COVID19 – How to get the most out of your consultation

Dear Patients,

As we move to a new methods of working during this pandemic, we are noticing that both you as a patients, and we as clinicians and staff, are still learning from the experience.

With that in mind, we thought it would be worth sharing our top tips for getting not only the best out of the website, but also the best out of telephone booking of appointments, online appointments, video consultations and the role of the online “ASK A CLINICIAN” portal.

Top Tips

  • Don’t use the website if it is urgent. Please call us. “ASK A CLINICIAN” is for non-urgent enquiries only. ASK THE CLINICIAN on our website will provide a response within 2 working days
  • Make sure that the telephone number we hold for you is correct, you can update us through “ASK THE PRACTICE A QUESTION”.
  • When you call, please let the Receptionist guide you through the short triage questions. Please be assured they are not being nosey or intrusive, but just trying to get you the right appointment with the right clinician.
    Due to the way the coronavirus pandemic impacts on our ways of working, it is even more important that we know why you might need us. The clinician will always prioritise those deemed most urgent first. However if you say your complaint is private, you may not get prioritised in a queue of people when we have high demand. We promise that our team offer confidentiality, sympathy and discretion at all times.
  • Prepare for your call back. Most patient groups report that when a patient has written down what they want to discuss, the patient finds it easier to express their concerns and to give a clear picture of the situation rather than being unprepared.
  • Be ready to answer the telephone call. We cannot guarantee you a specific time when we will call. So be ready with your notes and in a quiet area, preferably without background noise. The clinicians only have the capacity to attempt to call you on two occassions. IF the phone is not answered following two attempts the clinician will assume you no longer require our help.
  • Try to keep your concerns to one problem if possible. We are finding that some phone calls are taking over half an hour for various reasons and this is impacting on the number of calls we can handle in an hour at a time of a high volume of calls. We are unable to accommodate long telephone or video consultations unless it is medically necessary. If time allows we may be able to discuss and advise on less urgent issues.
    Use our website contact form ‘ASK A CLINICIAN’ for more general advice about yourself. Save the telephone appointment for the most pressing problem you have, this way more people can access the most appropriate service in a timely way.
  • Video consultations are available when required. The Clinician will send a text message to your phone. Please follow the instructions. We have found that it works best in the ‘BROWSER’ of your phone/tablet, than having to download an app. With video consultations, it is important to be in a quiet room. Sometimes the video feed may not work from our end. Do not worry. The Clinician will advise you on how to manage the call.
  • Pictures will be able to be sent through the Video textingas well, try to get as clear a view of the problem as you can.
  • If you need to be seen in person, you will be given an appointment time to attend The Vernon Medical Centre. See the patient update for full details of our clinics, how they’re opporating and for each patient situation ie COVID19 symptoms and non COVID19 symptoms

And finally, the team at THe Vernon and Lanes Medical Centre would like to say thank you for all the lovely messages of support and gratitude expressed to them. They really do appreciate the positive feedback. We can assure you that we are doing our utmost to make this unprecedented situation the easiest, safest and the most streamlined for you, our Patients, as we can.

Thank you

All the team at The Vernon Street Medical Centre