An open letter to the residents of Weymouth and Portland from your GPs

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare services have had to adapt and make changes to the way they work, in order to protect patients and staff.

For Primary Care this means – where possible – undertaking consultations remotely and directing people to the most appropriate care when there is no need to attend the surgery; only bringing patients into surgery when clinically required.

This does not mean you cannot see someone face to face and we are still keen to hear from patients about significant or worrying symptoms. We also continue to provide preventative care such as cervical smears and immunisations for both adults and children, and if you are invited it is important you attend.

For those unable to attend surgery due to ill health, we continue to visit patients when needed and are supported by the WECS service (visiting service to support the frail and elderly).

The COVID-19 pandemic affects us all and recently we have been affected by staff shortages where members of the team have become ill or needed to self-isolate. Whilst local practices try to work together to continue to provide care, there may be delays in non-urgent clinics or reviews and sometimes we may need to rearrange appointments.

If this is the case, please bear with us. We are doing our utmost to ensure you are seen as quickly and timely as possible, and that those with an urgent need are prioritised.

We are also asking for your help as there are simple things you can do to help us in these challenging circumstances:

Please use the most appropriate service for your symptoms – it may be that your local pharmacist can help and the local Urgent Treatment Centre can help with injuries, this can be accessed via 111.

If you have an appointment and are unable to attend please re-arrange it, this way the time can be given to someone else, possibly speeding up their care.

Please adhere to the latest guidelines and always wear a mask when attending the surgery.

I am so extremely proud of the dedication, work and time staff have given during this COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to thank all those working within the Primary Care Network who have ensured our services keep running and that our patient have continued access to primary care.

Thank you from your local NHS in Dorset.

Signed by:

Dr Tanya Stead

Clinical Director to Weymouth and Portland Primary Care Network

On behalf of:

The Bridges Medical Practice

Cross Road Surgery

Dorchester Road Surgery

Royal Crescent and Preston Road Surgery

Royal Manor Health Care

Wyke Regis and Lanehouse Medical Practice