Covid 19 Vaccinations – Update April 2021

If you are aged 50 or over, please do book an appointment for your Covid vaccine as soon as you can. This can be done in the following ways:

Plans to vaccinate patients under 50 have not yet been published, but we will update  our website with the relevant information as we get it.

2nd dose Covid vaccinations have now begun and we are contacting those patients that are now eligible to receive it.

Covid 19 Vaccinations – Update January 2021

Covid vaccination:

We are now making good progress getting all our patients protected by offering them their COVID vaccinations. Here is some useful information to help you understand how we are trying to protect all our patients and offer COVID vaccination as soon as possible.

 

Where can I get my vaccination done?

Most of the local practices in Bath are working together with our local GP federation “BEMs” to  invite patients in to the Bath Pavilion to ensure a really safe and efficient service.  Staff from many local GP practices have all been trained and vetted to offer a high quality service to you all working side by side.

Many patients will also receive an invitation by post from NHS England. This will be an invitation to one of the “mass vaccination” sites. If you don’t want to travel to one of these more remote sites then please do not worry as your practice will be in touch and you will still get the chance to have your vaccination done closer to home in Bath. It doesn’t matter which invitation you take up, you will not miss out, so the choice is yours. You do not HAVE to book an appointment at the mass centre if you don’t want to travel,  your surgery will be in contact with you when your “cohort” or group is ready to be called.

 

When will it be my turn?

You may be aware that there is a national priorities list, to ensure that all patients are invited for their vaccination in an orderly and fair fashion. The Government and scientific experts have identified those who will benefit from a vaccine most, and these groups have been chosen to be invited first. You can view the list attached here for further details :

Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination: advice from the JCVI, 30 December 2020 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

This Priority list is taken from this document:

1 Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

2 All those 80 years of age and over

Frontline health and social care workers

3 All those 75 years of age and over

4 All those 70 years of age and over

Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

5 All those 65 years of age and over

6 All individuals aged 16 years  to 64 years with underlying health

conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and

mortality – This also includes those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

7 All those 60 years of age and over

8 All those 55 years of age and over

9 All those 50 years of age and over

 

We would be grateful if you please do not call the GP surgery to check this, as we are already working through the list following national guidance and our staff are very stretched trying to get this essential work done.

If you feel that you have been missed out or are worried then you can contact us, but please rest assured that we will invite you as soon as we have some vaccine delivered and have worked through all the priority groups from the top.

One of the key priority groups are frontline  health and social care staff. If you are not sure if we are aware that you are in this group then do please contact your employer or the surgery, so we can ensure you get called for your vaccine as soon as possible. We are aware that we may not be aware of a small group of patients in this occupational group. The definition of this group can be found in the NHS letter:

C1008-Operational-Guidance-Vaccination-of-Frontline-Health-Social-Care-Workers-7-January-2021.pdf (england.nhs.uk)

Sadly, this Priority 2 group does only include professional care staff and not informal carers who fall into group 6. Most of this group of professionals will be offered vaccination in the local “hospital Hubs”.

 

But I think I am “high risk”?

If you have had a letter from the NHS telling you that you are “Extremely Clinically Vulnerable” and need to be “Shielding” then you will be priority ”group  4”. Details on this list are found in the following document:

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you are normally offered a Flu vaccination because you are high risk then you will be invited in priority “group 6”. Please note this definition.  (Please note – This is quite different from the former group 4 above.)

The definition of those individuals who are in priority group 6 is as follows:

  • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma
  • chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease including epilepsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe and profound learning disability
  • diabetes
  • solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers
  • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
  • asplenia and splenic dysfunction
  • morbid obesity
  • severe mental illness

Further details can be found here  on page 9 :

COVID-19 Greenbook chapter 14a (publishing.service.gov.uk)

 

But I am housebound, how can I get my vaccine?

A specific housebound vaccination team has been developed and are starting to contact patients in the community across Bath who are known to be housebound. This is NOT the District Nursing team as they are already working hard to keep normal services running. You will be contacted very soon in order to have your appointment slot booked and the team will be able to visit to administer your vaccination in your own home if necessary. If you are able enough to attend the Bath Pavilion site with assistance then this can be arranged if it is quicker to ensure you get your vaccination as soon as possible. There is full disabled access and it is OK to have a carer visit with your to help if necessary.

 

How will you contact me?

We will often use Text messages to contact patients initially, but will also telephone or write to you if you don’t have a mobile phone.

We will also try several times, so please don’t worry, we are carefully monitoring our invitation lists and ensuring no-one gets missed out.

 

How can I cancel my appointment if I am unwell?

Please call us at the surgery with as much notice as possible if for any reason you cannot keep your appointment, please DO NOT call BEMs or the Bath Pavilion. If you need to cancel, we will try and reschedule your appointment as soon as we can.

 

So, please do wait for us to contact you and we will continue working hard to get everyone a vaccination as soon as possible. We appreciate your incredible support at this challenging time for everyone and hope that you stay safe.

Covid-19 January Update

As we enter lockdown, both of our Practices at Combe Down and Odd Down remain open and we are here to help with any health concerns that you may have.

 

In order to keep both our staff and patients safe, we would encourage you, where possible, to contact the Practice remotely either online or by telephone.

 

The NHS app is a free to download app (NHS App – NHS (www.nhs.uk)) that will allow you to get health advice, view your medical record and order prescriptions.  Alternatively, prescriptions can be requested by emailing prescription.cds@nhs.net . 

 

For any general enquiries that you may have,  please email our administration team at admin.combedown@nhs.net and a member of the team will be happy to help.

 

Stay safe, follow the guidelines and get in touch if you need us.

 

With best wishes from all the team at Combe Down Surgery.

A message from the Practice – November 2020

We are open and here to deal with any health worries, not just those relating to Covid.

 Please keep your existing appointments unless you hear from us to the contrary.

 

Although we’ve not yet had any guidance about the second lockdown and what this means for the services we offer, we plan to keep speaking to and seeing our patients as we have been doing. We’ve remained open since the original lockdown was announced in March, and although the way we’re working may have changed, we’re still here for you when you need us.

 

Between 1st April and 31st August, we’ve held nearly 14,000 appointments, with over 4,000 of these face to face. Although we are expecting an increased demand over the winter months, we are not planning to stop any of our current services unless NHS England instructs us to. We will continue to review our processes to ensure we are working in the safest possible way.

 

Our website will be updated as and when there are any changes but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are worried about your health.

 

Please continue to be patient with our team. All our staff, clinical and non-clinical, put themselves at risk every day by heading into work. We understand this is a difficult and worrying time for many but we would ask you to be respectful to our team as we’re doing our very best to help you get the care you need.

 

Stay safe, follow the guidelines and get in touch if you need us.

 

With best wishes from all the team at Combe Down Surgery.

 

A message from the Practice – March 2020

We would like to reassure our patients that we are here for you during this difficult time.

Both of our Practices at Combe Down and Odd Down remain open, but for your safety and ours we have needed to adjust the way that we work. All appointments with our GP’s and Nursing Team will initially be a telephone consultation and if it’s felt that you need to be seen face to face, this will then be arranged. Our Nursing team is working hard to ensure that all urgent and important routine care is still carried out. Such urgent care includes:

  • INR testing
  • Urgent blood tests
  • Child immunisations
  • Urgent dressings
  • Smears

We are also undertaking long term condition monitoring

Our reception and administration teams have been working as best as they can to answer the telephone and assist with enquiries as guidance is updated. This has sometimes meant that there is a delay in answering calls so please bear with us – our teams will get to you as soon as possible.

These new measures that we have put in place have at times meant that we have needed to cancel non-essential appointments at sometimes short notice. We apologise for any inconvenience but hope that you can appreciate that it is ultimately for your benefit, and that of the wider community.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

The Combe Down Team.

 

Covid-19 FAQ

 

Thank you to everyone who is supporting the Practice. We appreciate all the good wishes we’re receiving.

We thought it would be helpful to answer some of the most frequent questions we’re getting:

  • We’re unable to grant prescriptions early at the moment, or provide extra just in case. The pharmacies are struggling and we don’t want to create supply problems. Please help us by submitting your requests on time, rather than early. We will not be able to process them before the due date. If you have any medication worries, give us a call and we’ll do our best to help.
  • If you need to provide your employer with evidence that you are isolating, visit https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/  At the moment, the government and NHS England have instructed GP practices not to provide fit notes for isolation.
  • There is a lot of worry about whether people should self isolate and for how long. For more information and  guidance please follow the NHS link www.nhs.uk or telephone the Practice if you are unsure
  • Please think carefully before stepping foot in the surgery. We are trying to reduce footfall to protect you and our staff. Please access our services online if at all possible. Sign up for DoctorLink or the NHS App. Both are really helpful for accessing advice or organising your prescriptions.
  • Please be understanding if we have to cancel your routine appointment. We are doing our best to focus on essential services and any decisions to cancel are taken in light of advice from Public Health England and NHS England.

Once again, a heartfelt thank you for helping us to help you. From all the staff at Combe Down Surgery.

Useful Resources

Bath Community Hub: 0300 2470050. Telephone advice on how to receive critical support whilst shielding or self-isolating (food, prescriptions etc).

NHS 111 online

https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/

NHS 111 self-isolation note for work:

https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note

 

Ordering Medication & Contraception

 

Please order your medication online through the GP online services, or in the usual way that you request repeat prescriptions. There is no need to ask for extra medicine from your pharmacist or GP. The supply chain remains resilient against the current coronavirus outbreak.

 

If you are currently taking the pill and your prescription is due; please request it at the usual time and in the usual way. if your blood pressure is due at this time, we would strongly suggest  postponing the blood pressure check for the foreseeable future. We will ensure that you have enough medication to continue to be protected

 

If you receive a Depo Provera (contraceptive injection), please contact the Practice.

 

For patients who already have a coil and believe that this needs replacing in the next 3 months; please be reassured that this can be postponed and you will still have contraceptive protection. We will contact you when we are able to re-establish this service.

 

For patients with a contraceptive implant; it can remain in longer than the advised 3 years, while still providing contraceptive protection. During these uncertain times we have been advised to postpone the renewal or new insertions of these implants.

 

If you have any queries please contact the Practice to discuss.

 

Covid-19 Principle Trial

Combe Down Surgery are participating in a clinical trial exploring treatment for the COVID-19 Virus. the Principle trial is eligible for those over the age of 65, or those that are aged 50- 64 with certain conditions. . If you are experiencing a new or worsening continuous cough and/or a high temperature and have had it for less than 14 days and are not starting to feel better; you may be able to take part in the trial. For more information please visit  https://sentry.phc.ox.ac.uk/prinscreen/PRS

 

Face coverings in a public setting

We are aware that some patients might be understandably anxious about the Government’s recent announcements around the use of face masks in various public settings.

GP’s are unfortunately not in a postion to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face mask.

For up to date advice, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own