Abbey Medical Practice
Update for Patients – use of face coverings etc when attending the Practice premises
Covid Vaccination Programme Update
We are aware that, following a Government announcement that Covid restrictions were to be eased further from 19th July 2021, the wearing of face masks or face coverings is no longer mandatory in certain settings such as supermarkets. However, this is not the case when attending a healthcare environment.
We would therefore like to remind patients that the Infection Control guidelines and instructions issued to the NHS still remain in place for anyone attending any healthcare setting, which means that anyone attending the Practice for any reason is still required to wear a face mask, face covering or plastic visor and to maintain social distancing.
We understand that some patients may not be able to tolerate face masks or face coverings, in which case a clear plastic visor is an acceptable alternative – there are very few people who cannot wear at least one of the required items whilst in the Practice premises.
The reason why patients attending the surgery must wear some form of face covering or visor is to make sure that the most vulnerable people can continue to access health services safely and to reduce as far as possible the risks to anyone visiting our premises and to our staff. There are still high levels of Covid circulating in the community and, whilst immunisation is proving to reduce the severity of infection for most people, it is by no means the case that immunisation offers 100% protection.
If you attend the Practice without a face mask, face covering or visor then please understand that our staff may well ask you to wear one and will offer you a type IIR fluid resistant disposable mask.
We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support given to us by our patients and we are continuing to look at ways in which we can safely reinstate more services and open up our waiting room. However, until that becomes possible, your kind co-operation in terms of wearing a face mask or visor is very much appreciated.
Covid Vaccination Programme
Abbey Medical Practice continues to work with other local Practices as part of the Vale Primary Care Network (Vale PCN). One of the biggest challenges facing our Network is the delivery of Covid vaccinations to our patient population, and we are all working together to ensure that our patients are immunised as quickly as possible.
We have now invited all patients in Cohorts 1-10 (i.e. all patients aged 40 and above, along with patients under 40 who have Learning Disabilities or another underlying health condition). Therefore, if you fall into one of those categories and have not yet booked your first Covid vaccination appointment, please contact us as soon as possible so we can arrange for this to be given.
When you receive your invitation to book an appointment for your 2nd dose, please book this as quickly as possible – we are finding it necessary to chase a large number of patients who have not responded to the invitation and, due to the volumes of people we are dealing with and the pressure this is putting on the IT systems we are using to manage the vaccination programme, you may find that your booking link is cancelled if it is not used within 3 days of receipt.
When you are called for your 2nd dose, please bring with you if at all possible the card that was issued to you when you had your 1st dose, as this will help the immunising staff to ensure the correct type of vaccine is administered for the 2nd dose.
Please be aware that the site you are asked to attend to have your 2nd dose will depend on the type of vaccine you were given – for example, patients who received Pfizer vaccine at Riverside Surgery will need to go back to Riverside for their 2nd dose due to the fact that we cannot move Pfizer vaccine out to individual surgeries. However, where patients had Astra Zeneca vaccine for their 1st dose, it is likely that we will be able to provide the 2nd dose here in our own premises
Cohorts 1 - 10
As stated above we are actively encouraging anybody aged 40 and over and those under 40 with underlying health conditions who have not yet been invited for their 1st dose to contact the Practice as soon as possible to arrange an appointment.
Booking an Appointment
We are using a system called Accubook to send patients a text message with a link which allows them to view available Covid vaccination appointments online and book their appointment direct. However, where this message is not received we will always follow up and contact patients by phone or letter to make sure nobody is disadvantaged. The text message may include instructions regarding the date and location of the clinic we are inviting patients to, so please read the text carefully to make sure you book into the correct clinic.
If you receive a text with a link to book your appointment, please use it as quickly as possible as this allows us to see how many patients are attending and whether we have capacity to invite more people to the sessions on offer
Attending for your Appointment
When attending for your appointment please arrive at the time booked and be aware that, whichever site you are attending, you may well be required to queue outside – therefore, you should dress appropriately. Also, please attend alone if at all possible in order to reduce the number of people passing through the vaccination site.
We will continue to provide regular updates on our website and via our social media link. In the meantime, we continue to be very grateful for the support and understanding shown by our patients at what is a very busy and very challenging time.
How to access your COVID-19 vaccination status
You can access your COVID-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App from 17 May. You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. We recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel.
If you do not have access to a smartphone and know that the country you are travelling to requires COVID-19 vaccination status, you can call the NHS helpline on 119 (from 17 May) and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 working days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine. We expect the letter to take up to 7 working days to reach you.
The letter will be sent automatically to the address registered with your GP. The 119 call handler you speak to will not be able to see your address to check this with you. If you’ve recently moved house, make sure you’ve given your new address to your GP practice before calling 119.
Do not contact your GP surgery about your COVID-19 vaccination status. GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 vaccination status.
Coronavirus / Covid19 Advice
Delivering the NHS Covid-19 vaccination
Covid vaccine info for patients.
CORONAVIRUS - PLEASE DO NOT COME INTO THE SURGERY without contacting us first.
From Monday 20th July we will be able to allow limited entry into the Practice. We will still need to triage patients by telephone beforehand. Waiting space will be very limited so some queuing outside will still be necessary. To avoid congestion please do not arrive early for your appointment.Please note anyone coming into the surgery must wear a face covering or mask. Entry will not be permitted without one.
Are your children back to school?
Guidance note for Parent
Under current public health guidance we are currently not offering face to face appointments without patients being assessed first. Please read this carefully as the way we provide care has changed:
- If you need to speak to a GP we will book you in for an appointment on the telephone. If then the GP wishes to see you they will book you in themselves.
-If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever or temperature, a new cough and/or loss of sense of taste or smell) or if you have been in contact with any known or suspected COVID-19 cases then please do not come to the surgery but telephone us for further advice.
-To assist us in managing risk, please attend alone unless you need to be accompanied by a carer.
- Any patients attending for a face to face appointment should ensure they wear a face covering to the appointment.
-Please be aware that you may need to wait outside the surgery as we are still unable to permit patients to wait in the waiting room. You are welcome to wait nearby in your car where possible, but if waiting near the surgery please maintain social distancing.
-Please contact the reception team when you arrive for your appointment so we know you are waiting. We will contact you to ask you to come into the surgery when the clinician is ready.
-Please be aware that you may be asked several times if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, and we ask for your patience and co-operation in this - this is for the safety of staff and other patients.
We are most grateful for your kind assistance.
MED 3/FIT NOTES INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
Click on the link for a copy of the below Statement:
Link: Suspected COVID-19 Note to your employeer.docx
Irrespective of travel history or contact with COVID-19, anyone with a new persistent cough and/or fever should self-isolate for 7 days,and do not need to call 111 or any other healthcare provider.
If the symptoms worsen or you feel that you may need medical care, you should contact 111. The NHS 111 website is https://111.nhs.uk/.
If you wish to book an appointment call the Surgery.
The NHS Worcestershire and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available where possible. You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at: www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on nhs.uk
If you or a member of your household have a new continuous cough and/or fever your entire household should stay at home and self isolate for 14 days. If you live alone and are experiencing the above symptoms you only need to self-isolate for 7 days. Stay indoors and do not be in close contact with anyone else. If your symptoms deteriorate NHS 111 have an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advice on what to do: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ Only telephone NHS111 direct if you are unable to go on-line. Do not go to a GP surgery, community pharmacy or hospital.
Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water. Especially when you get home or into work, after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, after being in public areas, or when you eat or handle food. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
At the current time and based on our understanding of what is known of COVID-19 and other similar respiratory viruses, it is likely that older people and those with chronic medical conditions may be vulnerable to severe disease. As more information emerges, recommendations may change.