appointments are pre-bookable via our reception team. We will also be holding GP surgeries between 7am and 8am, and 6:30pm and 7:30pm. These will be bookable by the doctors. So if you need a GP appointment outside normal working hours, please let the doctor know when you speak to them. Please note that no other service will be available during these times e.g. appointment booking or general queries.
Appointment System Update
Further to last month’s announcement, I can confirm that the practice will be implementing a new appointment system on 2nd September.
The new system will be a call back system which has been successfully implemented at many practices across Suffolk. Our medical receptionists will continue to take details from patients and will determine how they can best help them. This may include booking an appointment with a practice nurse or HCA, directing to a pharmacist, booking a minor illness appointment with a nurse practitioner, or liaising with a doctor on the patient’s behalf.
Where a patient needs to talk to a doctor, they will be placed on the list of the doctor of their choice who will call them back within an agreed time slot. They will discuss the patient’s problem with them and if necessary arrange for them to see them or another clinician the same day.
The system is an on-the-day only system. There will be no pre-bookable appointments. These will not be needed as patients will be able to speak to a doctor and see them the same day if necessary. The only exceptions to pre-booking will be patients with medial conditions which require arrangements to be made for them to attend the practice.
We will be holding open days at East Bergholt and Capel on the afternoons of 23rd July at The Vine Lounge, Capel St Mary and 24th July at our practice in East Bergholt, where we will be able to explain the new system and answer any questions on either the appointment system or any other aspect of the practice. In the meantime, information leaflets will be available in waiting rooms and on our website which explain the new system. We want to ensure the new system will improve access when we introduce it and value your feedback to enable us to finalise the details.
New Appointment Cancellation Service
If you need to cancel an appointment, you can now send us a text message. This should help reduce the number of non-attended appointments and also provide a simple method for patients to let us know they need to cancel rather than wait in the telephone queue first thing in the morning.
To cancel an appointment, simply send a message to 07562618401 and include your name, date of birth and the date and time of the appointment you wish to cancel. Please note that this number can only be used for appointment cancellations. Any other enquires will not be answered if sent to this number.