Seasonal flu and Coronavirus (Covid-19)
We have reached that time of year again when we need to start thinking about seasonal influenza vaccinations. Flu vaccination is important because:
more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses
If you've had COVID-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.
As you know the Waterside PCN has provided a successful COVID vaccination programme throughout the year (based at Applemore Leisure Centre), which started in December 2020.
This winter, in conjunction with the seasonal flu vaccination, we must also provide a COVID booster programme. The seasonal flu vaccine will be offered to the same group of patients who require a COVID booster. It makes sense therefore that we deliver our flu vaccinations at the same time as the boosters.
Currently the NHS is waiting for confirmation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that this will be possible. We hope that this confirmation is imminent.
Once approved, we intend to start running joint COVID and flu clinics (hopefully from around mid-September).
As soon as we can, we will start inviting you to our clinics. Please do not ring the Health Centre to find out about your invitation.
In the meantime, things for you to do:
Please ensure we have up-to-date mobile number, or that of a next of kin
For those patients who don’t have mobiles, please provide a landline number or an email address where possible.
Keep watching our website or Facebook pages for updates.
Whichever ethnic background you are from, it is important to have both doses of your Covid-19 vaccine to protect you and your unborn baby.
Covid-19 infection is currently circulating and can be serious for pregnant women.
Thousands of pregnant women women have been safely vaccinated in the UK and worldwide.
The message is have your COVID-19 vaccines.
If you are still not sure, read the advice from the Royal College of Midwives which you can find by clicking on the image below.
Ordering your repeat prescription
The Practice doctors are aiming to improve continuity of care with your prescriptions, and will be trying to ensure that your usual doctor will manage your prescriptions at all times, unless on holiday or sick. For these reasons it may take a little longer to process your prescription depending on the days your doctor works. Please help the doctors by putting in your prescriptions 7 working days before they are required and request all medications needed at one time (i.e order everything for the month/two months in one go if possible to bring all prescriptions into line.) Any spare medication may be returned to the pharmacy when collecting your next prescription so that you will have the correct amount at home. Thank you for your support
Remember, you may order a repeat prescription to be collected from your chosen pharmacy in three main ways.
The times they are changing!
Due to the Coronavirus Red and Green Practice, along with all other GP practices in the country, have had to adapt to different ways of working. It hasn't been easy for patients, doctors or practice admin staff to deal with these changes and the impact they have on the GP service we have known in the past.
The most obvious difference is the way patients are able to make an appointment to see a GP.
NHS England has introduced a new standard about patient access to a GP consultation. Remote and telephone triage remains the primary route for patient access which means all GP appointments must be carried out by an initial telephone call or eConsult, allowing the doctor to make a clinical assessment as to whether a face-to-face appointment is appropriate, or whether the problem can be dealt with by a phone or video call. The ability to book appointments through Patient Access are no longer available and this puts a strain on the phone system.
The second difficulty relates to ensuring the safety of patients waiting to see a doctor and access to the Health Centres.
Whilst the national Coronavirus restrictions are easing, a GP surgery is not like a restaurant or supermarket. The people in the surgery are unwell, and the risks to patients sitting in a waiting room are potentially higher than at other venues. In order to maintain patient safety, strict rules regarding the number of patients in the waiting room have to be followed. This means that entry to the health centres is restricted and all entries have to monitored by staff. The centres are only open for blood tests, specific nurse appointments, or if your doctor has asked to see you following a telephone or eConsult triage consultation.
The opening times for the Health Centres are as follows:
Waterside Health Centre: 0800 to 1830
Blackfield Health Centre: 0800 to 1700
Please see the following note about how you will be informed about your Covid-19 vaccination. Please don't ring the surgery about this as it just creates an overload for the telephone system and for admin staff.
Be a Patient Patient! You will hear about your vaccination when it becomes available ....
The Primary Care Network (PCN) is continuing to invite people to receive both first and second vaccinations against Covid-19.
Please do not ring the Practice about either being offered the first or second vaccination. You will be offered one in line with the planned time frame. The message is 'please be patient' and don't add to the overload that the Practice is experiencing in answering calls about your invitation to receive the vaccine.
While many restrictions have been lifted, COVID-19 has not gone away so it's important we remain cautious. By practising key behaviours we can continue to protect ourselves and others and help stop the virus spreading.
To learn about how Covid19 has affected the way the Practice works click on the virus image to go to the Covid 19 information page.
If you have flu-like symptoms (for example respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, cough, fever) however mild, please DO NOT come to the surgery. Instead click on this link https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 and assess your health situation using the 111 check list.
Register as a carer
The Practice needs to update their records for patients who are carers so they may be given priority to receive a vaccination. To do this, patients who are carers are asked to complete a form that may be downloaded from this site. The form is in two parts and must be signed by both the carer and the patient. You may access the form by clicking here
Click on the image above to go to our web page that provides more information.
If you have an urgent medical problem when the Health Centre and the Pharmacies are closed and you’re not sure what to do, you can get help online or on the phone from NHS 111.
To get help from NHS 111, you can:
go to www.111.nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over only)
or call 111.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Children & young people are particularly vulnerable during this period of uncertainty when the virus is coming and going. Pressures caused by new situations such as returning to school, isolation from friends and external concerns about things such exams.
Caring for mental health and the stress of coping with uncertainty is not always as obvious as a physical illness. To find out how you are able to promote good mental health in your children and teenagers click on the image above.
If you are concerned about the risks of returning to work because of a medical condition, the Practice has prepared a letter that you may print off to use with your employer, to discuss your workplace needs to maintain a safe working environment. Click on the letter image to go to the letter.
You may feel lonely , but you are not alone. There are local support networks to help if needed.
If you are over 70 and have underlying health issues, you have been advised to stay at home. You might be feeling worried, scared, sad or even a bit angry at the thought of this and not being able to see friends and loved ones, or take part in the activities that you normally enjoy. This may feel lonely, but you are not alone. Click on either picture to find information about local support groups who are there to provide practical help and support.
A guide to help people manage their care and wellbeing, remain independent and connect to their communities. Contains comprehensive details of care providers and support services across Hampshire. To view a PDF or download the booklet, click on the picture and follow the instructions on their website.
Don't keep it to yourself if you are feeling unwell
There is a concern in the NHS that people who need to be treated for a heart problem may be avoiding seeking help because of a fear of contracting Covid-19. You have to make a balanced decision that weighs your fear about the corona virus, against the very real need to seek help for a heart condition
Do not delay because you think hospitals are too busy - the NHS still has systems in place to treat people for heart attacks and strokes.
You will be kept apart from patients suffering from suspected or confirmed coronavirus, making it very unlikely you will become infected. If you delay, you are more likely to suffer serious heart damage and more likely to need intensive care and to spend longer in hospital.
You may find out more about the symptoms that you might experience if you have a stroke, a heart attack or are suffering from heart failure by clicking on the image on the right.
it is essential to dial 999 if you have symptoms that could be a heart attack or a stroke, or if your heart symptoms get worse, whether or not you have coronavirus symptoms.
During this difficult time and to minimise the possibility of spreading infection, please use eConsult to seek medical advice from the Practice. Follow the steps in the blue box below to contact a clinician, rather than having to spend time on the phone. Please only complete eConsults for yourself and NOT for friends/relatives/or your children .
Please note, you should not use eConsult to ask about receiving a Covid-19 vaccination. It only makes unnecessary work for Practice staff who will not be able to provide information about this. Please wait until you receive an invitation to attend a centre for a vaccination.
When the surgery is very busy, why not seek advice about your health problem by using eConsult. It's as easy as 1.2.3.
Click on the eConsult box below to start. Please read the note above the eConsult box before using this App.
Your doctor may want to know
how you are managing your medication for a long term condition. If asked, complete a review for Asthma, the Contraceptive pill or Hypertension by clicking here
The Waterside Primary care Network (PCN) has provided opportunities for the five Waterside GP Practices to collaborate in delivering a cohesive approach to supporting patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition five Health and Wellbeing Coaches have been appointed to support patients across the Waterside to provide a range of activities that encourage people to take take more responsibility to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Click on the image above to find out more about the PCN and how it is providing support for patients across the Waterside
Each of the links shown below will take you to further information from either the NHS or Gov UK websites.
It's just ....... During these difficult times if you notice something that is not normal about how you feel or there is something different about your body, don't leave it because it may be something that would benefit from treatment. Whether it's a lump, a pain you haven't experienced before or bleeding, take action to go and see your doctor ....
The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline - Hantshelp4vulnerable – set up to assist frail and vulnerable local residents with essential shopping, medication collections and befriending, is now reaching out directly to the many thousands of people, designated by the NHS as ‘extremely vulnerable’ - to offer support, should they need it. We're worried that some people may potentially miss out on vital support. Click on the Hampshire logo to find out more
To help you decide which is the best service to use find out about how to stay well by exploring the range of NHS Apps that will help you learn how to maintain your health & well-being. Click the App info box to go to the site and select the category that interests you.
Most APPs are free, but some have a cost attached.
Zero tolerance to aggressive or abusive behaviour. Click on the green image to see the Practice policy to safeguard staff and patients.