Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the GP surgery keeping all these changes at Alert 2? We have to maintain the safety of our staff and patients (particularly patients who might be vulnerable to severe respiratory infection). This protection going forward will take the form of ongoing safe social practice (hand hygiene, physical distancing and isolating those with respiratory illness from vulnerable others - we will do this by using different entrances, different assessment areas, and encouraging people to wait in their cars until their appointment time.
Why can I not just walk in to the surgery? We need to be able to check whether you have respiratory symptoms before you book an appointment and again before you enter the building - this is to ensure persons with respiratory symptoms are actively identified and have little chance of encountering a vulnerable patient. This gives you confidence that our waiting room and surgery is safe to visit if you have to.
Will it be safe to visit the GP surgery? Yes, we are very much open for business. With our green zone / red zone processes in place, and with your co-operation we are confident we have meaningfully reduced the risk of anyone catching or transmitting respiratory infection (COVID or Influenza) at the surgery. Please contact us if you need medical attention.
But I am having trouble getting though on the phone? We have had to completely rework how we run our service and we do not have the same number of phone lines - for those of you who can please use Manage My Health, firstname.lastname@example.org or the 'pink button' on tkhealth.co.nz. We will contact you the same day if you require it and if you submit the request before 11am. Please keep the phone-line as free as possible for those who need it and for those who need same-day review.
I can't access my phone at work, or I have poor phone reception? Please let us know when you write in, or when you are talking with reception - let us know a good approximate time to call you back.
How do I know if I need same day, next day or routine review? We will help you decide, if you have a new or worsening illness please let reception know. The Clinical Team will contact you and assess with you the type and timing of review you need. You might require physical examination and if so we will arrange a time for you to come into the surgery. If it is not a new or worsening illness, but rather scheduling a follow-up please book for phone or in-person review via reception
Can I see the GP in person for a face to face consult? We will be able to open more in-person GP and Nurse appointments but we expect to be also continuing a lot of our consultation work via phone or video link. We are developing processes to allow us to safely manage more patients over the phone - we are hoping it will remain a positive option for many people, particularly those at work or those who have transport difficulties.
What is the process if I need urgent care, like a wound or fracture? In an emergency please call 111. New or worsening medical conditions that require same day should be notified by phone, email or using the pink button - the email account is checked regularly through out the day. These tasks are sent directly to the clinical team who will contact you and arrange a time for review or direct you to another provider such as A&M or the hospital. The Clinical Team will check Manage My Health at the beginning of each day but not routinely throughout the day.
What is this I hear about red zone and green zones? This is reduce our likelihood of spreading respiratory illness amongst our patients and staff. Patients with respiratory symptoms will be invited for assessment round the back of the surgery in our temporary cabin, this is our red zone. Staff will have access to adequate PPE. If we all work together we can keep the main surgery a green zone, allowing much of our clinical work and that of the Physio, Dentist, Podiatrist and Pathlab to continue as normal.
What happens if I wake up with cold or flu symptoms - do I still come to my appointment as usual? Great question. We are working to keep our patients and staff safe from catching respiratory illness. If you have cold or flu symptoms please let our team know and we will contact you to assess whether we can help you over the phone, reschedule your appointment, or assess you in our red zone area.
Why can I not turn up for my appointment early? This is part of the principle of physical distancing and our work to keep patients and staff working to keep our patients and staff safe from catching respiratory illness. We need to control the numbers of people in our waiting room at any one time. We will also be doing this by rooming patients as soon as we can after arrival - we are also aiming to run to time, Drs run to time I hear you say? Wish us luck!
If I am concerned I have COVID19 or have been in contact can I be tested at the practice? Please let us know by via online or phone and the clinical team will contact you to discuss. We do provide COVID swabbing for those that meet the disease definition. There is also a mobile swabbing service that will come to Meremere and Te Kauwhata as needed.
Why do I have to make an appointment for blood tests, I usually just turn up? There are a lot of changes made with new infection control and contact tracing requirements. We are booking appointments so we can 1. manage the number of staff and patients in the building at any one time, 2. so we can actively identify those patients with respiratory symptoms and keep them away from patients or staff who may be vulnerable to respiratory infection, 3. so we can comply with Public Health directives and have a clear means of contact tracing if this is required. We do appreciate you working with these change.
How do I pay for my prescription or my appointment? Thanks for asking. For in person consults you can pay on the day as usual. We have contactless payment options and are accepting cash or cheque in some instances. If you have a phone consult or have requested prescription we can email you invoices and you can pay by internet banking. See our fees and payment page. Alternatively we may send your invoice to pharmacy with your prescription. If you are a regular user of service you may like to consider an automatic payment.
How long will it take my prescription to be ready? We will process same day prescriptions requests received before 12.30 the same day. For routine requests please allow 24 hours. You can come and collect your prescription - please do not come to our front door if you have respiratory symptoms - or we can fax to a pharmacy of your choice ($5 surcharge). We can also bring to TK pharmacy for no charge. Your prescription will still take some time to process at pharmacy, please phone Angela 07 826 3827 and her team to arrange a time to collect your medicine.