Village of Haddenham

Medical Centre Update

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Dr Mark Howcutt 02a

Latest update from Dr Howcutt at Haddenham Medical Centre (Sunday 19th April 2020):

" Another big thank you to all of you who have wished us well. We are so encouraged by your support over this difficult time. A special thank you to the anonymous donor who planted flowers outside the surgery. They have really brightened up the area and add to our new cheerful social distancing floor markings and colourful rainbow paintings made by the team's families.

We would also like to sincerely thank all patients who have been in touch with us for help this week. Your patience with the new systems has helped us to keep everyone safe and well in our community.

You will be aware that a challenge for all health services is the need to maintain staff levels even when colleagues are sick or self-isolating. Unfortunately, we have still not been able to access testing for COVID-19 for our staff but hope this will be resolved soon.

Without testing, if a member of staff has symptoms, they cannot work in the surgery for seven days; if one of their family develops symptoms, for fourteen days. You can understand this causes significant problems which would be quickly resolved if we could prove whether or not they actually had COVID-19.

We have now been provided with new equipment to enable some of us to work from home. However, please be aware that these new systems are suddenly in high demand and so we have some teething problems to overcome.

Requests for repeat prescriptions have returned to normal levels and we are able to process these as usual. Some medications remain difficult to obtain, but we are working with our colleagues in the pharmacy to provide suitable replacements. Staff at the pharmacy are working extremely hard but they tell us that they are keeping up with demand. Our thanks go to them.

Unusually, we were open Good Friday and Easter Monday taking phone calls from patients and dealing with problems. A lot of time over Easter was also spent checking the list of patients that the Government considered very high risk from COVID-19. We appreciate the frustration felt by some patients with the delays in receiving letters about "shielding".

Unfortunately, the required information from the Government only came to us in the last few days. The whole team have done an amazing job in checking these and we are contacting these high-risk patients and those we consider vulnerable to check on whether they need additional support.

Sadly, as the lockdown continues, we know that many people are struggling with their mental health. This is a stressful time for all and especially difficult for those already suffering from low mood or anxiety.
A new telephone helpline for mental health advice has been launched in Buckinghamshire. During the pandemic, it will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and temporarily replaces 111 for people who need mental health care when their situation is not life-threatening. Residents of all ages can call for advice about how to manage symptoms, to find out when and where to get help and to access support from mental health professionals. The numbers are:

Adult helpline: 01865 904997

Children and Young People: 01865 904998

As you might imagine we have many emails each day with new information. We have a dedicated page on our website now which we will try to keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 information: https://www.haddenham.org/covid-19-resources

Please play your part by continuing to stay at home and by looking after any of your neighbours who are vulnerable.

Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives. "