Welcome to 'Pilgrims Way Surgery' in Dartford East Health Centre
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, how you contact your GP surgery will be different at the moment. This is to limit face-face contact where possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus
• Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients, but you may be asked to discuss your conditions over the phone or online first to assess what would be most appropriate for you
• In addition to face-to-face consultations, we do offer consultations online or over the phone. This can be a convenient and flexible way to receive healthcare but if you would prefer to see a GP or healthcare professional in person then this will be arranged for you.
Four ways to seek healthcare advice from a GP
• Call the surgery to discuss a face-to-face or virtual (telephone or video) appointment
• Visit our website and access DoctorLink to complete a confidential triage online form
• Call NHS 111 or go online to seek advice https://111.nhs.uk/
• Download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, book appointments and check your symptoms
Important message from Pilgrims Way Surgery
We are aware there are significant problems getting through to us on the phone. We are sorry this is the case and would like to explain a little about why that is.
Many GP surgeries across the country are in a similar position. We understand how frustrating it can be for it to take longer than normal.
We would like to reassure you we are working hard to resolve the situation.
There are three things that are challenging us:
1 There has been an unprecedented post lockdown increase in demand. Part of this is because many of our patients have been managing health issues themselves rather than contacting their Doctor over the past year and some hospital procedures and appointments have been delayed. As confidence in general is returning, patients are now quite rightly contacting us.
2 We have been heavily involved in delivering the countries largest ever vaccination campaign.
3 We have had to change the way we work to keep things safe for our patients and our staff.
What can you do to help?
- Choose well - can the pharmacy help your symptoms ? Call 111 if you are unsure which sort of treatment you need. You can also go online 111.nhs.uk.
- Use our online consultation system, if you are able to.
- Cancel appointments you no longer need
It’s useful to remember our teams are on the front line and see both the best and the worst of us all. They work incredibly hard to help patients navigate the system, but may not be able to offer you exactly what you want at all times.
Please be patient and courteous, they want to find the best solution as much as you do.
We are grateful for your understanding.
Assistant Practice Manager
IF YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED TO ATTEND THE SURGERY PLEASE ADHERETO THE FOLLOWING:
For Your Safety and Ours We Ask That You Wear A Face Covering When Attending The GP Practice. This Is Vital If We Are To Protect Patients And Staff. Thank You
We have been looking at how we can improve access to Practice Services; DoctorLink is our new online service where you can access advice and appointments on line:
registration is simple and you can register here:
For more information please click on our 'Online Services' tab
The flu vaccination is the best protection for you and those around you which is why it is offered for free for those most at risk.
Vaccinations started in September and continue over the winter months, with appointments available throughout the season (so there is still plenty of time to book). Priority is given to those who are most at risk of flu. GP practices and pharmacies receive phased deliveries of the vaccine and flu clinics are scheduled to coincide with these deliveries.
By staggering appointments over the winter months, we can help protect as many people as possible from flu.
Please note that if you are aged between 50 and 64 and are not in a clinical at risk group, the earliest you will be offered a flu vaccination is November. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first. Thank you in advance for your patience, understanding and cooperation. If you are aged 50 to 64 and are in a clinical at risk group which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you will be invited earlier. Please contact your GP practice for more information or visit your local community pharmacy.
If you are a household member or a carer of a shielded patient, you are eligible for the flu vaccination. Please contact your GP practice for more information or visit your local community pharmacy.
For parents/carers of two and three year olds, you should receive an invitation for your child to have the vaccination at their GP practice before the winter. If you haven’t heard by early November, contact the practice directly to make an appointment.
For primary school-aged children and those in Year 7 at secondary school, a vaccination session will be held at school during the autumn term. Your local healthcare team will contact you via the school.
At the Pilgrims Way Surgery in Dartford the doctors, paramedics, nurses, health care assistants and other staff take pride in offering the highest standard of patient-centred healthcare.
We are a three doctor training practice (with GP trainees and medical students) based in Dartford East Health Centre, which is also shared with another practice. The centre has good access for wheelchairs and facilities for our disabled patients. There is also a car park for our patients
We are a friendly and welcoming practice with a mixture of youth and experience which makes us progressive, innovative and energetic.
We work closely with Paramedic Health Practitioners, District Nurses, Midwives, Health Visitors, Community Psychiatric Nurses and Counsellors to provide care in the community for our patients.
We hope you find us welcoming and helpful. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to write to our Practice Manager or your Doctor and these will be duly noted and acted upon.
Closure of GP walk-in service at White Horse
Patients are advised that the walk-in GP service at White Horse, Northfleet, ended on 30 June 2020. This is the first step towards implementing a linked urgent treatment centre at Gravesham Community Hospital and Darent Valley Hospital, following a public consultation last year, in line with the Government’s Long Term Plan. In taking that decision, it was also agreed at that time that the contract held with Fleet Healthcare to provide the walk-in GP service would not be extended when it expired on 30 June 2020.
Patients who need to urgently see a GP should contact us and we will do our best to offer an on-the-day appointment if clinically needed. You may be asked to visit another local surgery for your appointment. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 for advice and direction to the nearest available service where appropriate, you may also use our DoctorLink service online. The Minor Injury Unit at Gravesham Community Hospital, Gravesend, remains open for urgent minor injuries and some minor illnesses.
For life-threatening conditions, call 999
Face masks / Facial coverings
Face masks / Facial coverings are still mandatory in Health Care Areas. We understand some patients will be anxious about wearing a mask especially if you have breathing difficulties.
Practices are reporting increases in requests from patients for letters of exemption to wearing face masks in various public settings.
In England, you must by law continue to wear a face covering on public transport as of 19th July 2021.
The Government guidance suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption. It should be sufficient for someone to declare that they are eligible for an exemption direct with the person questioning them (eg bus driver).
Practices are therefore not required to provide letters of support for those who fall under the list of exemptions, or to those who do not fall under the list of exemptions.
Some transport providers are providing evidence of exemptions themselves, see for example this information from First Bus and Arriva.
(Site updated 06/10/2021)