I am writing to you on behalf of the Sixpenny Handley and Chalke Valley Practice as you are on our register as having a respiratory condition. I appreciate that these are worrying and uncertain times. We wanted to share how we anticipate management of respiratory disease, both routinely and in an urgent appointment over the next 6 months.
As per national guidance, routine annual respiratory reviews are over the telephone and sometimes using a video conference calling system. The usual face to face annual review which includes checks of oxygen levels, peak flows and spirometry are not being carried out due to concerns about possible transmission of coronavirus. Instead, the emphasis is on:
- Ensuring that symptoms are well managed.
- Identifying possible changes of usual symptoms.
- Ensuring that you have a plan.
Should your condition change and you require urgent care, the doctors are triaging daily appointments and urgent enquiries. Some people will need to be seen and systems are in place to ensure everyone who enters the surgery buildings are kept as safe as possible.
Our aim is to try to offer the best possible care despite the ongoing restrictions.
If you have not had a review in the past 6 months please could you book in for a routine telephone appointment with me. Please also check that you have an up to date “COPD care Plan” to help you manage your COPD or a “Personal Asthma Action Plan” if you have asthma.
If you do not have a plan please let us know by completing our Ask the Practice a Question form. If you cannot do this please send us a letter requesting a plan.
Some of you may have a “rescue pack” of medication. If you have COPD and this pack contains prednisolone tablets and you are suffering from a high temperature please speak to a doctor before starting this medication.
We hope very much that this information is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact the surgery if we can help or if you have a change in symptoms. Asthma U.K. and the British Lung Foundation both have good information for practical advice and emotional support as well as some good breathing exercises to try to keep lungs in good shape.
I very much look forward to being able to see you again in person for your routine reviews as soon as we are able.
Sister Lizzie Williams