COVID-19

PRACTICE UPDATE

PLEASE BE KIND…

Please understand that every member of the Practice team has gone above and beyond in their job during this pandemic, and have been through the same things that you have and like you are tired and frustrated with the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on us all.

As a Practice we are proud of what we have achieved over these tough times, that we are getting through this pandemic together and we want to ensure that the patients continue to get the best possible care that we can deliver. We ask that you help us to do this and be kind to anyone you come in to contact with at the Practice. As a little kindness goes a long way.

Please note: Our Care Coordinators are NOT able to answer any COVID-19 vaccine enquiries.

The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those people who experts have agreed will benefit from it the most. You will be notified when it is your turn to book your vaccination.

Please do not contact the Surgery with a covid vaccination query, please click here for further information.

covid19

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Please note that it is not a GPs responsibility to issue school letters of absence for your children. Government guidance is that school attendance is mandatory unless your child is self-isolating, has symptoms of COVID-19 or is close to someone who has COVID-19.

Your GP Practice cannot assist you in booking a Covid-19 test and does not provide Covid-19 testing; this can only be done via the national online portal or contact NHS 119 by telephone. Your GP Practice cannot advise you on whether or not your child or children are safe to return to school; this should be discussed with the school(s) concerned.

Following the COVID pandemic and the likelihood of further outbreaks, the Practice has moved to remote triage and video consultations. The premises are open to provide care but with adjustments to how those services are delivered. Digital consultations will be offered as standard, face to face appointments will only be offered where clinically appropriate and after discussion with the clinician.

All clinical appointments will initially be offered by telephone or video. Should the clinician feel it necessary to examine you, you will be given a designated time to attend the surgery. No access to the building will be allowed without a prior appointment and only the patient should attend for the examination.

When you attend the surgery for your appointment please ensure you have a suitable face covering. You will be asked to sanitise your hands on entry to the building and your clinician is likely to be in full PPE.

Please do NOT attend the surgery if you or any of your household has COVID symptoms.

In the interest of safety please be aware that the surgery main reception areas and waiting rooms will be limited to keep patients, GP’s, clinicians and staff safe.

For any queries please contact the Practice on 01772 529000, use the surgery website or use the NHS app. Patients can call us from 8am until 6.30pm Monday to Friday to speak to a care navigator.

If you have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough DO NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You must stay at home for 7 days and you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Only use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
• You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
• Your condition gets worse
• Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. For stay at home advice, please visit the NHS 111 website.

CORONOVIRUS QUERIES

Getting your COVID-19 Vaccination Certification

Patients who require their COVID vaccination certification please be aware the Practice is unable to issue this certificate.

Please click here for further information.

Proof of your vaccination status will be available on your online platform.

Alternatively, you can call the NHS helpline on 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you have completed your course of the vaccine and the letter may to take up to 5 days to reach you.

Had a COVID-19 vaccination abroad, please click here for further information.

 

COVID RECOVERY

Your Covid Recovery is a NHS website offering support and advice for people recovering from COVID. It helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.

 

COVID-19 TESTING

 

Lateral Flows and PCRs

Even if you’re vaccinated, you could still catch the virus or pass it on.

There are different tests you can get to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19). The test you need depends on why you’re getting tested.

The 2 main tests are:

  • PCR tests – mainly for people with symptoms, they’re sent to a lab to be checked
  • rapid lateral flow tests – for people who possibly may have symptoms or may not have symptoms, but would like to be safe and not put others at risk, by doing quick test will give you the results much quicker.  The device is very easy to use.

Both tests are free.

Please visit below links for more Information.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/regular-rapid-coronavirus-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms/

Find out more about symptoms:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

Find out more about testing: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/

 

Mental Health Campaign to support Children, Young People and their Parents

Over half of parents say their children’s mental wellbeing has been one of their biggest worries during COVID.

Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and young people now back at school or college, PHE’s new campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental wellbeing and equip parents and carers with the knowledge to support them.

Research reveals that the coronavirus outbreak has caused an increase in anxiety in young people1, and more than a third of children report being more worried, sad and stressed than before lockdown2.

New PHE survey data found that two thirds of parents surveyed say their children’s behaviour has changed since the start of the pandemic (69%) and, when asked their top three worries around coronavirus, over half (52%) said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list of their biggest worries.3

The advice available on the Better Health – Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them. In addition to the advice for parents and carers the site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.

click here to visit Every Mind Matters website

COVID VACCINATION PROGRAMME

More than 116 million Covid vaccination doses have now been administered in England including more than 31 million booster and third primary doses. 

For over 16s, 91.4% have now received a first dose, 97% of those eligible have received a second dose and 81.8% of those eligible have received a booster or third dose.

Vaccination figures are updated daily on the NHS England website, 

The National Booking Service (NBS) shows available appointments and there is also a site finder to locate vaccine walk-in centres which is updated regularly. This finder shows which doses are offered at each location and to which age groups. The list of all vaccine sites is regularly updated here.

Anyone who has had a positive Covid test will need to wait before getting any dose of the vaccine. You need to:

  • wait 4 weeks (28 days) if you’re aged 18 years old or over
  • wait 12 weeks (84 days) if you’re aged 12 to 17 years old
  • wait 4 weeks (28 days) if you’re aged five to 17 years old and at high risk from Covid

The vaccine team has published some top tips to generate demand for vaccines (which can be found here) as the NHS continues to encourage people to come forward for first, second, third primary and booster doses.

Booster doses 

More than 4 in 5 people eligible for a booster have already taken up the offer with thousands still coming forward every day.

However, NHS data recently showed that more than six million people are overdue their booster by at least six weeks and while some may have had to delay because of a Covid infection, it is vital to take up the offer and book a guaranteed slot online, or visit one of more than 1,000 walk-in sites.

Despite the Omicron variant seeming milder, Covid is still a very serious illness affecting thousands of people’s lives every day, with new research showing the risk of death involving Covid-19 is 93% lower for those who have had a booster or third dose compared to those who are unvaccinated

A recent UKHSA study of booster data estimated that booster jabs have prevented more than 105,000 hospitalisations from mid-December 2021 to 6 February.

The NHS is working with major employers (prioritising those with young staff in unvaccinated areas) to get vaccines to or around their workplaces and to arrange conversations at work with doctors to talk through their questions and concerns.

The NHS is also working with street teams to organise leaflet drops in areas of known lower uptake and continues to work with social media platforms and content creators to ensure there is accurate, creative content to inform younger people’s decisions about vaccination.

Vaccinating 12-15-year olds

The COVID-19 vaccine provides important protection for children and young people against the virus, reduces the risk of them passing on the infection to others they come into contact with, and minimising disruption to their lives and their education.

Since September, the NHS has been vaccinating children aged 12 to 15 in schools, through existing school-aged immunisation services that provide other vaccines such as flu. Most 12 to 15-year-olds can also get their first or second dose of the vaccine outside of school by using the National Booking Service or one of the walk-in vaccination sites open to this age group.

For a small proportion of 12 to 15 year-olds, the options are different. Those who are more at risk from the virus or who live with someone who has a severely weakened immune system can get their second dose eight weeks after their first, and a further ‘booster’ dose from three months (91 days) after their second. Those who have had a severely weakened immune system can get a third primary dose from eight weeks after their second dose, then receive a booster from three months (91 days) later. Third primary and booster doses for these groups cannot be booked on the National Booking Service, but those eligible can make an appointment through local booking systems or can get vaccinated through their local GP or hospital or home visit team as well as some vaccination walk-in sites.

First and second COVID-19 vaccinations continue in schools – if a child has been invited through their school, their family could choose for them to be vaccinated that way or could make an appointment through a different route.

Immunosuppressed individuals

People aged 12 and over who are severely immunosuppressed can now book their third and booster vaccinations online.

On 29 November JCVI announced that severely immunosuppressed individuals who have completed their primary course (three doses) should be offered a booster dose with a minimum of 3 months between the third primary and booster dose. People with a weakened immune system can get a third and booster dose from a walk-in site if all of these apply:

  • they have received a letter from their GP or hospital doctor, inviting them for a third or booster dose
  • they are aged 18 years old or over
  • it's been eight weeks since their second dose or three months (91 days) since the third dose, unless the letter from their GP or hospital doctor says otherwise.

Individuals in this group can take the letter to any walk-in site that is offering a third or booster dose for people with a weakened immune system.

People with a weakened immune system who don’t have a letter from their GP or hospital doctor inviting them for a third or booster dose can still get a third or booster dose vaccination by taking alternative evidence to a walk-in vaccination site instead.  You must bring with you either:

  • a hospital letter that describes the condition or treatment that caused you to have a weakened immune system
  • a prescription or a medicine box with your name and the date showing when the medicine was prescribed.

These must show that you had a weakened immune system at the time of your first or second dose. A clinician at the site will check to make sure that you're eligible for a third of booster dose