Buckshaw Village Surgery experiences 'severe issues' with staffing 'due to sickness and self-isolation'

NM Health Innovations has issued a statement after residents reported experiencing long delays for appointments at Buckshaw Village Surgery.

By Sean Gleaves
Thursday, 29th July 2021, 9:48 am

Residents have reported problems booking appointments at Buckshaw Village Surgery, with some patients allegedly having to wait over 15 days for a telephone consultation.

Today (July 28), NM Health Innovations stated the recent problems at the surgery have been caused by "staff absences due to sickness and self-isolation".

"This has affected a number of our clinicians across the group and staff numbers are now significantly down on our normal levels at all sites across the group and this has unfortunately affected the service we are able to provide," a spokesman said.

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"We are however making every effort to maintain as normal a level of service as possible, and we are making efforts to reallocate appointments to other clinicians who are continuing to work as normal.

"However, clearly the situation will have some effect on appointments and some appointments have unfortunately had to be postponed and some face-to-face appointments replaced by phone appointments."

The Group apologised for any inconvenience caused and said they are "making every effort to continue to provide as normal a service as possible".

It comes after a scheme allowing critical workers to be tested to avoid Covid self-isolation in England was expanded due to increasing staff shortages.

Residents have reported problems booking appointments at Buckshaw Village Surgery, prompting NM Health Innovations to release a statement.

The Government extended the list earlier this week to cover another 1,200 key businesses and employers, on top of the 800 already identified.

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The scheme uses lateral flow tests to allow eligible workers who have been pinged by the app or called by NHS Test and Trace to continue working, provided they test negative each day.

The Government said people working in energy, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, chemicals, communications, water, space, fish, veterinary medicine and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will also now be prioritised.

The vast number of people self-isolating after being advised to by the NHS app has been fuelled by the high numbers of coronavirus infections that have swept the nation as the Delta variant thrived and restrictions were eased.

The scale of the issue was shown by figures stating more than 600,000 people in England and Wales were told to quarantine by the NHS Covid-19 app in the week to July 14.

Ministers have so far resisted pressure from business leaders and some senior Conservative MPs to bring forward the wider relaxation of isolation rules for all fully-vaccinated people in England from August 16.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Whether it's prison guards reporting for duty, waste collectors keeping our streets clean or workers in our energy sector keeping the lights on, critical workers have been there for us at every stage of this global pandemic.

"As we learn to live with the virus, we will keep doing everything in our power to break chains of transmission and stop this virus in its tracks.

"Daily contact testing will play a vital role in this, helping minimise the potential for disruption caused by rising cases, while keeping staff protected."

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