Restrictions Lifting - Update
Although lockdown restrictions are easing it is still important for the safety of patients and staff that we continue to maintain a COVID- secure environment. It is hugely encouraging that the vaccination rollout has been so successful, but infection rates are still concerning and the emergence of new COVID variants poses a risk we cannot ignore. For this reason, we will continue to ask visitors to our practice to please wear face masks when they enter the building and to socially distance for the time being. By taking these simple precautions we can work together to prevent infections among both patients and staff. This also helps us avoid having staff members isolate, which in turn will help us keep your GP services running smoothly.
We will also continue to assess patients remotely first and will offer face-to-face appointments to those who need them. This will include people with existing medical conditions who need greater support (for example, people with learning difficulties or who may be living with hearing loss), and those who we assess to have a particular need that requires a face-to-face appointment.
As we are sure you appreciate, it is really important for us to focus on patients who need us the most and who may have an urgent or long-term health need that requires attention. It is also the case that administrative work has increased considerably for GPs and staff as a result of the pandemic. Using telephone assessment methods means we can make sure our time is used to help each patient in the best way for their particular health concern. We would like to reassure you that we will always be working hard to put your needs, as patients, first.
We are very aware how difficult the pandemic has been for many patients. We also understand that some may be frustrated at having to wait a little longer than usual for certain treatments. Similarly, our telephone lines have been far busier than usual for this time of year, and patients may find themselves on hold for slightly longer while we deal with calls.
We would ask, however, that all patients please treat our staff with kindness and respect. General Practice has been working extremely hard, and very long hours, throughout the pandemic and the recent vaccination rollout. This has been a difficult and exhausting time for many of our staff, who continue to work diligently to support all our patients.
We appreciate your patience and understanding in this and would like to thank our patients for their support.
It is exciting news that the first few people in the UK have now had their COVID 19 vaccination. We are eagerly awaiting our chance to play our part in the vaccination programme.
The logistics are very complicated and we obviously all want this to start as quickly and safely as possible. Over the last few weeks, we have been involved in almost daily meetings in the practice and with our colleagues in other GP practices across Buckinghamshire to find a way of providing the COVID vaccination. Although we really want to be able to provide the vaccine to our patients on our premises, this will not be possible (at least initially) as the first vaccine available has to be kept very cold, cannot be transported between sites, and must be delivered in very large batches that then must be used in just a few days. We have discussed working together as groups of practices to administer the vaccine a number of central sites in Buckinghamshire and those discussions are ongoing.
The ultimate plan will be to vaccinate as much of the population as possible, but this will be done in stages starting with the most vulnerable. Patients over the age of 80, and residents and staff in care homes will the first in the queue. Depending on your age and health conditions, you could be invited at any time in the next few months. The NHS will contact you to arrange your appointment as soon as there is a vaccine for you. In the meanwhile, please do not call the reception team for more information as we need to keep the telephone lines available for patients who may need urgent medical attention.
We would like to take this opportunity to ask our patients to be patient and bear with us. We are working hard to ensure that you can be vaccinated as soon as possible and we urge you to take up the vaccine as soon as it is offered to you by the NHS. Vaccines work best if a large proportion of the population plays their part and has the immunisation.
As a practice, we are hopeful that the vaccination will mean the beginning of the end of this horrible pandemic. But it is vital that we all continue with "hands, face, space" - washing our hands, using face coverings and maintaining social distancing - until we're all safely out of this. Stay safe and please continue to be kind to one another and yourself!
We will contact patients who received their Covid vaccination at the Stoke Mandeville hub 10 weeks after they have had their first Covid vaccine jab in order to book the 2nd vaccine jab. If you have not heard by the 11th week after your first vaccine jab please contact the surgery.
If you have your first Covid vaccine jab at another vaccination centre you have to return to that centre for your second vaccination. This is because stocks are delivered to vaccination centres depending on how many were vaccinated there for the first jab.
Health staff vaccine allocation
As per National guidance a Buckinghamshire Health & Social Care Staff Vaccination Allocation Bureau has been established to identify and prioritise Health and Social Care workers for the COVID vaccination, the vaccination is being offered to:
Frontline health and social care workers at high risk of acquiring infection, at high individual risk of developing serious disease, or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment as set out in JCVI advice on prioritisation document and the standard operating procedure for vaccinating health and social care staff released on the 14th January 2021.
If you have not yet been contacted about the vaccination and you would like one please speak to your employer in the first instance, if you have one, as they should have been contacted to support coordination.
If you are an employer or practice independently and have not been contacted, please contact the appropriate email address below and provide a lead name, contact telephone number, email address and the name of your organisation or job role:
Health care employees: email@example.com
Social care employees: COVIDvaccination@buckinghamshire.gov.uk
This information will be recorded on a central database and you will be contacted with booking instructions as capacity allows. Please note the health and social care cohort is extremely large so please be patient whilst awaiting information about your vaccine
Please Note : You may also be contacted by your GP and or another vaccination site and it is your choice as to which route you take to obtain your vaccine.
Covid-19 Vaccination: Practice update as at 12 January 2021
Tuesday 5 January 2021 was an exciting day as we had our first look at the Aylesbury vaccination hub at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttman Road, Aylesbury, HP21 9PP. Setting this up has been a difficult task. As we and our Patient Participation Group (PPG) have described before, the logistics for these new vaccines are very difficult. Just as COVID is not "just flu", the COVID vaccines are also much more complex than flu jabs. This hub has been made possible by weeks of work by GP practices across the Aylesbury Vale, led by Dr Sajid Zaib of Oakfield Surgery, with the Clinical Commissioning Group, Buckinghamshire Council, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, and a group of enthusiastic volunteers including Brian Rogers from our own PPG.
Vaccinations will start next week and we will roll them out as quickly as possible. Our staff will be working at the vaccination hub. As this will include clinical and non-clinical staff, please be aware that there will be fewer staff on site at the medical centre than normal and we appreciate your patience.
We know you are impatient for vaccination - we want you to have it too! But please be patient - this will take time. We do not have an unlimited supply of the vaccine. The amount of vaccine we receive, and the timings of those deliveries are not under our control. Our delivery has already been delayed twice this week. The Government has set an ambitious target of vaccinating patients in our top four at-risk groups by mid-February. For our practice alone, this is about 1700 patients. We can do this, but it will be a big challenge.
There is a strict policy determining who will be offered the vaccine first. This is devised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and not by us. This policy is designed to ensure that people receive the vaccine quickly but fairly, according to their risks of harm from the virus. Please be aware we cannot overrule this or bump people up the queue.
As we need to invite patients at short notice to coincide with the deliveries of the vaccine, we will ring patients initially. You will not be sent a letter. We will call patients twice but will need to fill the appointments quickly once we know the vaccine is due to be delivered. The vaccine needs to be used in a short period of time so we cannot hold on for people. Calling people will take reception and admin staff away from their normal duties so please be patient when ringing or contacting the reception team. We hope over time to be able to use technology such as text messaging and online booking systems but, for now, we just need to get going.
Please start thinking about your transport options as the appointment may be at short notice. You will only be able to enter the centre 5 minutes before your appointment and if you arrive early you will need to wait in your car. The appointment should take approximately 30 minutes and you will not be able to wait inside the building after your appointment for transport to collect you due to the social distancing requirements. The PPG and parish councils have been looking at options for patients who do not have access to transport. Patients living in Haddenham can contact the FISH scheme Jeanne Watt - 291337 and Alison Green - 292088. We are collating contact details for other parishes and will give patients the information when we ring to book the appointment. The Haddenham Community Vehicle "Carrie" is available to all patients within our catchment area and the co-ordinator is David Hammond and the contact number for HCV is 07495 366779 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All patients will need to wear a mask for their vaccination appointment.
We know that many people would prefer to come to the practice for their vaccination but at the moment this is not possible because of the need to store the Pfizer vaccination at very cold temperatures and to use it quickly once it has thawed. We hope that the Oxford vaccine will be available to practices in the future and we are already planning to jab people in Haddenham as soon as we get the green light. However, don't wait for this to happen. It is very important that you take the appointment if offered at the Aylesbury hub as we do not know if or when we would be able to offer a vaccination at the medical centre. We will not keep a waiting list.
Please take extra care during the new lockdown. Remember: "hands, face, space and replace" - continue to wash your hands regularly, use a face mask, make space (aiming to keep at least 2 metres away from others), and replace the air in your indoor spaces with good ventilation.
This will be a more difficult time again for everyone with the added stresses that comes with another lockdown. We are all fed up with this, some are frustrated or stressed, and many of us working in health and social care are tired. So please remember to be kind to yourself during this stressful time and look out for those around you, especially those vulnerable in our community.
If you feel you need more help with your mental health during the pandemic, please remember that there is a telephone helpline available:
Adult helpline: 01865 904997
Children and Young People helpline: 01865 904998
The lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Dealing with COVID-19
We understand that the current situation with COVID-19 can be worrying and unsettling. Below are some downloadable PDF leaflets with information on different aspects of coping with your current situation.
For other information on COVID-19 please follow government guidence and check for updates regularly, you can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Mental Health 24/7 Helplines
A new telephone helpline for mental health advice has been launched in Buckinghamshire. It will operate during the pandemic 24 hours a day, seven days a week and temporarily replaces 111 for people who need mental health care and their situation is not life threatening.
Residents of all ages can call for advice about how to manage symptoms, to find out when and where to get help and to access support from mental health professionals. During office hours, people who already use MH services should contact services directly using the phone numbers in their care plan.
Adult helpline: 01865 904997
Children and Young People: 01865 904998.
CAMHS 24/7 Helpline
CAMHS have opened a 24/7 helpline to support the NHS 111 line. Calls will be diverted to this helpline where there are mental health concerns for children/ young people.
Alternatively families can call direct to: 01865 904998. Please note this number is temporary to help cope with the current Covid19 crisis.
The Single Point of Access (SPA) is also open from Monday to Sunday 8am to 8pm on 01865 901951.
If you are shielding, isolating or cannot get to the surgery to hand in a repeat prescription slip, we recommend you download the NHS app. If you have any issues while downloading the app you can follow these downloadable instructions.
Important information on prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time. Over ordering of your medicines may mean someone else has to go without their medicines
- Order your usual prescription online or by an app. Do not go to your GP practice or pharmacy to order prescriptions and only phone them if you cannot order online or by an app. You can order repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available. You can find out about ordering medicines online at www.nhs.uk
- If you have a prescription to collect:
- If you are 70 or over, have a long-term health condition or are pregnant you should arrange collection by a relative or friend, or ask your pharmacy for advice about delivery
- Ask any relatives and friends who are delivering your medicines to make sure they have seen you pick up the bag
- If your medicines are being delivered make sure you keep a safe distance when you receive them.
- For everyone else, if you are going into a pharmacy in person, follow social distancing rules and the rules put in place by the pharmacy to protect you and their staff
- Pharmacies may have altered opening times to manage their workload
- Sales of some medicines may be restricted in quantity by pharmacies to ensure that there is enough for everyone.
Sick Notes for Isolation
If you are self isolating you can apply for a sick note for your employer here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
The NHS and Government are aware that during this time of uncertainty there are a lot of questions people may have. Below is a downloadable PDF of frequently asked questions with answers.
National Bereavement Partnership Covid-19 Hub: 0800 448 0800 (7am – 10pm, every day) or email@example.com
Age UK: Guidance on funerals https://www.ageuk.org.uk/informationadvice/coronavirus/coronavirus-guidance/arranging-a-funeral--coronavirus-advice/
At a loss: Coronavirus bereavement resources https://www.ataloss.org/Pages/FAQs/Category/coronavirus-pandemic
CRUSE: Coronavirus bereavement information and resources https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/coronavirus-dealing-bereavement-and-grief
Marie Curie: Funerals and Coronavirus https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/bereaved-family-friends/organisingfuneral/funerals-and-coronavirus
Oxford Health: Coping with Coronavirus Bereavement
Child Bereavement UK: https://www.childbereavementuk.org/coronavirus-covid-19- information
A new charity has been set up that is designed to help people and families affected by the coronavirus. Their purpose is to provide a helpline for all individuals who need to speak to someone in these very uncertain and emotional times, when their loved ones may be ill in hospital or have sadly passed away. For all information you may need, please visit the National Bereavement Partnership.
Support for People with Learning Disabilities during COVID-19
People with learning disabilities face considerable health inequalities and this will be no different during the COVID-19 outbreak. Below is a selection of resources which are available for people with learning disabilities, their families and paid-for carers:
Public Health England has produced a document explaining why it’s so important for people to keep their distance from others during the coronavirus crisis.
Beyond Words has produced this ‘Beating the Virus’ book to help people to understand what to do if they have Coronavirus and how to keep themselves, and those who they care about, safe. It’s available to download for free.
Photosymbols has produced this poster which explains how people can stay safe during COVID-19. It’s available to print out so it can be displayed, as needed.
Learning Disability England has produced a series of information on its website designed to explain, provide essential information, and keep people in touch with each other.
United, we will support the most vulnerable in our RAF community.
We are living in unprecedented times – globally, as a nation, and for every one of us as we deal with the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in our own lives.
As a charity, we are facing a £10 million impact on our finances this year. But at the same time, we are acutely conscious that many RAF veterans and their loved ones are particularly vulnerable during these difficult times.
Members of our RAF community are struggling and we cannot stand by.
We are working tirelessly to mobilise volunteers to deliver four emergency projects to combat the issues we are finding daily.
Visit this website for more information.
- NHS dental practices are providing urgent telephone advice and triage. If you have a regular dentist you should call them as a first step. Please do not visit the practice. The dentist will assess your situation over the phone, including giving advice and, if needed, prescriptions for painkillers or antibiotics which can then be collected from or delivered by a local pharmacy.
- If you don’t have a regular dentist and need urgent dental advice, call NHS 111.
- If your dentist or NHS 111 think that you need urgent face-to face treatment, they will refer you for local urgent dental care so that any necessary emergency dental treatment can be carried out.
- If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, you will be advised on what to do. Urgent dental centres have measures in place to minimise any risk from coronavirus
- Please do not visit A&E departments with dental problems.
Support from the Royal British Legion
The Legion continues to provide much needed support to the Armed Forces community, especially those who may be feeling more isolated than ever at this time, in a number of ways:
- The Legion’s contact centre remains fully operational to support the Armed Forces community and can be reached on 0808 802 8080 (8am-8pm, seven days a week) or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have broadened some of our specialist services , for example , our Benefits , Debt and Money Advice team are able to offer income maximisation advice to those members of the Armed Forces Community , Veterans , their families and Carers who have been impacted by Covid 19
- The Legion continues to operate the Veterans’ Gateway along with a network of Armed Forces organisations. The Gateway supports veterans and their families across a range of issue including housing, employment and finances. Advisers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on 0808 802 1212 or through www.veteransgateway.org.uk.
- Legion Branches are undertaking a range of activities to help the vulnerable in their communities, including operating a telephone buddy service to support vulnerable individuals and our wider community. If you are aware of vulnerable individuals needing assistance then please contact us on 0808 802 802 8080
- Our Branch Community Support volunteers are exploring ways to provide remote support to beneficiaries.
- The Legion continues to operate its 6 care homes providing residential, nursing and specialist dementia care to approximately 450 veterans and their dependents.
NHS Test and Trace
NHS Test and Trace has been put in place to keep you and others around you safe while easing lockdown restrictions. Please watch the short video below. You can also find more information on Test and Trace here.
COVID-19 Help us help you
We are working very hard at Haddenham Medical Centre to find the best ways to care for our patients during this new Coronavirus pandemic. To do this we need to protect both our patients and our staff.
What is the current situation?
We are already seeing a large increase in workload with many more phone calls coming into the practice and more requests for repeat prescriptions. The local hospitals are under pressure and this is having a knock-on effect on us. At the same time, healthcare workers recognise that they are at increased risk of infection due to repeated contact with the public so we must also plan for staff absences to keep everyone safe.
What are we doing?
We are meeting regularly as a team to review the service we can provide. We have clear plans for managing various possible scenarios. In line with Government guidance, we are concentrating on providing urgent care and so we are expanding our successful telephone triage system for patients who feel they have an urgent problem. Consequently, we will be suspending routine health checks and monitoring. You might find that some systems that you are used to using at the surgery, such as the touchscreens and automatic blood pressure monitor, will not be available. We are doing everything we can to reduce infection risk.
How can you help us?
Please use our service responsibly and be a ‘patient’ patient considering the added pressures under which we are all currently working. Do NOT enter the surgery if you have a fever or a new, continuous cough – this will put other patients and our staff at risk. Use the 111 online service (or ring 111 if unable to use this) if you are worried about having the new Coronavirus. Use our online Patient Access system as much as possible – for example, for ordering repeat prescriptions and checking results. Repeat prescriptions may take longer to process at this time.
How can you help yourselves and each other?
Continue to wash your hands regularly. Please follow the NHS advice given even though this may be difficult. Take care of the elderly and those vulnerable in our community – make phone contact with them regularly and offer help if you can. Be wary of online sources of information and limit your time on media sources if you are feeling anxious. Stick to reliable sources of information such as the NHS website. Be kind to each other and keep safe.
We will be updating our website and coordinating with our Patient Participation Group as often as we can. For those with access, our Facebook page will be quickest and easiest way for us to keep you informed (https://www.facebook.com/HaddenhamMedicalCentre).
Antigen Testing for Overseas Travel
This is not a service currently being provided by us at Haddenham Medical Centre. The following clinics have availability to carry these tests out, these clinics are private and there will be a charge for the test. Please call the clinic directly to enquire.
Doctor Now: Offering the service to members and on a pay as you go basis. 01494 410 888. https://doctornow.org/
CityDoc High Wycombe: This test is sent via courier service and the clinic will provide you with all the information you need to perform the test. 020 3794 6697. https://www.citydoc.org.uk/citydoc-high-wycombe/
Domestic Abuse During COVID-19
If you need support during COVID-19 with domestic abuse, please follow this link: https://safelives.org.uk/news-views/domestic-abuse-and-covid-19
Here is an update from Wycombe Womans Aid: https://teamnet.clarity.co.uk/Library/Public/3fc16aaa-bdb6-47b6-ba1c-ab9800fb81c9
Join the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry
The new NHS vaccine research registry will help NHS-approved researchers to get in touch with volunteers.
1. Sign up by adding your details to the registry.
2. Researchers will contact you with suitable studies and you can decide to take part or not.
Sign up today: www.nhs.uk/researchcontact