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AbilityNet is a UK-wide charity with a 20+ year history of promoting a digital world accessible to all. They work with older and disabled people to help them make the most of their devices whether it’s a laptop, tablet, desktop or phone.  If you know someone who might need support to learn how to use a digital device such as those who would struggle to know how to submit an eConsult or make a video call contact AbilityNet on 0800 048 7642 or visit http://www.abilitynet.org.uk/


**New Total Triage Service - eConsult**

The surgery has introduced a "triage" system, called eConsult, for all appointment requests. This means that appointments can no longer be booked directly by telephone. The best way to request an appointment is to submit an online consultation by clicking the GET STARTED button, below, and the surgery will review this and get back to you, usually within 2 hours if your eConsult is submitted before 12 noon. Any online consultations submitted after 12 noon will be responded to as quickly as possible with a guaranteed response of 10am the following working day.  

eConsult Live 50                 

Watch the eConsult demo above for more information


Start Video Call Appointment

If you are ready to attend your video appointment, or you want to make a test call before your appointment is due, click the start video call button below (please ensure you are using Google Chrome  on a Windows or Android device, or Safari on Apple devices). If you make a test call this tests your device, connection, speaker and camera, it does not make a call.  More details about Near Me are available on the Appointment tabs. 

Please do not start a video call unless you have pre-booked an appointment via our patient adviser or clinician  https://nhsattend.vc/alfordmp

For Technical Requirements to run an NHS Near Me video call click here Technical Requirements  

For Troubleshooting tips if you experience difficulties using NHS Near Me click here Troubleshooting tips  


Due to Covid 19, the practice is no longer able to allow patients to directly book an appointment with a GP, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner or Healthcare Assistant at the practice. All contacts and queries are triaged by the clinical team and the most appropriate course of action decided. This is a system known as total triage.

While some of the lockdown restrictions are likely to ease in the near future, it is important that the practice only deals with patients face to face when it is absolutely essential or urgent for staff and patient safety. We remain open and available for your health concerns but due to obvious restrictions will try to manage patients by telephone and video consultations (using NearMe) whenever possible.

The system has worked very well ensuring patients are dealt with promptly and by the appropriate member of the team. This means that to continue to protect public safety total triage will remain in place long term as the practice deals with Covid and works towards finding a new normal.

The preferred route into the surgery would be by completing an eConsult but details can be taken over the phone for patients who cannot do this.

We will shortly be providing details about how to book nurse appointments for such things as chronic disease reviews and smears, etc.

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any worrying or urgent concerns you may have.

What is eConsult?

eConsult has several functions:- It can help you with self diagnosis using its symptom checker and gives detailed self-help information; it can help you determine the most appropriate place to go seek help, which may be your local pharmacy or the national 111 help line; and it provides a mechanism to submit a secure eConsult direct to the GP 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means you don't have to wait for the practice to open to submit an eConsult, it can be done anytime including evenings and weekends to beat the morning rush. The practice will then reply by the end of the next working day.

If you wish to submit an eConsult to the practice:

  • Click on the "Get Started" banner above
  • Click on "I want help for my condition" and then select your condition from the list. If you can't find a good fit, select "I want general advice"
  • Work through the questions and then submit to the practice. We will respond within 2 hours if you submit your eConsult before 12 noon.  Any online consultations submitted after 12 noon will be responded to as quickly as possible with a guaranteed response of 10am the following working day.

You can add photos to your eConsult (important if you have rash to diagnose you more easily) if you complete any of the following templates:

Adult Templates:

Acne, Athlete’s foot, Bites and stings, Breast problems in men, Breast problems in women, Flu, Cold or Flu, Conjunctivitis/Sticky eye, Contact dermatitis, Eczema, Elbow pain, Hives/Urticaria, Mastitis, Mouth ulcer, Rash, Stye, Warts and verrucae

Child Templates:

Conjunctivitis/Sticky eye, Eczema Hives/Urticaria, Impetigo Rash, Ringworm, Warts and verrucae.


Latest Update about Coronavirus

GP Practices have remained open throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic. Urgent medical problems are still dealt with by GPs, nurses and other staff.
 
As we move into a phased recovery, most medical services will start to come back on stream, but this does not, and cannot mean a return to normal.
 
Just as the supermarket, the coffee shop and the office is a very different place, so too is the GP surgery. Much of what you may need to contact the surgery about can be dealt with without attending there, so people across the country are being asked to phone or e mail first, with telephone or video calls arranged, and only those who need face to face contact are asked to attend to keep you and others safe with as few people as possible in the buildings.
 
Because it's likely that those attending will have health problems, it's even more important to ensure safety than it is in the supermarket or office so staff will wear PPE, and you will be asked to wear a face covering/ mask.
 
Contact time will be kept to a minimum for everyone’s safety but despite this each appointment needs to be longer, and flow through the buildings will be controlled, and waiting rooms will seem very different.
 
The way they are delivered will stay changed for a very long time to come. We all need to feel safe when we use the NHS and need our NHS staff to be safe.

From 8am on Monday 23rd March 2020, NHS24 are now the first point of contact for any suspected Covid-19 related concerns. Please check the NHS Inform website (www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus) for more information.

You should only call 111 if you feel you cannot manage your symptoms at home or if the NHS Inform website does not answer your Covid-19 query.

This change is being implemented across Scotland due to the high volume of suspected Covid-19 calls coming through to allow General Practices to continue to provide care for any non-Covid 19 related health matters.

If you do contact the practice and it is a Covid 19 related matter you will be asked to call 111.

https://www.nhsinform.scot/


The practice is making preparations for the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic with guidance from Health Protection Scotland and Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership.


If you have any of symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath you must not come into the surgery and should instead follow the guidance on the flowchart below. This is to protect you, other patients and the staff in the surgery. The UK Government has advised that any individual with persistent fever and cough symptom should self-isolate for 7 days.


We will be implementing a triage system for all patients with suspected Covid 19 so that we can decide which patients will need further assessment. We intend to use NearMe video consultations whenever possible as this will allow for a better assessment than a telephone call. We would ask that anyone who has the capability to use this service does so and that you visit our website to try a test call.


If you do have an appointment at the surgery we would ask that you wear a face covering, eg scarf or cloth and on arrival at the practice, that you ring the doorbell and follow our patient adviser's advice.  We would also ask that you keep at least 2 metres away from anyone in the waiting room.


For any other medical issues we would encourage you to consider an alternative method of consulting with us - either by eConsult or by telephone. In this difficult time the eConsult platform would be our preferred option as it provides us with more detailed information.


Advice relating to Covid 19 will change frequently as the pandemic progresses in the coming weeks and we will try to keep our patients updated as often as possible with any significant changes to this advice. We would encourage you to check our practice website or the Patient Participation Group Facebook page daily for updates and we will also aim to communicate through text message whenever possible.


We appreciate your patience and understanding as we try to deal with a worrying and rapidly evolving situation.


Useful links:


Health Protection Scotland
https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/ 


Advice for people who are self-isolating at home
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection


Face Coverings

Following on from the Scottish Government guidance, the Practice asks that patients who are attending the surgery could come wearing a face covering – e.g. scarf or cloth. This is not currently mandatory, but patient co-operation would be very much appreciated to protect both patients and staff. Thank you!

Click here for more information - https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/ 

THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT FOR A LETTER OR CERTIFICATE IN RELATION TO THE WEARING OF FACE COVERINGS

People are not required to carry proof that they are exempt for medical reasons. They do not need exemption letters or certificates and their word should be accepted by relevant organisations.

However, you can access DIY cards to help deal with public situations that might happen - click on the link below for more information.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e74a4169b3712658a63f54f/t/5eeb87d9e8f478511e292ab8/1592494047048/Mask-Exemption-Cards-V2.pdf


Access

The surgery was purpose built and designed to accommodate all the needs of disabled patients. There is full wheelchair access throughout and suitable toilet facilities.  Car parking at or near to the surgery is not usually a problem. There is a good-sized car park on site. Use of the car park is entirely at patient’s own risk.


Zero Abuse

We operate a zero abuse policy and ask that you respect the team that looks after you.

Both physical and/or verbal abuse towards any member of our team will not be tolerated and patients found in breach of this policy may have to find alternative medical care.

Please treat our team with the same respect that you would expect to be treated.


This is where we'll post the latest information relating to our services, practice news and upcoming events, which we hope you will find useful (click on the Facebook link above).

If you do, please 'like', 'follow' and 'share' the page, and tell your friends to do the same, so we can spread the word.

Please note any negative or derogatory comments will be removed.


Disclaimer: The information given in these pages is provided for information only.  Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate, the author cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions which have occurred and no responsibility will be taken by the author for events arising from use of the information provided.  Although the advice for patients is as comprehensive and accurate as possible, it is only general and should not be used as a substitute for the patient consulting their own doctor.

Alford Medical Practice is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.  These links are provided as a convenience to the visitor and their inclusion does not imply our endorsement.

(Site updated 13/11/2020)
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