• Torrance Merkle

Please refer to this document with more advice regarding safety to return to work if you have any medical conditions. If you have further questions or need clarification, please call/email our nurses or book an appointment with your GP.


COVID-19_risk-matrix_4-MAY_FINALpdf

  • Torrance Merkle

Here's a quick update to keep you posted on some of the changes.


Consultations at Level Two


All doctors, nurses and receptionists will be back in the office each week (starting Monday 18th May), working their usual hours.


We will now be aiming to have 50% of consultations over the phone or video, and resuming face to face care where needed.


If you have any potential COVID-19 symptoms (any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms: cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip, loss of sense of smell, with or without fever), we request that you speak to a nurse first before making an appointment. Any potential COVID-19 cases may need to be seen at a CBAC (community based assessment centre) for swabbing first.

Opening Hours


Opening hours will increase on Monday 18th May to: 

Monday - Thursday, open 8am to 6pm

Friday, open 8am - 5:30pm

Saturdays, open 9am - 12pm.

Waiting Room Changes


  • Physical distancing in the waiting room with 1.5m between chairs (6 chairs in the waiting room, and one chair outside).

  • Acrylic 'sneeze guards' in place at reception

  • The front door will be open (to reduce the amount of physical contact with the door handle)

  • All patients will still be given a mask to wear on arrival, and we will request that you use the hand sanitiser on arrival and departure


Influenza Vaccines


Thanks for your patience and understanding with Flu vaccines this year! Like all general practices we have been very disappointed by organisation and delivery of these from the Ministry of Health's supply chain.


We are expecting new stock to slowly come through, with more stock expected (but not confirmed) for Friday 15th May. They are FREE for anyone 65 years and over, or anyone with an eligible medical condition (check your eligibility at  https://www.fightflu.co.nz/). Otherwise, Flu vaccines are $30. We are also going to allow people to wait in their cars after their flu vaccine for 15 minutes (if they have previously had it with no reaction), rather than the waiting room, to reduce the chances of any possible COVID19 community transmission. 


Contacting Us

We're still waiting on a patient portal to help with making appointments, requesting repeat prescriptions, and asking for advice, but our provider is still a bit behind. 

We are doing the best on the phones, but please feel free to email or use our website contact forms with any non-urgent requests. 


Mental Health Resources


Here is a list of useful resources if you're needing some support:


https://1737.org.nz/

Free call or text 1737 for the "Need to Talk" line


https://www.justathought.co.nz/covid19

(Free New Zealand based online mental health course)


https://www.mentemia.com/

(Free New Zealand mental health app)


https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/

(Link to the NZ Mental Health Foundation page about COVID-19)

  • Torrance Merkle

Thank you for the continued goodwill and patience shown to the staff over this difficult time. With your help, we are managing to provide ongoing care whilst achieving the goals of the lockdown. 


Here's a quick update to keep you posted on some of the changes.


Changes to Consultations

Although we are now doing most of our consultations via phone or video consult (via doxy.me), we are very much open for business as an essential service. Links to our digital waiting rooms are available on the front page of our website. 

We have split our reception staff, nurses and doctors into 3 'pods' to reduce the amount of physical contact between staff members.  For the next two weeks, we have Dr Paul Nicholls and Dr Gretchen Laubscher, nurses Adrienne and Ali, and receptionists Avalon and Chloe on site in the clinic. Dr Julyan Lawry, Dr Joanne Shooter, Dr Torrance Merkle, Dr Cole Rudolph, along with nurse Mel and receptionist Amy will be on call from home for phone and video consults (working their usual hours). 


Opening Hours

Opening hours have temporarily reduced to: 

Monday - Friday, open 9am to 5pm

Saturdays, open 9am - 12pm.

This allows for staff meeting and admin time 8am - 9am. Doctor appointments will be scheduled between 9am-12pm, and 2pm-5pm. We will continue to book routine immunisations, nursing visits (BP checks etc) from 12-2pm.


Waiting Room Changes

Our waiting room only has a few chairs in it now, and we're trying to only have 1-2 patients in the waiting room at any given time, for physical distancing. We are also getting everyone to use hand sanitiser (and a mask if required) on arrival to the clinic - please bring your own face mask if you have one to conserve our limited stock!


Contacting Us


We're still waiting on a patient portal to help with making appointments, requesting repeat prescriptions, and asking for advice, but our provider is still a bit behind. 


We are doing the best on the phones, but please feel free to email or use our website contact forms with any non-urgent requests. 


Influenza Vaccines

Sorry for all the miscommunication here and thanks for your patience! Like all general practices we have been very disappointed by organisation and delivery of these from the Ministry of Health's supply chain. We are expecting new stock to slowly come through, and are vaccinating our highest risk patients first (anyone 65 years and over, or anyone with an eligible medical condition (check https://www.fightflu.co.nz/).  Everyone else will be able to be vaccinated from Tuesday 28th April (https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/influenza). We are also going to allow people to wait in their cars after their flu vaccine for 15 minutes (if they have previously had it with no reaction), rather than the waiting room, to reduce the chances of any possible COVID19 community transmission. 


Read More at fightflu.co.nz



Lockdown and Mental Health

Here is a list of useful resources if you're needing some support:


https://www.justathought.co.nz/covid19

(Free New Zealand based online mental health course)


https://www.mentemia.com/

(Free New Zealand mental health app)


https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/

(Link to the NZ Mental Health Foundation page about COVID-19)

Hobsonville Family Doctors

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124 Hobsonville Road, Hobsonville, Auckland 0618

Phone 09 416 8541

admin@hfd.co.nz