Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Latest Update
IF SYMPTOMS : DO NOT GO TO A GP SURGERY, PHARMACY OR HOSPITAL
We are grateful that patients have been following the advice to stay home, protecting the NHS and saving lives. Although it will be a while yet before we're back to any sort of normal the practice and the NHS are here and ready to deal with problems not related to the Coronavirus.
In particular, anyone with symptoms suggesting a heart attack or stroke or with a serious injury should call 999 as usual.
Patients with symptoms that might point to a cancer- e.g. breast lumps, changing moles, any abnormal bleeding, unexpected weight loss, persistent change in bowel habit- should contact the surgery- by phone initially- but we will arrange face to face assessment if necessary- with appropriate infection control procedures and equipment. We are also keen to hear from older frailer people having problems with falls or worsening memory.Pregnant women should continue to seek advice from their midwife or the surgery when needed - again, by phone initially.
UPDATE:21/09/21: UPDATE: Covid-19 Boosters / Third Doses
We will always invite patients based on the national priority list.
During Phase 1 of the coronavirus vaccination campaign, we provided vaccinations at Bridge Health Centre for patients within our Primary Care Network (PCN) footprint across Canterbury South PCN for patients from the following practices:
- Canterbury Medical Practice (Bridge, Ethelbert Rd, Littlebourne Surgeries)
- New Dover Road Surgery
- University Medical Centre
In Phase 2: we collaborated across Canterbury to deliver the Covid-19 Vaccine programme
We are now in Phase 3 Planning Stages and aim to deliver from our practices:
The COVID-19 booster programme will be offered in two stages and patients can also book via the National Booking System to attend another local site if more convenient.
Stage 1: The following persons will be offered a third dose COVID-19 booster vaccine as soon as practicable for:
- adults aged 16 years and over who are immunosuppressed;
- those living in residential care homes for older adults;
- all adults aged 70 years or over;
- adults aged 16 years and over who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable;
- frontline health and social care workers.
Please note that we will be inviting those patients who are eligible for a third covid-19 booster dose into clinics at Bridge Health Centre dependent on deliveries and we will aim to contact you by the mid-October if you are in stage 1 as above.
Stage 2: The following persons will be offered a third dose COVID-19 booster vaccine as soon as practicable after Stage 1, with equal emphasis on deployment of the influenza vaccine where eligible:
- all adults aged 50 years and over
- adults aged 16 – 49 years who are in an influenza or COVID-19 at-risk group.
- adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals’
Please note that we are awaiting JCVI guidance regarding the covid booster / this dose plan for our vulnerable cohorts of patients and we will update as soon as possible.
Please visit the Flu pages for the most up to date information: /flu-vaccination
Flu vaccination clinic dates soon to be announced for September.
As we work towards launching our 2021 Flu Campaign and await National guidance about delivery of Covid-19 vaccine boosters for the most vulnerable cohorts, we want to remind all patients about how patients who have not already had a covid-19 vaccine can access a first vaccine in Canterbury and surrounding areas:
From Thursday, 19 August), all 16 and 17-year-olds began receiving letters, inviting them to come to their nearest walk-in centre, with many already receiving invitations and taking up the offer.
The JCVI updated guidance on 4 August so all 16 and 17-year-olds could be offered one dose of the vaccine and anyone in this age group can now find their nearest centre through the ‘grab a jab’ NHS online walk-in finder, with more sites becoming available every day. Follow-up text messages were then sent out on Friday, 20 August to 16 and 17-year-olds as this cohort can now be vaccinated ahead of their return to school.
We have also invited our at-risk children aged between 12 and 15-years-old, who are clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 or live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus, with 30,000 children in this age group already protected across England.
Those who are eligible include children with Down’s syndrome, or who are undergoing many cancer treatments, had organ or bone marrow transplants or who are on the learning disability register. The Covid-19 vaccine will also be offered to children aged 12 and over, who live with someone who is immunosuppressed, such as those receiving chemotherapy or who have had a transplant.
The National Booking Service (NBS) is open to anyone aged 18 or over, and to people within three months of their 18th birthday.
For more information about the vaccine programme in Kent and Medway visit www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/grabajab
For all the latest information about Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidelines in the UK, please visit this link: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Coronavirus remains a serious health risk and it is important to stay cautious and help protect yourself and others.
To protect both our vulnerable patients and staff, we will continue to request that all patients wear a face mask, use hand sanitiser and maintain social distancing when visiting Canterbury Medical Practice from 19th July.
If you require any information regarding Coronavirus vaccinations or for the latest updates, please visit our Coronavirus vaccination page. The link can be found here.
We understand that with the announcement of a new lockdown there are going to be a number of patients concerned about the situation, especially those in very vulnerable risk groups and also those with children attending educational settings. The current government advice about high risk groups is available here:
Further publication is due this week, and the Government will be writing to affected patients. The current guidance for protecting extremely clinically vulnerable groups is available here and is a useful link to send to patients. The GPs at the surgery have no additional information above and beyond this and are unable to help with requests for sick notes or other letters in such circumstances.
For people concerned about children attending educational settings; we understand and sympathise with the concerns around children attending school at this time, especially if a household has extremely vulnerable members. As a practice we are very sorry, but decisions about children attending school are not ours to make. It's not something that we can help with. We would suggest a discussion between the people involved and the school to decide on the best course of action.
Published, 2nd November 2020
What if I need my regular medication?
In the first instance please order repeat medication via our website, Patient Access or NHS App or via email. Please be aware that although we are working through requests as quickly as we can, the levels of demand are placing the system under pressure and pharmacies may not be able to order medication quite as quickly as normal due to the volume of requests.
Where we can, we are using techniques and systems available to us to try and ease some of the difficulties, but we would ask that you are patient and request medications with a little more time than you usually would. There is no need to request medications very early, we anticipate that these difficulties will be very temporary in nature and will ease over the coming weeks.
NHS England have asked all GP’s to issue prescriptions with a 28 day supply at the moment to avoid any potential supply disruption, however your GP might be able to give you more than one prescription at a time so please don’t worry this will not affect getting your medicines as usual.
We have also been asked to switch off paper prescriptions to reduce face to face contact in the surgery, this means we will send your prescription to a chemist of your choice.
You can download an App to help track your repeat medication here
What if I have a chronic medical condition?
Those most at risk of serious illness are being contacted by the NHS from 23rd March to advise what they should do.
Who is at high risk?
You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:
- have had an organ transplant
- are having certain types of cancer treatment
- have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
- have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
- have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
- are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
- are pregnant and have a serious heart condition
Please do not contact us to ask about this – wait to be contacted. We will continue to support our patients and will follow the latest government advice. As you will appreciate, guidance changes on a daily basis and we are doing everything we can under challenging conditions.
How are we minimising the risks to patients?
In order to ensure that we can continue to deal with as many patients as possible, we have been advised by the Government that general practice should move to telephone and online consultations where possible. This helps to minimise the number of people who are physically coming into the practice. Where possible we avoid seeing patients who have coronavirus Symptoms but who are managing well at home. Cleaning advice has been issued by the government, and while we are always rigorous with our cleaning and disinfection, where appropriate and guidance differs for Coronavirus, we have changed our cleaning practices to reflect this
WASH YOUR HANDS!!
- Handwashing is an incredibly important part of staying fit and healthy. The NHS have produced a guide to proper handwashing techniques, please watch this video for guidance
What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
They are to:
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
- Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
- Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is practicable.
We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:
- are over 70
- have an underlying health condition
- are pregnant
This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do