This week we catch up with the team at Raglan Medical to get an update on how things are tracking at our local medical centre.
At this stage of the pandemic what adaptions to services are still in place?
All patients are still screened when making appointments & again when they arrive at the clinic to ensure potentially infectious ‘red’ patients are seen in a dedicated room. This helps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure to other ‘green’ patients and team members.
What is a red/green patient?
This is the coding that we use to identify patients to keep everyone safe while in the building. A ‘red’ patient may have COVID-19 symptoms or any other potentially infectious illness. A ‘green’ patient may need to see a clinician but does not pose any infectious risk to others.
What is the most challenging aspect of the situation?
Constant changes in protocols, alert levels, social distancing, isolation requirements and vaccine requirements was the most challenging aspect over the last two years and, despite expanding our team in anticipation of the pandemic, the workload managing positive COVID-19 cases has been substantial.
How do you expect things to change in winter?
If the number of COVID-19 cases continue to decline we will have more doctor appointments available, and we will slowly start to use our waiting room again for ‘green’ patients instead of having them wait in their car.
How can patients help to ensure your systems run efficiently?
Our team are working extremely hard to look after your health needs while also keeping you safe from potential exposures, to help us provide quality care, please consider the following:
• Book well in advance for regular routine appointments, this may mean booking 2-3 weeks ahead to get the doctor of your choice
• Keep your phone beside you if you’re waiting on a triage call
• Be honest about all infectious symptoms – we will always look after you, but we do need to see you in a dedicated ‘red’ room and if we don’t know in advance, this will cause delays
• Order repeat medications 3 working days before you run out
• Be understanding when doctors and nurses are running late due to emergencies with other patients
• Consider using telephone or video consults in cases where a physical examination may not be necessary.
How do you think you have coped in general throughout this time and what do you attribute that to?
The Raglan Medical team are a resilient bunch who coped well given the circumstances: no two days were the same as plans, staffing levels and patient demands constantly changed. They’re also hardworking team players who are dedicated to looking after the wellbeing of our community so while some days were a real challenge, the team also got a lot of satisfaction of being able help patients through this pandemic.
We’re very grateful for the amazing support from patients; some baked us cakes, sent cupcakes from Raglan Cakes, bought us vouchers for coffee and delivered flowers to brighten up our days. Satnam from Four Square also accommodated early and late access to his store so regardless of how busy work was, we could get essential supplies for our whanau. Dr Mike purchased a coffee machine when the first lockdown hit while his lovely wife Joan made us freshly cooked lunches every day. All these lovely gestures helped us to cope with the demands that a pandemic put on us as did our team events when social distancing rules and alerts levels allowed.
What message do you want to communicate the most to our community?
COVID-19 has impacted our ability to deliver services as normal and we are grateful to the patience, kindness and understanding shown to us while we managed this pandemic in our community.
See the next two pages to meet the Raglan Medical team.