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  • Writer's pictureTorrance Merkle

Mon 20th April Update

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, 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  Everyone else will be able to be vaccinated from Tuesday 28th April ( 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. 

Lockdown and Mental Health

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

(Free New Zealand based online mental health course)

(Free New Zealand mental health app)

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

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