URGENT PATIENT COMMUNICATION
Due to local Covid-19 infection rates we are experiencing a high volume of staff isolation and sickness. We are working as hard as we can to maintain our usual service but please note, it may take us longer to answer your calls at this time. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
New Service Available
The Practice has a First Contact Physiotherapist joining the Practice from Wednesday 11th August 2021. Please click HERE for more information on the services they provide.
As the country is now coming out of lockdown, we would like to update all of our patients on the steps we are taking to improve the service we provide and deliver the highest level of care for our patients. Please click HERE to view our recent patient communication/update.
August Bank Holiday
Please note that the Practice will be closed on Monday 30th August for the August Bank Holiday. For out of hours assistance please call NHS 111 or in an emergency dial 999. We reopen on Tuesday 31st August at 8.00am.
Regular testing is encouraged to keep COVID-19 under control
With the seven-day COVID rates in Staffordshire now at 15.1 per 100,000, people are being asked to keep observing hands, face, space and fresh air, and get tested twice a week to prevent the spread of infection and keep rates low. And with more testing options available, it now easier than ever to get a test in the county. People without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tests at their local community testing centres, pop-up testing centres which travel around the county, and their local pharmacies. All testing centres offer walk-in tests, and the option to pick up a pack of tests to take with them, so people can carry out twice-weekly testing in the comfort of their own homes.
Please encourage your patients and colleagues where appropriate to visit https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk where they can put in their postcode to find out where their nearest testing centre is. For people who are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, government testing sites are also available across the county
Dr Chapman retired from the Practice on 31st March 2021, I hope you join us in wishing Dr Chapman all the best in her retirement. All patients registered under Dr Chapman will have received notification of who their new registered GP will be, if you have any queries about this please email us at email@example.com
COVID VACCINE UPDATE:
We are now calling up all patients who had their first Covid vaccine at the Coton Centre up to the 26th March 2021. If this applies to you and you have not received an invite from us please contact us to book an appointment for your second vaccine.
In order to keep our telephone lines free for patients who need medical advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us of your query and your contact details and we will contact you back, we aim to respond within 5 working days.
You may have received a letter from the NHS inviting you to book an appointment for your vaccination at Millennium Point in Birmingham. If you choose to do so, please note you will be required to attend that site for your 1st and 2nd vaccines. If you choose to wait for the local vaccinations, you do not need to do anything further as you will still be contacted by the Surgery.
For further information about the coronavirus vaccine please follow the link below:
Thank you for your patience and support,
Dr Young, Dr Glennie, Dr Rathbone, Dr Do and Dr John.
Oxford Astra-Zeneca Vaccine Update
New guidance has been issued for the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. This follows further reviews by the independent regulator, the MHRA, and the Commission for Human Medicines, of a very small number of people in the UK who have developed a rare blood-clotting condition since having the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The MHRA and Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations have emphasised that the risk of this condition is extremely small and that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people. They have recommended that:
- Everyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine should still have a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, irrespective of age, unless they have had a blood clot or have an existing risk of thrombosis (blood clotting)
- People aged 30 and over or who have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease should still be offered the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. The benefits in protecting them against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition.
- People aged 18-29 who do not have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease will be offered an alternative Covid-19 vaccine where available. (This has been recommended as a precaution as people under 30 are at less risk from Covid-19 and not because they are considered to be at particular risk of developing the rare blood clot.)
- People under 30 can still choose to have the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine if this will mean they can be protected more quickly and they have been made
aware of the guidance.
Please see the leaflet below that has been produced by Public Health England and the NHS to answer any questions you may have.
Oxford AZ Vaccine Information Leaflet
Covid-19 Patient Information
Thank you to all of our patients for your patience and support during this very difficult time in the NHS.
We have been working extremely hard to try and rework how we offer our services in order to try and keep our staff and patients as safe as possible. Please understand that this is an ever-changing situation and we are constantly reviewing government and NHS guidelines, which are being frequently updated. Sadly our receptionists are currently experiencing an unprecedented amount of verbal abuse from patients, this is something we do not tolerate and is being monitored. We ask that you work with us during this difficult time. Our receptionists are working as efficiently and quickly as is clinically safe to do so.
For the foreseeable future we are following guidance to suspend:
- Minor ops
- Joint injections
- Ear syringing
- Online booking
- Non- NHS work such as medicals and reports as we need to focus purely on NHS work.
We are still able to offer the following services:
- We have swapped to a fully telephone based surgery and we will only bring you up to the surgery if we feel we cannot deal with your problem over the phone and that it cannot wait for the COVID 19 situation to be resolved.
- Repeat prescriptions will be processed as normal, however, there is a huge increase in demand at present. We aim to complete these requests in the normal 3 working days however there may be a delay due to staff capacity and increased patient demand. Please request your prescription through your pharmacy, a paper request in our post box or by emailing email@example.com
- Chronic disease clinics such as asthma, COPD and diabetes clinics will be held over the phone and again, if the clinician performing this review feels you need to be seen they will organise a face to face review at a mutually convenient time.
- Baby checks will still be performed along with the childhood immunisations schedules. This is to continue at our branch surgery, which for Friday morning will only have well babies attending.
- Blood tests will be being performed as normal but at a reduced volume and being held for patients who we feel require them based on clinical need.
- Cervical smears and routine injections are still available at the surgery for low risk patients. However, anybody who has been deemed at risk due to age or health conditions (these are health conditions that would qualify you to have the annual flu jab) we recommend to delay until this pandemic has passed. You will initially have a telephone call with our nurses to ensure it is appropriate and they will book your face to face appointment.
- Midwife appointments are currently being conducted as normal.
Please do not contact us for the following:
- If you feel you may have Covid 19- we do not have access to testing kits for patients, this is currently only being done if you require hospital admission. If you are feeling very unwell and you are concerned please call 111 who will assess your need for hospital admission.
- If you feel your symptoms are manageable please follow the government guidance on self isolation for you and your household: 7 days if you live alone, 14 days if you live with others. More details regarding self isolation are available on NHS 111 online.
- Sick notes for self isolation. From Friday 20 March onwards, those who have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate will be able to obtain an “isolation note” by visiting NHS 111 online and completing an online form, rather than visiting a doctor. For COVID-19 cases this replaces the usual need to provide a “fit note” after seven days of sickness absence. Isolation notes will also be accepted by Jobcentre Plus as evidence of your inability to attend.
- There is no requirement for a letter or certificate in relation to the wearing of face coverings. We will not be providing letters for facemask exemptions. Please see gov.uk website for more information.
Please do not ignore any symptoms that might need medical attention.
COVID19 is unlikely to cause a serious illness in children, but please remember children can still become seriously unwell from other causes that are always around. Please do not let concerns over COVID19 stop you from contacting medical services. If you are not sure if your child needs to be seen please go to https://www.what0-18.nhs.uk/national for advice or contact 111 or your GP. For information about crying babies go to https://www.what0-18.nhs.uk/national. If your child is severely unwell call 999 or go to A&E.
Visiting your GP Surgery during the Pandemic
We are continuing a telephone triage appointment service. Please do not turn up at the surgery without an appointment as we will not be able to see you. If we need to see you in person you will be asked to attend the practice at an agreed time. We have made some changes to make your visit as safe as possible for everyone.
- Patients must wear a face mask or coverings.
- Please attend for your appointment on time.
- Do not arrive early as we need to maintain social distancing guidelines. You will not be allowed into the building but asked to come back at your appointment time.
- On arrival ring the door bell and the receptionist will greet you and instruct you where to wait.
- Please use the hand sanitiser provided in the waiting areas
- Please attend alone if possible.
If you feel unwell on the day of a booked face to face appointment, please do NOT attend. At this time a DNA will not be frowned upon.
If you have any concerns please ring ahead to enquire at reception or follow this link for more information Visiting Your GP Practice during Corona Virus Pandemic.
NHS Immunisations FAQs
Is the practice continuing to offer routine immunisations?
While preventing the spread of COVID-19 and caring for those infected is a public health priority, it remains very important to maintain good coverage of immunisations, particularly in the childhood programme. In addition to protecting the individual, this will avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases that could harm individuals and increase further the numbers of patients requiring health services.
Should people/babies still go and be immunised at their GP surgery?
Yes, your GP surgery or health clinic will take all possible precautions to protect you and your baby from COVID-19. People should still attend for routine vaccinations unless they are unwell (check with your GP whether you should still attend) or self-isolating because they have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. In these circumstances, please rearrange your appointment. Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent other infectious diseases. Babies, toddlers and pre-school children in particular need vaccinations to protect them from measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, diphtheria, whooping cough, meningitis, polio, tetanus, hepatitis B, and more.
What are ‘routine’ childhood immunisations?
Different vaccines are given at different ages to protect you and your child. They form part of the national immunisation programme and are offered free of charge by the NHS. The national immunisation programme is highly successful in reducing the incidence of serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as pneumococcal and meningococcal infections, whooping cough, diphtheria and measles. It remains important to maintain the best possible vaccine uptake to prevent a resurgence of these infections.
Some children will also need to be protected with neonatal BCG and hepatitis B vaccination. Both BCG and all doses of targeted hepatitis B vaccines should be offered in a timely manner.
When will young people get their school-age vaccinations?
School-age vaccination providers are working to restore vaccination programmes, in line with local needs and arrangements. Young people will receive their vaccinations either in school premises or community clinics. Plans are being developed to use the summer breaks to catch up on the backlog from the 2019/20 school year, and any outstanding immunisations will be delivered during the 2020/21 school year.
Do GP surgeries really still have the time to do immunisations?
GP practices will continue to ensure vaccinations are offered to all eligible individuals. Despite COVID-19, the routine childhood immunisation programme will continue to play an important role in preventing ill-health through causes other than coronavirus infection.
How important is it that my child is immunised at the time they are called? Is there a risk in delaying for a few months? If there isn’t, why not stop immunisations for now and reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 by visiting the general practice?
It is very important that routine childhood immunisations are started and completed on time despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This will help protect the infant or child from a range of serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. The much-reduced incidence of infections such as invasive pneumococcal and meningococcal disease has only come about because of high levels of vaccination. To prevent resurgence, infants need protecting through vaccination. Pertussis still circulates at elevated levels and pregnant women must continue to be offered the pertussis vaccine, and their babies vaccinated against this and other infections from 8 weeks of age. Diseases such as pertussis, Hib, MenB, pneumococcal are more common or more serious in infants and so it is important not to delay vaccines. Measles can be a very serious disease and is still circulating so timely immunisation is important.
How will parents and carers know when their babies have a temperature after their regular immunisations whether it is an expected reaction or COVID-19?
The vaccines given may cause a fever which usually resolves within 48 hours (or 6 to 11 days following MMR). This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required, unless COVID-19 is suspected.
Fever is more common when the Men B vaccine (Bexsero) is given with other vaccines at 8 and 16 weeks of age. Where parents are able to obtain liquid infant paracetamol, they should follow existing PHE guidance on its prophylactic use following MenB vaccination:
As has always been recommended, any infant with fever after vaccination should be monitored and, if parents or carers are concerned about the infant’s health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.
This advice applies to recently vaccinated people of all ages.
People who have been advised to shield can ask volunteers for short-term help by calling 0808 196 3646 between 8am - 8pm.
Please request repeat prescriptions in the usual manner either online or through a pharmacy. Do not ring the surgery to request repeat prescriptions and avoid coming in to the surgery where possible. Please be considerate when ordering your prescriptions. Only order your medication when it is due and do not order more than is required as this is stock piling and will cause national shortages. We thank you for your cooperation.
In order to reduce footfall at the surgery we are trying to send all prescriptions by EPS so if you normally request your repeat prescription directly at the surgery please leave written requests in the collection post box just inside the entrance and on this please nominate the pharmacy you would like your medication to go to.
We will be likely to contact you by text message if necessary, please let us know if this is not agreeable with you and please inform us if your contact details have changed.