Briarwood Medical Centre
At Briarwood Medical Centre the staff take pride in offering the highest standard of patient-centred healthcare. We offer a wide variety of medical services including the management of chronic diseases, antenatal and postnatal care, childhood vaccinations and well-person check-ups. In addition to everything you need to know about the practice you will also find a wealth of health-related information in the menu on the right hand side. Please have a look around and do send us some feedback if you like.
Flu appointments are available to book from week commencing Monday 5 October. Please call us on 01772 529230 to book in for your flu vaccination. Currently the vaccines are only available for patients in these categories: (1) over 65's (2) those with chronic diseases.
GP's and community pharmacies will be able to offer flu vaccinations to all 50 to 64 year olds from 1 December. Please do not contact us regarding this yet. We will get in touch with you regarding appointment availability.
Issues with our telephone lines
We are sorry for the inconvenience being caused for our patents trying to contact the practice by telephone recently. You may have found that trying to reach us first thing on a Monday morning has been particularly difficult. Like many GP practices in Lancashire, our telephone system is run by a local NHS IT provider who are aware of these issues. We want to assure you these problems have been escalated and explain that fixing them is not in our control, so please be patient with us whilst they are being addressed.
We have been told that over the next few weeks, a short term fix being put in place that should ensure our telephone systems can stay online during very busy periods. In the longer term, we know that upgrades are being made to the system that should fully resolve the problems. Remember, there are other ways that you can contact the practice. Firstly if you are able please review our web pages as this is where we will provide you with the most up to date methods of contacting us or where appropriate other alternatives exist such as:-
- MyGp or PatientAccess; an app that you can download and use to order your prescription.
- Contact us via email on email@example.com
- As usual, you should dial 999 in an emergency and can access NHS111 or your local pharmacy for advice.
Patient Briefing on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, how you contact us will be different at the moment. This is to limit face-to-face contact whenever possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Briarwood Medical Centre is open and if you need to see a GP, please ring us on 01772 529230. We are open from 8.00am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 12noon on a Sunday.
You can also call NHS 111. Please do not come to the surgery unless you have an appointment. Appointments are being delivered face-to-face, online and over the telephone. If you are asked to come into the surgery for a face-to-face appointment, please remember to wear a face covering. Measures are in place to keep you safe from infection during your visit to the surgery.
If you wish to collect a prescription, please telephone us and arrange to set up a nominated chemist; your prescription will then be sent direct to them (in most cases). If you have a letter/form to drop off, please post it to us using Royal Mail.
Repeat prescriptions can be ordered by phoning us on 01772 529230; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; online via Patient Access, NHS or mygp apps. If you need an access code for any of the apps, we can email this to you.
Please note that it is not a GP's responsibility to issue school letters of absence for your children. Government guidance is that school attendance is mandatory unless your child is self-isolating, has symptoms of COVID-19 or is close to someone who has COVID-19. We GP Practice cannot advise you on whether or not your child or children are safe to return to school; this should be discussed with the school(s) concerned.
Your GP Practice cannot assist you in booking a Covid-19 test and does not provide Covid-19 testing; this can only be done via the national online booking portal or contact NHS 119 by telephone.
If you are clinically vulnerable please read the link under the "Further Information" tab on the right hand side of this page.
If you think you have Coronavirus symptoms
Firstly, please do not come to the practice, your local pharmacy or A&E.
Your first port of call if you have symptoms should be the NHS111 online self-assessment portal (https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19).
If you do not have access to the internet, you can call us to request a call back from one of our clinical team who will talk you through the questions and advise you as per the online protocol.
For information on how to self-isolate, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
Patients and visitors coming to the surgery will need to wear a face covering to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to others. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it Patients and visitors are advised to bring a face covering ahead of coming to an appointment. The use of face coverings in GP practices is a local decision to help protect public and staff and is not national PHE guidance. If you do not have a face covering, a mask will be provided to you on arrival.
We understand that some patients will be anxious about wearing a mask especially those with certain medical conditions.
GP’s are not required or in a position to provide exemption letters for patients who believe they should be exempt from wearing a face covering.
The current guidance suggests there is no requirement for the public to provide medical evidence for exemption from wearing face masks therefore a self- declaration should be sufficient.
Please go to the GOV.UK link below for more information on the use of face coverings. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
For specific requirements in reference to public transport, shops or other areas where masks are required please contact those specific companies for further information.
Holiday cancellation letters
We would politely ask patients not to request their GP to write letters in order for people to cancel holidays due to COVID -19. The Royal College of General Practice supports this request "Insurers and travel companies should be basing their decisions to offer refunds on advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Public Health England, not letters from GPs. Patients will undoubtedly have good and sensible reasons for not wanting to travel to certain places because of Covid-19, but this is not the same as being unable to travel due to existing illness, and it should not become the GP's responsibility to give patients advice about where not to travel."
Unfortunately writing such letters takes the GP away from caring for our patients at what will undoubtedly be a very busy time. We thank you for your understanding in this matter.
7 days off sick or less: If you're off work sick for 7 days or less, your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you've been ill. Instead they can ask you to confirm that you've been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called self-certification.
More than 7 days off sick: If you're off work sick for more than 7 days, your employer will usually ask for a fit note (or Statement of Fitness for Work) from a GP or hospital doctor. Fit notes are sometimes referred to as medical statements or a doctor's note.
If you are self-isolating and require a fit note for after your 7th day of absence from work, you can create a self-isolation note online via https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note
Hospital appointments & scans
Hospitals are bearing the brunt of managing the Coronavirus, so they have had to make some difficult decisions and have paused some services which are non-essential.
The practice does not have any control over this situation and we are not able to predict when these services will become operational again.
Requests for reports (DVLA, solicitors etc.)
As you can imagine we are under significant pressures due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. In line with BMA advice we are unable to respond to non-essential paperwork at the current time.
We will keep your request and aim to deal with it once the situation normalises. We suggest you check with us in the future if you have not had a response.
However If you feel you need urgent medical information please contact us as we may be able to provide you with online access to your medical record.
Just as we are all finding in the shops, the pharmacies are also reporting a large increase in the number of prescriptions they are being asked for, which is leading to shortages. It is therefore important that we do not issue prescriptions early in order to ensure that supplies are not exhausted.
Asthma: Rescue packs will only be prescribed to those in the extremely high risk groups - ie have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks. If they have not been advised to do this then they will not be getting a rescue pack to ensure supplies are available to those who need them.
See advice here re who falls into these groups: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/#Shielding
COPD: Patients who have had rescue packs before can have a repeat one. Those who are requesting one will only be given one if they have required steroids 2 x in the last 12 months.
If you have not been prescribed an inhaler in the past 12 months, we will not be able to provide you with a prescription until you have had a review with a Practice Nurse.
We understand that there may be a shortage of over-the-counter paracetamol at present, but we are still not able to issue prescriptions for paracetamol unless there is an ongoing medical reason for us to do so.
These are patients that would usually be invited for a flu vaccination. The advice to these patients is to try and avoid unnecessary contact. However, if you are a key worker the guidance states that you should still attend your place of work unless you have agreed otherwise with your employer.
Very High risk patients
The government, with the help of hospital consultants and other agencies, has identified 1.5m members of the public who would be at very high risk if they were to contract Coronavirus. Because of this, these patients have been written to and expressly told to self-isolate for a period of 12 weeks – this is known as ‘shielding’. Currently, the only people in this category are those who include:
-Solid organ transplant recipients
-People with specific cancers: people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy; people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy; people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment; people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer; people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors; people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
-People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
-People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
-People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
-Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
(Site updated 24/11/2020)