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Important Update From East Cornwall PCN

Dear Patients, East Cornwall Primary Care Network feel compelled to reach out to our patients  to try to dispel the myth being generated by the media and seemingly supported by the government, that our general Practice Surgeries have been closed for the last 18 months and that we continue to refuse face to face appointments.

This is not the case and the fact is that we have never refused to see any of our patients face to face where there has been a clinical need to do so.

It is true we have changed the way we operate, by using technology like eConsult, video and telephone consulting to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible – it would be irresponsible of us not to do so. Working this way means we can consult with more patients, and some patients find it much more convenient than having to leave work or home to come to the surgery.

The current media campaign is creating a belief that “lazy GP’s” have been sitting in their surgeries refusing to see patients, which is now causing frustration amongst patients who believe they are not being given the service they deserve.

The GP’s across the Primary Care Network and indeed across the country are currently working up to 15 hours each day, consulting with at least 40 patients a day each and then working their way through 100’s of test results, prescription requests, onward referrals and letters from other agencies which all demand their time and careful attention.

Our nursing and admin teams are working equally as hard, with the nurses providing  mostly face to face appointments for our patient every day. In just one practice, nursing staff provided 350 face to face appointments over the last 7 days alone.

Our Admin teams have dealt with thousands of  telephone calls over the last week and that is before they have looked at the 100’s of emails and queries which come in via our website or assisted those patients attending the surgery.

Please have no doubt that we are still very much dealing with a pandemic, infection rates are high in our area and with the winter illnesses beginning to surface, we must ensure keeping our patients and staff safe is our priority.

NHS staff, even though they have received a complete vaccination programme, still have to stay away from work for 10 days if a household member tests positive, so we are trying to manage this ever-increasing workload with fluctuating manpower.

The current climate is tough for everyone at the moment, and we understand it can be frustrating when you feel your needs are not being met as quickly as you would like, believe us we are frustrated too, but please don’t believe everything you read or hear in the media.  We really are all just trying our very best to help you as quickly and as safely as we can.

Thank you for your continued support.

© East Cornwall Primary Care Network 2021

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