Winter Update 2022
Impacts of the pandemic on General Practice  

As we adapt to having COVID and the winter illnesses in our community we continue to work out how we can keep both our patients and staff safe. We know viral transmission occurs more indoors so we are ventilating our rooms as much as possible. We encourage patients attending the practice to minimise their time in the waiting room by not being too early for their appointment.  

We have fewer appointments available due to increased demand from patients with COVID, influenza and other viral illnesses and we continue to be impacted by staff illness. If GPs are well enough to offer virtual appointments whilst isolating with COVID we will offer this. We appreciate your understanding if your appointment is switched to a virtual consult or rescheduled. We are doing our very best to manage demand. 

Managing Viral illness at home 

Most adults and children can manage their viral illness at home. Please see the following websites. Generally, no treatment is required for influenza, RSV and other viral illnesses. If you have concerns please ring us for advice. 

https://www.healthinfo.org.nz/index.htm?Flu-influenza.htm 

https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/f/fever-children/ 

https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/i/influenza-flu-topics/  

Appointments  

We have a limited number of acute appointments available each day. We would really encourage you to consider if your matter is urgent ahead of trying to book one of these appointments.  

  • Be proactive in making your routine/planned care appointments.  e.g. return-to-work certificates and repeat prescriptions so that these matters don’t become urgent 
  • Some doctors with higher patient populations and other (clinical or governance) commitments have longer waiting times 
Nurse call backs 
  • Urgent calls take priority and we aim to call back patients as soon as possible.  
  • Due to the high volume of calls especially on a Monday it is not always possible to return a non-urgent call on the same day 
  • Please have your phone at hand ready to answer. Please note, your call back will likely come from a “No Caller ID” number 
  • Our nurses are constantly triaging (prioritising) calls based on the information patients provide to our reception team.  Please give reception some information about your problem so that your call can be triaged appropriately 

 

Waiting room 

The Waiting Room remains open. Patients over the age of 12 must be masked in the waiting room.  Please do not arrive early for your consultation so we can limit the number of patients waiting.  If the waiting room becomes too crowded, we may ask you to wait in your car or outside.  

If you identify as more vulnerable and/or would prefer to wait in your car then please let the reception team know. We will ring when we are ready to see you. You may also prefer to arrange a virtual consult.  

Standard appointments  

Our standard appointments are 15 minutes. If you have multiple issues to discuss or need more time, please book a double appointment. If you are running overtime with your appointment, we may ask you to come back for another appointment. We appreciate people sometimes have multiple issues to discuss but it is unfair to those patients waiting if the GPs run overtime. In the case of emergencies, the GPs may run overtime which is out of our control.  

If you are late for your appointment, we cannot guarantee you will be seen.   

Please do not come into the practice if you have COVID –19 or influenza symptoms.   

Due to the high-risk nature of having unwell people in General Practice surgeries we ask that patients with a mask exemption do not use the waiting room. We would appreciate if patients with an exemption will consider wearing a mask for in person consults for a brief period of time or consider having a virtual consult. For the safety of our medical team all patients seen in the red stream must be masked or they will need to be seen outside.