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Patient safety top priority for Sheffield GPs

Patient safety top priority for Sheffield GPs
17 September 2020

To mark World Patient Safety Day, NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are highlighting some of the work GP practices are doing to keep patients and staff safe during covid-19.

Thursday 17 September is World Patient Safety Day, led by the World Health Organisation the campaign aims to raise global awareness about the importance of healthcare workers safety as an essential in being able to provide safe patient care.

During the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, GP practices in Sheffield have remained open and made changes to the way they work to keep their staff and patients safe. Over 19,000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been delivered to GP practices from the CCG, this includes items such as face masks, visors, gloves, disposable aprons and specialist cleaning equipment.

At the start of the pandemic practices changed the way they offered appointments and moved to online triage and telephone/video consultations for those patients who don’t need face to face appointments. Since the start of the pandemic there have been 4,975 online triage sessions.

Face to face appointments are still available to those who need to see a doctor or nurse - for example people who need to have a vaccination, cervical screening appointment or those who need physical examinations.

In these cases, staff will be wearing PPE and processes are in place in practices to reduce the risk of spreading the virus including asking patients to wait in their vehicle or outside until their appointment and wearing a face covering when inside, apart from in exceptional circumstances.

Dr Zak McMurray, GP and Medical Director at NHS Sheffield CCG, said: “The covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the huge challenges and risks health workers face including health care associated infections, violence, stigma, psychological and emotional trauma, illness and even death in some cases.

“It’s really important that we keep our staff safe from the virus, if our practice staff are healthy and protected from the virus as much as possible, it means they can continue to be available to offer appointments to their patients. It also means that they can provide safe care to their patients and minimise the risk of passing the virus on.

“Our GP practices are still open and still offering appointments, these may be ‘virtual’ appointments that are offered over the telephone or via a video call. We are offering some appointments in this way to reduce the risk of spreading the virus unnecessarily but please be assured you will receive the same level of care as if you were face to face with the GP or nurse. Of course in some circumstances you will need a face to face appointment, these will be offered and staff will be wearing protective clothing to keep you and them safe.

“Please bear in mind that covid-19 is a new virus and our practice staff are working in a new and challenging environment. They are busier than usual and are working extremely hard during the pandemic to continue to provide care and treatment to patients. When contacting your practice please try to be patient and kind.”

The CCG have developed a video of practice staff explaining how they are working during covid-19, you can view it here www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk/Your-Health/the-nhs-is-open.htm.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

722 Prince of Wales Road
S9 4EU

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