Dear Patients,

As always, thank you so much for all your support and kind messages over the past few months. Each one of these has had such a positive impact on us all at the Tavyside and Lifton Surgeries.
It has been a year like no other in General Practice and the combination of an ongoing pandemic, a strained and intermittently paralysed secondary care system, and our role leading the delivery of Covid vaccinations to our community has certainly pushed the whole surgery team to the extremes of what they can cope with.
Throughout this, our primary aim has been to continue to deliver appropriate and responsive medical care to all our patients who are in need. Moving forward we hope that working together with our patients, we can continue to do this as effectively as possible, despite the ongoing workload and extra demands which show no sign of abating.
In order to be able to prioritise those patients that need our care most and prevent unnecessary delays for you, can we ask, wherever possible, that you use the self-referral routes to access physiotherapy, get help and advice for minor illness from your pharmacist, access urgent eye care via the Royal Eye Infirmary advice line and minor injuries care at the local Minor Injury Units. You can find details of these on our website (www.tavyside.org) or by searching on the internet.
We have lots of resources available which offer advice on how to manage many common presentations like knee pain, skin disorders, coughs, colds and sore throats or almost any symptom or illness you can think of. These resources can effectively explain what things can be self-managed and how, and which of these needs a discussion with a doctor. If you go to the NHS website www.nhs.uk and type your symptom or condition into the search box, you can find all the up-to-date patient advice.
If you wish to speak to a GP at Tavyside or Lifton, you can arrange this on the same day (subject to availability) by contacting reception before 11am, or by booking a phone consultation online. These slots will be filled to capacity each day so please contact reception as soon as you can in the day to book one of these. For ongoing complex issues, it is possible to book ahead with a doctor of your choice. We highly encourage all patients, when possible, to use our online contact form (found on the front page of our website) to prompt an appropriate doctor contact rather than ringing into reception. This allows doctors to more effectively triage daily patient needs and provide advice and treatment as efficiently as possible.
It is as much of a frustration for the doctors and nurses as it is for the patients that things aren’t ‘back to normal’ and the pressure of workload and the limits of infection control mean that we continue to a slightly more remote system than previously. Rest assured however, that for any patient that requires a review in person, this is possible to arrange quickly and safely at the surgery.

Kind regards, Tavyside Health Centre