Throughout the pandemic we have strived to make our surgeries as safe as possible for all our patients and staff. In so doing, we have never lost sight of our core purpose of looking after all the people in our community, whether they find it easier or harder to access health care. We have spent much of our time targeting more vulnerable patients and prioritizing their health and care needs. We will continue to do so going forward.
As of 19th July 2021, we remain in a global Covid pandemic. Rates are increasing although there is a strong divergence between number of cases and hospital admission and deaths from Covid. Our vaccination rates are high and many of our people have received the security and real protection of ‘double-jabs’ but a significant number remain unvaccinated. There is still the possibility that we can carry Covid and pass it on to others and not all of us are fortunate enough to be protected thus far. Therefore, from the 19th July nothing will change at your surgery. Patients will need to still wear a face-mask, socially distance and use hand sanitizer in the surgery. Staff will continue to wear PPE. We understand that this may be frustrating but people come to us when they are sick and vulnerable, and we owe it to them to take these inconvenient precautions that can protect both patients and staff, and make a real difference.
In terms of ‘opening up’, as many of you know, we have never been ‘shut’ and the front doors of some of the local surgeries have remained open throughout the pandemic. We have continued to consult patients at a high level and we have now returned to pre-lockdown levels of consultation. This is not always face-to-face as the proportion of virtual consultations has gone up significantly. But we have seen patients face-to-face, throughout the pandemic, who clinically need to be seen for an assessment, while taking all necessary infection precautions. This continues to be the case. As a positive outcome from this re-alignment of consultations, patients have been managed far quicker, more efficiently and effectively than ever before and we are determined for that to continue though the systems that we offer and the range of excellent staff that we have in Primary Care through our surgeries and Primary Care Network in Devizes.
Additional to our core work, during the last 6 months, we have, in Primary Care, initiated and implemented the largest vaccination programme in history. We take pride in our local version of this at the Corn Exchange, Devizes. This service has been built from nothing through sheer hard work, determination, goodwill and a deep-rooted sense of duty to deliver a solution to a local and global problem.
The Devizes community has come together and gone so far in trying to minimise the impact of Covid on ourselves and each other, to date. We all need to hold our nerve and we are sure that you understand that we need to keep the surgeries safe. Meanwhile we promise to continue to improve the care that each and every one of you can expect from us.