The NHS in Walsall and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.
Anyone who has travelled to China or places listed above in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, should immediately:
Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country
Information for the public is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the GP practice and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Extended Access Service Hubs
Patients registered with a Walsall GP can benefit from the Extended GP Access Service.
NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has worked with local GPs to create four Hubs based at Darlaston Health Centre, Pinfold Health Centre, Broadway Medical Practice and Portland Medical Practice. The Hubs are currently run by a group of local GPS.
Since launching the service in December 2017 and up until May 2018, more than 15,500 patients have accessed the service.
When can I get an out-of-hours appointment?
Extra GP appointments will be available between:
- 6.30pm – 9pm weekdays (all four Hubs)
- 10am – 3pm weekends (excluding Darlaston Health Centre & Portland Medical Practice)
- 11am – 1.30pm Bank Holidays (all four Hubs)
However, people will only be seen if they have booked an appointment.
How can I book one of these appointments?
A dedicated number has been set up and appointments can be booked by calling: 01922 501999 during the following times:
- 8am – 9pm weekdays
- 10am – 3pm weekends
- 11am – 1pm bank holidays
NHS 111 will also be able to book an appointment for you if they feel you need to see a GP.
Do I need to be registered at one of the four surgeries where the Hubs are based to use the service?
No, you can be registered with any GP in Walsall to access the extra appointments.
However, please note you will need to travel to one the four Hubs (listed above).
What if I’m not registered with a Walsall GP?
If you are not a registered patient at a Walsall GP, you will not be able to access these out-of-hours appointments. More information about these services can be found on Walsall CCG’s website: www.walsallccg.nhs.uk.
When should I use the Hubs?
The extended service is for patients who require a routine or same day GP appointment, but are unable to attend during normal opening hours. However, they are not walk-in centres and you will need to book an appointment- these can be booked up to 7 days in advance. Please note that both of Walsall’s urgent care centres and its A&E department will still be open as normal for people to use in serious or life threatening emergencies.
The NHS App is now live!! If you’re a patient at our practice from Monday 17th June you can use the new #nhsapp, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. You can use the #nhsapp to check your symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more. For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp'