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FLU VACCINATIONS 2020/21

This year the way in which we coordinate our Flu Clinics has changed due to the huge impact of COVID-19.

What is the flu? 

The Flu is a highly infectious virus that infects the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause serious illness and even death in vulnerable groups. Some people with pre-existing conditions are more likely to develop potential serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Who is eligible for the flu vaccine this year?

You can have the flu vaccine if you are:

  •  Aged 65 or over
  •  Aged under 65 and have a medical condition
  •  Pregnant
  •  Living in a residential or nursing home
  •  Caring for an older or disabled person
  •  Household contacts of anyone on the NHS Shielded Patient List
  •  Frontline health and social care worker
  •  Aged 2-3 years old (for most children, the vaccine will be given as a spray in each nostril)
  •  In primary school  (provided by the School Nurse)
  •  Year 7 secondary school student (provided by the School Nurse)
  •  Aged 50-64 – Please note those in this new eligible group will be offered the vaccine later in the season as we will be vaccinating the very vulnerable first. Please check in with us after 1st November 2020.  For further information on eligibility visit Flu Vaccine - NHS information 

How can I book an appointment? 

If you are eligible for a flu vaccination you will receive an invitation by letter or text message to book an appointment by telephone when the clinics become available.  

At the time of booking your appointment, the receptionist will advise you of the following;

  •  Where to attend and any specific COVID -19 / Social distancing measures in place
  •  To wear a face covering
  •  To wear short sleeves if possible
  •  To attend at your allocated appointment time- If you are running late you will not be seen after your appointment time and will need to reschedule
  •  If you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 you must not attend your appointment, you must self-isolate and get a   test

What safety measures are in place to keep me safe before, during and after my appointment? 

Your safety is important to us and the following measures have been put in place to keep all patients and staff safe;

  •  All patients will be advised to wear a face covering
  •  All patients attending will be asked a series of questions to identify if they or anyone in their household is experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone experiencing potential symptoms will be asked to leave immediately, self-isolate and get a test
  •  Clear signs and social distancing markers will be in place in and around the surgery
  •  There will be a limited number of patients in the building at any one time
  •  All clinicians and patient facing staff members will be following the latest infection control guidance.

This Year there will not be a walk in flu clinic. 

We are running bookable clinics from 13th October 2020. All flu appointments must be booked by calling reception on 01787 378226.

In order to protect our vulnerable patients and ensure social distancing, patients will be allocated a time slot to attend for their vaccination. First clinics will be prioritised for our most vulnerable patient groups. Please do not attend outside of your time slot.

Later in the year the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn.

However if you’re aged 50-64 and in at-risk group, you should not delay having your flu vaccine. 

Visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/ for further information.

Urgent Information Regarding Blood Test

Dear Patients

 

We have an urgent situation with being able to complete some blood tests.  This is caused by our supplier, Roche, being unable to deliver some chemicals needed for this process.  This is a national problem.

We need to prioritise clinically urgent tests.   This means that if you are having a regular blood test, it may be delayed.  We are very sorry about this. 

If you are worried and you have been told your blood test is urgent, please contact the person who referred you, your GP or your Consultant. 

Managing queries will mean that your Practice or Hospital team is busier than ever – please be as patient as possible – they will be working incredibly hard to support you.

National teams are working with Roche to sort this problem out and we will keep everyone updated as the situation changes. 

We do understand that this may worry you and is very inconvenient, so please do get in touch with our PALS team if you wish to discuss this further.  Their number is: FREEPHONE 0800 389 6819

 

Kind regards

Your Practice and Clinical Commissioning Team

Face Coverings - Important Information

We are asking all patients to provide their own face covering when entering the practice.  This can be a mask, scarf, bandanna or handkerchief.

The Surgery will now only permit access for patients the GP considers essential to be seen.  Everyone will be offered a telephone call or can complete an eConsult available on our website home page;

http://www.thelongmelfordpractice.co.uk

We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

Letters of exemption (face covering)

There is no requirement for evidence of exemption, it is sufficient for an individual to self-declare this and there is no requirement for general practice to provide such letters.

 Patients can visit the government website as below or their travel companies website:

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#exemptions-to-wearing-a-face-covering-where-they-are-mandated

Forms and Letters can be collected from The Long Melford Practice from 29th June at the following times;
 
10am – 11am
5pm – 6pm
 
Dispensary is open from 2pm to 5.30pm
 
Booked appointments from 2pm to 5pm 
Update on home visits
Due to the increasing demand on appointments and the NHS requirement that all GP surgeries undertake more routine work it will not be possible to continue to offer home visits to shielding patients from Monday 6th July
You will be able to book blood tests at Sudbury Health Centre
If you need to be seen by a doctor or nurse this will be arranged after a phone call with the clinician

Antibody testing for Coronovirus 

Antibody testing is now available for patients who are having blood tests.  If you wish to have the antibody test done you will need to book an appointment to discuss this with a nurse.

eConsult is now live  

Next time you feel unwell or have a request for the practice, use eConsult online for free, 24/7.

Visit our practice website to begin.

What can you use eConsult for?

Contact your own GP for medical advice Administrative requests e.g. fit notes, GP letters, test results

Search for trusted NHS self-help advice

 Our team review every request and will get back to you by the end of the next working day

Managing your Medication during Covid-19 

The dispensary at Long Melford Surgery is only open

Monday – Friday between 14:00 -17:30 for the collection of medication 

Prescriptions 

The Practice WILL NOT be issuing printed prescriptions for the foreseeable future and unless we dispense to you from the Surgery all prescriptions will be sent electronically to the pharmacy.  Please ensure you prepare for this change by making sure you have a nominated pharmacy.  This can be done by contacting your nominated pharmacy or online via Patient Access.

Please allow at least THREE WORKING DAYS from the time you order your medication until the time you collect/expect delivery. 

Medication Delivery 

If you are having difficulty collecting your prescriptions from the dispensary or pharmacy due to self-isolating or protective shielding measures please let us or your pharmacy know. 

Medication Queries

The Practice does not reply to emails.  For all medication queries please telephone the Practice and request a call back from a member of the practice dispensary team. 

Electronic Repeat Dispensing

The Practice is currently reviewing all patients on repeat medication for the suitability of electronic repeat dispensing.

Your nominated pharmacy will inform you if you have been issued with a series of repeat prescriptions, in-line with electronic repeat dispensing.  Essentially this means your pharmacy or the Surgery dispensary will prepare your medication each month without your having to make a request. 

For further information on electronic repeat dispensing, please click on the following link: 

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/pharmacies-gp-practices-and-appliance-contractors/prescribing-and-dispensing/electronic-repeat-dispensing-erd/erd-information-patients 

If you have any questions regarding repeat dispensing, please either contact your local pharmacy or request a telephone call back from the dispensary team.

Transparency Notice for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19)

This practice is supporting vital coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital. Please see Further information.

Text messaging system 

MJOG, our text messaging system is now live! Text messages will be sent to confirm appointment times, remind you about appointments you have booked and give you the option to cancel your appointment by sending a text back.

In order to have MJOG used effectively and in the best way we can we need YOU to help us by keeping us up to date with your current mobile numbers. You can let us know over the phone if your number has changed or we have a short form you can fill out in the surgery. If you are not sure whether we have your mobile or the correct number, please don't hesitate to ask the receptionist, either over the phone or in person, to check to see if your details are up to date.

If you do not wish to have text messages sent to you, all we need is written and signed confirmation specifically stating that you want to opt out. Once we have this, messages will no longer be sent to your mobile.

Dispensary email address

The email address for patients wishing to order their repeat prescriptions is longmelford.dispensary@nhs.net.

 

Summary Care Record (SCR) 

 See the section on Summary Care Records to find out about what is included, who will be able to access it and what to do if you do not want a summary care record created.

 Patient Surveys

Your feedback is important to us and will help us to provide a quality service which meets the needs of our patients across the practice area.
 
We will be asking patients to complete a survey from time to time during the year. This can be done electronically, via our website or be collecting a survey form from Reception at either Long Melford or Lavenham. At the moment the Friends and Family Survey is open. Please click on the Survey button on the bottom of our home page to take part in this short survey.
 
Thank you for time and support
 

Out Of Area Registrations

Some of you may be aware that NHS England has been working towards introducing a scheme to allow GP Surgeries to accept out of area registrations. The scheme which was due to be introduced in October 2014 has been postponed until 5th January 2015. The reason is to allow NHS England time to ensure that all arrangements are in place for patients to access urgent care when needed.

Long Melford Practice has not yet decided whether or not it will participate in the scheme. At present we have decided that we will not be taking part in accepting patients from outside our area as we have not been given enough assurances on how patients who live elsewhere would access health care in the event of an emergency or if they required a home visit.

We will continue to review the situation as we receive more information. The Partners and staff at Long Melford Practice are committed to providing quality patient care, safely & until we feel confident that any new systems will protect or improve patient safety, then we will not proceed. 

Care.data

See the section on Care.data to find out how some of your data may be used by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)

Patient Access Password Security

Patient Access users will receive an email over the next 3 weeks to inform them of updates to their security measures by the end of July.  Users will be asked to set up a five-digit security PIN code and also, optionally to provide a mobile phone number. 

Please contact the Patient Access Support team with any questions.

 

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