Editorial Comment

Coronavirus March 2020

Coronavirus – Preventative Steps

The most obvious and prominent advice being given from all quarters currently is to constantly and thoroughly wash your hands and encourage mask wearing for all face to face contacts as well as keeping your distance.

There may be some preventative measures that you have not considered. Take a look at this list.

a) Is there a dedicated Isolation Room in your surgery, which can be constantly cleaned rather than just placing people in the only empty room available?

b) Is there a generous supply of hand gel dispensers scattered about your surgery?

c) Are regular arrangements made for the cleaning of handrails, door handles, and for checking and cleaning toilets.

d) Do you have separate toilets for staff to use? 

e) Is there a regime of disinfecting telephone handsets?

f) Are there sufficient mobile telephones available if contact away from the surgery is necessary? 

g) Can the clinical system be used off site? If not, why not? It does seem that some Practices are more savvy on IT issues than others.

h) Can you instantly lock down surgery entrances to prevent access? 

i) Does the reception counter have a glass safety screen?

k) Can you immediately isolate patients with symptoms?

j) Are you encouraging patients to use online services for repeat prescriptions but not for appointments?

k) Do you provide either an online messaging service or email address for patients to use? 

l) Have you spaced reception seating at a social distance? 

J) Do you have an intercom system installed at your main surgery entrance?

K) Can Patients post a repeat prescription request using an external letterbox?

I am sure there are more ideas for preventative measures.

Revised 10 March 2020


Robert Campbell

By Robert Campbell<br><img src="" alt="Robert Campbell" class="avatar" width='50' height='50'/>

Started work writing medical cards in 1966 at Staffordshire Executive Council. Have worked at Inner London Executive Council, Hertfordshire Executive Council, Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham FPC, Birmingham FPC, Dudley FPC and Wakefield FPC and Family Health Services Authority. I was seconded to the NHS Appeals Unit and have worked as a full time GP practice manager since 1992 until 2010. I was also an AMSPAR trainer at Park Lane College, Leeds. Now I work as a freelance author.