COVID VACCINATION CLINICS UPDATE 21ST JANUARY 2021
All appointments for this week are now fully booked, please wait to be contacted by the surgery next week.
Please do not attend the surgery if you have booked or are awaiting the results of a Covid Test. Please also do not attend the surgery if you have a high temperature, new persistent cough or loss of taste or smell.
All NHS services are under severe pressure at the moment, as we look after increasing numbers of patients who are sick with covid-19 in the community, and other deteriorating conditions too.
We are also delivering the huge and vitally important covid-19 vaccination programme. Please do not contact us regarding a vaccine, we will contact you.
So that we can focus on these really important issues, we will understandably be prioritising urgent care.
This means that when you contact us, we may have an initial conversation with you to understand how urgent your health needs are.
If you have an issue that is not urgent, you may to wait longer than usual until your problem or concern can be dealt with. You may be asked to rebook at a later date, or at a safer time (e.g. attending for a non-urgent blood test).
Do please make sure that you continue to get in touch with us if you need to. This is particularly important if:
• your problem is genuinely urgent
• you have a long term condition that is getting worse
• you are worried about symptoms that might indicate cancer
Please also remember you can call NHS 111 for urgent concerns, and 999 for serious emergencies. Your local pharmacist can also help with minor complaints too.
For adults with mental health problems including depression and anxiety, you can refer yourself directly to the local wellbeing service, via 0300 300 0055.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call the First Response Service by calling 111 and select option 2 (in Wisbech call 111, select option 1 and ask to be put through to the First Response Service).
A local CCG has produced an excellent childhood illnesses leaflet free to download here, full of advice and information for parents and carers of young children: https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/application/files/1716/0941/0098/Help_your_Child_Stay_Well_This_Winter_FINAL.pdf
The Cambridgeshire County Council has a range of support and information to help in times of urgent need: telephone 0345 045 5202 8am-6pm weekdays 9am-1pm Saturdays. Outside office hours if someone is in danger telephone 01733 234724. In an emergency, call 999. Also see www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/adults.
Thank you very much for helping us all manage under these very difficult circumstances.
Coronavirus - Government Updates
To find the latest news and guidance on Coronavirus, please visit the Government Website by clicking here
If you want to find our more information about you local tier system and what that means for you, we have provided a link to the page, please click here.
COVID-19 Vaccination programme
We are currently working hard to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible patients in the priority groups, at the same time as providing care to all those who need it.
The public have an important part to play to help us do this:
- please don’t contact the surgery to seek a vaccine, we will contact you
- when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments
- and please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.
There are also a number of national vaccination sites that are opening and patients may receive a letter from the national NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service inviting you to book an appointment at one of these vaccination centres. If you receive a letter and are able to travel to the vaccination centre safely, we recommend that you book using the details the letter provides.
Please be aware that while we deliver Covid-19 vaccinations some of our routine clinics and appointments may need to be postponed or rearranged. We will contact you directly if this impacts you – please do not contact the surgery. If you do not hear from us, please attend your booked appointment.
Our practice remains open and you can still contact the surgery for any medical concerns you may have.
For medical advice outside of surgery hours, please contact NHS 111 on the telephone or online via 111.nhs.uk.
You can find out more about the COVID-19 vaccination programme, including frequently asked questions and patient information leaflets here.
MKGP Plus Ltd would like to welcome you to Maple Surgery website, here you will find information about our practice, which welcomes residents from Bar Hill and the surrounding villages.
We aim to provide all of our patients with a high quality service; our team is committed to helping you and welcomes feedback because your voice is important to us.
If you would like to know more about MKGP Plus Ltd, please click here to be redirected to our website
An update and questions answered on the Covid Vaccine...
Headlines last week spoke of a Covid vaccine by Xmas from GPs.
What does this mean for me?
Whilst we certainly would want to be involved in any vaccination campaign, we don't have any information ourselves yet and contrary to media reports no ˜deals" have yet been done, but we expect more information soon.
Will you be getting paid to vaccinate us?
GPs hold a contract with the NHS to provide certain services. The money from that contract pays for the building, the heating and electricity, the nurses, receptionists and staff, clinical equipment and a variety of other expenses that go with providing services to patients.
If the government wants GPs to do something new, (e.g. deliver a new vaccine) it will buy that service from the GP to pay for the extra staff, clinics and hours to cover expenses. It is very unlikely that GPs will make a profit out of the Covid vaccine. Based on current information they may make a loss, but recognise that it is the right thing to do for their patients and communities.
But what we don't know, if what we might have to consider stop doing, to free up time to provide this vaccination service, given that we are working at 150% compared with this time last year, according to our LMCs survey.
But isn't it just like a flu jab?
Flu jabs are delivered in their own little syringes, and kept refrigerated. They can safely last in a vaccine fridge for several months. We can keep them and use them, either in dedicated flu clinics or opportunistically if we see you for something else. We can run the clinics a bit like a conveyor belt, as I'm sure many of you will have experienced. We can get a large number of people vaccinated in a very short period of time. People then leave the practice immediately. Once a year, job done.
So what's different about a new Covid vaccine compared with the flu jab?
These new vaccines are not yet ready, and we don't know when they will be. They are completely different. They need to be stored frozen in special dry ice, colder than a home freezer (about -70Â°C). Surgeries don't have those freezers. So they will be delivered whilst they are defrosting for use. However they can inky be stored in a vaccine fridge for a few days before expiring. They don't come in their own little syringes. We will have to carefully draw them up from a main vial, dilute and mix them for each individual which will probably take from start to finish about 20 minutes, needing two members of staff (one to draw up, one to check - this is established safe practise with these preparations to minimise error). Once the patient has received their Covid-jab they must wait for 15 minutes to ensure no serious reaction -these vaccines are brand new, and whilst there is a huge regulatory framework to ensure their safety, we will have to take extra care. This in itself will be difficult as we have to maintain social distancing and we don't know how quickly these clinics will take place. It will be nowhere near as quick as a flu clinic.
Will this be at my local GP surgery?
To begin with, NHS England thinks that areas will have one central Covid-jab centre. This might be in a local practice. It might be yours, it might not. You may have to travel. How the chosen centre will continue to look after its patients ongoing and urgent health needs, we don't yet know. No details of those plans have been shared yet.
Is it just one jab?
No. You will need two. They will be 3-4 weeks apart but you must not have had any other vaccinations in the previous week.
How many patients will get it the vaccine when it's ready?
Government says it wants 40 million people vaccinated (that's 80 million appointments). Putting that into context, every year there are 40 million A&E attendances and 360 million GP appointments. This is going to take a long time. There are no spare GPs or practice nurses. We don't yet know how we are going to plan for this on top of what we are doing now - managing hundreds of acute and chronic patients every day: on the phone, over video and being brought into the surgery by invitation.
Will it be available by Christmas?
No one knows. But if it is, there will be a very small number of doses and we think the Government might suggest protecting Care Home residents first. Whatever you read in the paper or online, don't forget - this is going to be very difficult. We need to make sure there is a safe system and a safe vaccine first. Even when it comes, it won't prevent Covid, it will only make its effects milder. So please bear with us - we are in the dark too. And there is still every reason to think 'Hands, Space, Safe' for a long time to come.
The Maple Team