Call Waiting Times

We have received a number of messages from patients saying that they are finding it difficult to contact us on our main phone line, with some experiencing extremely long delays in getting through.

The following aims to offer explanation, update you as to our actions and advise you on what you can do to help:


Calls about the Covid Vaccine – Patients have been advised not to call our main line regarding the vaccine, to seek updates on our website and wait to be contacted in order to book. We are however still receiving a number of these calls.

]We ask that you continue to follow the advice above. However to alleviate phone pressures we ask that your vaccine queries, not covered on our website, are sent to our dedicated email address: foundrycovidvaccineenquiries@nhs.net


Calls to patients inviting them for vaccine – Our phones have been in use by the team too, inviting those patients who do not have mobiles and SMS messaging set up with the surgery.

More patients in the priority groups to come do however have SMS messaging set up with us which will free up lines moving forward. The messages we send allow a patient to book an appointment directly into our vaccine booking system.

If you wish to provide a mobile number and consent to SMS messaging ready for when you will be called for vaccination, you can do so by emailing the reception team on: hwlhccg.foundryhealthcare@nhs.net


Staff unwell or in isolation – The virus has impacted our staff and their families throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so. With this in mind we have done our best to maintain services on lower than expected staffing levels, which has not always allowed for us to provide a full complement of call handlers.

We have however begun to trial a more thorough system to monitor calls and waiting times, and plan to redeploy any available admin staff when call numbers begin to increase.


We hope this offers some reassurance to those who have experienced delays in reaching us recently.

We are here for you, still providing essential NHS services at this time. Please continue to contact the surgery with your medical concerns.

Thank you for your support.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (11.02.2021)

Covid-19 Vaccine - Astra Zeneca effective for all age groups

 

Following recent media coverage about the AstraZeneca vaccine, clinicians have provided reassurance that it is effective and should continue to be given to all age groups.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said: “Both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are safe and provide high levels of protection against COVID-19, particularly against severe disease. Data from the AstraZeneca trials on immune responses in older people were very reassuring.

“The risk of severe disease and death increase exponentially with age – the priority is to vaccinate as many vulnerable people as possible with either vaccine, to protect more people and save more lives.”

Both vaccines give very high protection against severe disease, which is the primary aim of the first phase of the programme, and both vaccines have good safety profiles. The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation does not advise a preference for either vaccine in any specific population.

(01.02.2021)

Covid Vaccine Scam Email

Please be aware that we have been informed that there is a scam e-mail in circulation, that looks NHS official, which is offering people a COVID-19 vaccination. We advise you to avoid opening the e-mail and to not click on any links.

As always, the NHS will NEVER:

  • ask people for their bank account or card details
  • ask people for their pin or banking password
  • ask people to prove their identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips

If anyone believes they are a victim of fraud or identify theft they should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (26.01.2021)

Covid Vaccine cancellation texts to patients sent in error

We are reviewing the digital services we have in place for the booking of Covid-19 vaccinations and are currently updating our system. This update has resulted in some patients receiving a text from the surgery stating that their appointment has been cancelled.

Please be assured that this is not in reference to any appointment you currently have booked with us, including appointments already booked for patients to receive the 2nd dose of vaccine.

We apologise for the confusion that this may have caused.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (25.01.2021)

Update on the COVID-19 vaccination programme: national vaccination letters

We are aware that some of our patients are starting to receive letters from the national vaccination booking system. The letters are labelled from the NHS and invite you to book your vaccination appointment.

Please don’t worry, our service is not affected.

These letters are offering the opportunity to book an appointment at one of the larger vaccination centres, such as the Brighton Centre or a local pharmacy

Our vaccination service at Foundry Healthcare is working alongside these other services. You have a choice where you receive your vaccination – either with us at our River Lodge site, or at one of the larger vaccination centres or at a local pharmacy.

Our team will contact you directly to arrange an appointment at our vaccination site. Appointments for the larger vaccination centres and pharmacies are available through the national booking system* set out in the letter – either online or by phone.

*You cannot book to attend our vaccination service through the national booking system. We will contact you.

We thank you for your support. 

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (13.01.2021)

Tier 5 Lockdown - Update for Shielding Patients

Following last nights announcement that the UK is now under stricter lockdown measures we have today received numerous calls from patients asking to speak to a GP to discuss shielding.

We understand that many of you are extremely anxious about the new restrictions, we are however extremely busy with increased demand. We also have some staff needing to isolate due to the virus, as such we need to prioritise our resources.

We are awaiting further guidance from NHS England and will update the Coronavirus (Covid-19) section of our website when further information becomes available to us. However the current advice is that if you have been asked to shield in any of the previous lockdowns you will need to shield on this occasion too.

We ask those patients with further questions about shielding to seek advice from the Gov.uk website.

Thank you for your understanding.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (05.01.2021)

Covid-19 Vaccination - Update

Following on from the recent announcement regarding changes to the administration of the second dose of the Covid-19 Vaccination to patients.

We would like to reassure those patients who have already had their first dose of the vaccine that their follow up appointments for the second dose, scheduled this week, will be going ahead.

We will be reviewing our practices thereafter in line with NHS and Government advice, and will endeavor to keep you updated as and when we know more.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (04.01.2021)

Christmas and New Year Closures

Our surgeries will be closed on New Years Day (1st January 2021). Please call 111 should you need to speak to a GP during this time.

We apologise to those patients who tried to contact us during the Christmas Break, when we were also closed for the Bank Holiday. We have been made aware that our phone line, that is usually diverted during closures, was still active and caused some confusion among patients.

We are looking into how this is happened and will make sure it does not occur again.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (29.12.20)

Update on the progress of the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

We are delighted to report that half of our over 80years patients have now had their first Covid-19 vaccination.  After a tricky start on day 1, and a refinement of our processes, the clinics held on days 2 and 3 ran very smoothly with little to no waiting times.

The vaccine came in a large batch of 975 doses, and needed to be administered within 3.5days of delivery. Those patients who received their first dose will be due to receive a second dose in 3 weeks time, appointments for which were made during their first vaccination and will take place in early January.

We are aware a number of patients are still awaiting contact regarding their vaccine appointment. We have approximately 1,800 over 80’s registered with us, and with the number of vaccines delivered, have had to prioritise those that are more vulnerable to the virus in this first wave.

Please be assured it is our intention to vaccinate as many people as we can. As soon as we have confirmation of our next delivery, we will be calling or texting the remaining over 80’s to offer them the vaccination.

For further information please see the Covid-19 Vaccination section of our website.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (21.12.2020)

Update Following Our First Day Covid-19 Vaccination Clinics

We would firstly like to thank the patients, staff and volunteers who took part and assisted in yesterday’s first set of Covid-19 vaccinations.

We regret, that due to the complexity of the vaccine, administering vaccinations took longer than expected and resulted in long waiting times for our patients. Our staff did their very best to assist those patients who had to remain outside whilst waiting to be called forward, and understand the concern that has been voiced by many in our patient community.

We would like to reassure patients that we have quickly put into place various measures that we hope will resolve the issue. We now have a large under cover waiting area for patients to be seated in prior to being called forward for vaccination. We have reviewed and refined the processes of vaccine preparation, consent admin and the giving of the vaccine, and have added additional staff to our already well staffed team.

The vaccination team have reported that things are running more smoothly today. Patients and staff are all showing tremendous cooperation with this huge challenge.

Our team are so pleased and proud to have been able to start the process of offering protection to people so soon, and appreciate all the support we have received from the community.

A huge thank you to you all.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (17.12.2020)

Covid-19 Vaccination campaign gets ready to start in Lewes

The GP’s and Staff at the Foundry Healthcare Surgeries are making final preparations to start administering Coronavirus vaccines to the first eligible groups next week.

We feel excited and privileged at Foundry to be one of the initial three GP sites in East Sussex to deliver the first wave of vaccinations to our Community. We are standing by to receive the first consignment of 975 vaccination doses on Tuesday. These will be offered to the first tiers eligible people, starting with care home residents and staff, and those over 80 with chronic medical conditions.

Invitations will to be sent, by text or e-mail, with request to accept the appointment within 24 hours. People who do not have text or e-mail contacts will be telephoned. Please do not attend without an appointment.

We understand that there will be people eligible that will not get an invite this time as the number of doses is limited, and can reassure our community that this is just the first round of a programme to roll out the vaccine over the next few months. Deliveries and timings of further supplies is coordinated centrally.  Please can we ask people not to phone the surgeries with vaccination queries at this stage as we also want to continue providing day to day care to our patients.

We are confident that the vaccine has been thoroughly tested and is safe. Our hope is to deliver the first vaccinations to those most vulnerable who stand to really benefit from the protection it gives. We have delivered 30% more Flu vaccines this year than usual and feel well prepared to run the process safely, by taking the vaccine to nursing and residential care homes and at the Riverlodge site.

Detailed information regarding the vaccination, common side effects and safety data will be available at the vaccination site and via the surgery and NHS websites.

While the vaccine significantly reduces the risk of serious Coronavirus infection, it is not clear yet whether the vaccine prevents individuals from passing on infections spread by coughing sneezing and close contact, so it’s important even if you’ve had a vaccination that social distancing measures and extra hand washing is continued.

We’re proud of the way the people of Lewes have responded to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and we’re also proud as Lewes’ Primary Care Network that Foundry is ready and prepared to start the next steps to protecting our community from this disease. We understand that many other impacts of the pandemic continue to be far reaching, but the vaccine is a huge achievement and we hope everyone will be keen to do their part and get vaccinated when the opportunity comes, to protect themselves and each other.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (11.12.2020) 

Covid-19 Vaccination

Please be aware that we are awaiting guidance from our local CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) regarding the highly publicised roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination. Until such time our reception team will not be able to offer an appointment.

We will update our website as and when further information becomes available.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (16.11.2020)

Second Lockdown

With the announcement of a second lockdown, due to begin on Thursday 5th November, we are again looking to review our services. We aim to continue to provide all necessary services and encourage you to continue to contact us should you have any concerns.

We understand that at this time some patients may find coping difficult. Look here for further information regarding local support groups, as well as advice on looking after your mental wellbeing.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (03.11)

Flu Vaccination - Error in NHS England Letter to Patients

We have received note from other local surgeries that NHS England have sent out letters to some of their patients informing them that they are eligible for a Flu Vaccination because of their ‘ health condition.’ Many of whom do not have a condition, and therefore not eligible.

We are uncertain at this time why these letters have been sent, but the information is incorrect. Please only contact the surgery if you have received an invitation from us directly or if you are in one of the eligible patient groups that are listed here on the NHS Website.

We understand that this may cause distress for some patients. If you are uncertain please do call a member of our reception team after 11am and they will clarify.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (29.10)

Coronavirus Update

We are slowly reintroducing more services as NHS and Government guidelines allow. Alongside the pandemic we are heading into our winter period, which historically sees an increase in demand for our NHS services. We ask that you be patient with us during this time.

We are not yet able to run at full capacity. Coronavirus remains with us and will do so for some time. We cannot simply return to ‘normal’ and will continue to tailor our practices as a result.

Please note that we have had to extend appointment times to safely attend to patients and allow for stringent infection control measures to be administered. We have had, and continue to have, staff asked to isolate alongside their families as per government guidelines. Where possible some clinical staff have continued to work from home calling patients for review or assessment, with face to face follow up offered by an alternative member of clinical team if required.

As we are all aware, the current pandemic has presented huge challenges over the last few months. Sharing the same fears and anxieties, nobody has been immune from the disruption, uncertainty and, at times, distress. Throughout this, our Foundry Healthcare Team have been working tirelessly to ensure vital services have been available to our patients.

Guidance regarding Coronavirus, what you need to do to stay safe & manage the spread of infection, alongside further information on how we are managing the pandemic for our patients, can be found here.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (21.10)

Flu Vaccination Campaign 2020/21

This years Flu Vaccination is being offered to more of our patient community than ever before. With this increase, alongside the current pandemic and subsequent provisions that are now in place to ensure patient and staff safety, we took it upon ourselves to begin our vaccination programme earlier than usual, beginning in September.

We are aware that some patients, upon calling to book their appointment, have found the clinics to be fully booked. Please be reassured that further clinics are planned and will be announced in the availability updates offered here.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (21.10)

Cancellation of non-urgent Blood Tests

As a result of a nationwide issue with the Roche pathology supply chain we have been instructed by the local Clinical Commissioning Group to cancel all non-urgent blood tests for the next few weeks.

We are currently unable to take any further bookings at present, unless clinically urgent.

We will be contacting those patients whose appointments have been cancelled as soon as we are able.

Please continue to check here for further updates.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (20.10)

Patient Update - Telephone Queue and Waiting time issues

We are aware that some patients have had some difficulty contacting the surgery by telephone.

Below is the list of main issues that have been highlighted to us, alongside which you will find explanation and outcomes.

  • Callers being cut off whilst on hold or when the call is answered – We have audited this and found a fault. This has been flagged up to our service provider and is being dealt with.
  • High queue numbers*  –  Following patient feedback we have removed the automated message service that gave the caller their position in the queue. All calls coming in on one telephone number meant all callers were counted in one queue. However we have a large number of receptionists answering calls across our fours sites, and we found the queue information did not reflect this.
  • Appointment Waiting times – Foundry Lewes, as with all GP Practices, are currently dealing with a significant bulge in demand as patients who have previously delayed visits or treatment are now calling us.  We ask that patients please bear with us – we are doing all we can to meet your needs.

Please do get in touch if you are uncertain about any of the above. (10.09) (*Update – 28.09)

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