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South Warwickshire Members Newsletter

Please view the newsletter here.

Covid -19 Vaccine - Spring Dose
22 Mar, 2022

In February, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised a spring dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for:

  • adults aged 75 years and over
  • residents in care homes for older adults
  • individuals aged 12 years and over who have a weakened immune system

The NHS will contact those who are eligible to make a spring booster appointment, so people should wait until they hear from the NHS. The NHS will prioritise those whose clinical need is greatest, as it has throughout, starting with those who have had a bigger gap since their last dose, then working through the cohort to invite others who have waited less time. Everyone who is eligible will be offered a top up between three and six months over the Spring and early Summer.

Bidford Dementia Cafe

Bidford Dementia Cafe welcomes people living with dementia and their carers to its re-opening from 28th February 2022.

Its a place to find understanding, get support, do memory activities and have a good time .
Refreshments and activities are free.

We meet at Westholme Court, Westholme Road, Bidford on Avon on Monday mornings 10.30 am - 12.30 pm.

For further information contact: Wendy on 0771 364 8716, or Michael on 0772 587 8530 B.D.C.

Volunteers

We have been running at Westholme Court, Westholme Road, Bidford on Avon since 2016 and many people have found it of enormous benefit to them.

We rely on volunteers to run the Cafe. If this is something of interest to you and you would like to know more about joining us please contact Wendy on 0771 364 8716.

Information for GP websites re: 5-11 at-risk vaccinations
31 Jan, 2022

Vaccinations for 5-11 year-olds at-risk

  • The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that 5 to 11-year-olds who are either in a clinical risk group or are a ousehold contact of someone who is immunosuppressed should be offered two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, with a minimum interval of eight weeks.
  • This means around half a million children nationally will soon be invited to take up their jab. 
  • The JCVI has set out criteria for determining who should be offered vaccination within this group and clinicians will be responsible for identifying children in their care who are eligible.
  • Information on eligibility can be found in the Green Book, chapter 14a in the section on children aged 5-11 years and tables 3 and 4.

How will I know if my child is eligible?

  • GPs and hospital specialists have been asked to identify 5 to 11-year-olds who are eligible. For children eligible as a household contact, we will write directly to the person who is immunosuppressed. 
  • Parents and guardians will be notified if their child should get the vaccine and told how they can book an appointment. The NHS will be in touch in the coming weeks if your child is eligible, so it’s important that parents wait to hear from us and do not contact their GP.
Don't Delay Your Covid Booster Jab - Book Now
21 Dec, 2021

In order to protect yourselves, your families and the NHS please ‘grab a covid vaccine jab’.

You can book your booster jab …or indeed your first or second jab using the links below. You may also get a text message from your local GP offering appointments

Don’t delay …BOOK NOW

Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Find a walk-in coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination site - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Covid-19 Booster Vaccination - Update 13th Dec 2021
13 Dec, 2021

GP teams have been asked to clinically prioritise their services to free up maximal capacity to support the covid-19 vaccination programme, alongside delivering critical appointments such as cancer, urgent and emergency care. This might mean that for some people, routine appointments are postponed as part of the national mission to roll out boosters.

Scientists are very concerned about the spread of Omicron due to the speed with which it spreads and because two doses do not appear to provide much protection but thankfully, a booster dramatically improves this.That is why the Government has asked the NHS to prioritise boosters over other routine care.

We appreciate your support and understanding – and urge you to come forward for your vaccination as soon as possible.

Integrated Care Record

The Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Record (ICR) is a way of bringing together all your separate records from the different organisations involved in your health and care.

The ICR is confidential. It will let professionals see relevant information about the care and treatment you’ve had across all services.

Please see this leaflet for detailed information.

Patient Access Emails
9 Nov, 2021

EMIS Health have received reports from both Patient Access users and people who have never registered for the service, that they have received Covid passport emails purporting to be from Patient Access.

They would like to share the following guidance from Patient Access:

  • EMIS Health advise users of Patient Access to check the name and email address of the sender; all emails from Patient Access will come via an email address that ends in @patientaccess.com.
  • EMIS Health advise users never to click on any log in links that you receive via email but to visit the site via the address bar of your browser instead so that you know you are on the genuine Patient Access log in page. You can find more information and guidance on our information security page here: https://www.patientaccess.com/security
  • EMIS Health strongly advise users to set up their Memorable Word security feature, as well as using biometrics (fingerprint ID) if they use the app.
  • Email addresses used to register for Patient Access account are secure. They do not share any data and no data is ever saved or stored on any device you use to access Patient Access.
Movember

November is the month when lots of men grow a #tache for charity. It’s not just about raising money; it’s about giving men support for things like mental health and suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer.

@Movember UK https://uk.movember.com

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung #cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, and it’s rare in those aged under 40. Around 72% of cases can be attributed to smoking. 

@NHSuk https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lung-cancer/

Finger clubbing and back or shoulder pain are some of the less frequently recognised symptoms of lung #cancer. While they do not occur in every patient, they’re symptoms that might not be recognised. 

@Roy_Castle_Lung https://roycastle.org/campaigns/spot-the-difference/spot-the-symptoms/

Testicular cancer awareness

Testicular #cancer has a very fast onset. If undetected, tumours can double in size in just 10 to 30 days. 

@TestesCancer https://www.testicularcancerawarenessfoundation.org/what-is-testicular-cancer

If you have a lump in your testicles, or feel pain or discomfort in your testicles or scrotum, you should speak to your GP. These can be symptoms of benign diseases, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. #cancer https://www.testicularcancerawarenessfoundation.org/signs-and-symptoms

School Flu Vaccination Programme
5 Oct, 2021

The school flu vaccination programme is going ahead this year. All schools will have completed their flu clinics by the end of the year. Some clinics have been pushed back slightly to accommodate the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination clinics that are currently taking place in schools. There is no need to contact your GP about the school flu vaccination programme – you will hear from your school as usual in due course.

Covid-19 Booster

You may have received a text from the NHS national booking service to book your Covid-19 booster vaccination. 

Please be assured your local vaccination team will also be providing this service and will be in touch very soon so there is no need to contact your GP practice. 

And don’t forget your booster will only be given six months after your second dose.

We look forwards to seeing you soon at your local vaccination centre. 

Covid-19 Vaccine for 12-15 year olds

The government has announced that all children aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Invitations for the vaccine are expected to begin next week (20-26 September). 

The vaccination programme for this age group will be delivered through schools, not via GP practices. Parents and guardians of those eligible will be contacted when it’s their turn to get the vaccine. 

Covid-19 booster jabs are expected to be offered to eligible groups in the coming weeks.   The booster jab should be given at least six months after your second dose of the vaccine. 

The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to get the booster vaccine, so please don’t contact the NHS. If you are invited, it is vital you attend so that you have the best possible protection against Covid-19.

URGENT NEWS ABOUT BLOOD TESTS
27 Aug, 2021

A supplier to the NHS has advised us of a global shortage of some equipment used for taking blood tests.

Anyone who needs a test for urgent health problems will still get one, but where your clinician recommends that it’s safe to do so, then you may be asked to come back for a test at a later date, or your appointment may be rescheduled.

Given the nature of the shortage, we cannot give an exact date for when the test will be rescheduled, but please be assured that if your condition or symptoms require it, then you will get a test, and we will be re-booking your test when supplies become more easily available.

If your condition or symptoms change or get worse, please contact the NHS as you would normally.

Delay in Blood Testing

Due to an international shortage of bottles used for collecting blood samples, GP practices and other healthcare providers have been asked to implement measures to reduce non-essential blood testing as part of a national, co-ordinated response. Therefore, whilst following NHS guidance, we will be taking steps to minimise usage. Clinically necessary tests will be prioritised and routine monitoring will be significantly reduced.

This is a global supply issue that is expected to last for some time.

Please be assured urgent blood tests and high-risk drugs monitoring will continue. Delayed tests will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

We thank you for your patience whilst we try to manage this issue.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
9 Aug, 2021

You may have seen in national news items that the Government are considering extending the vaccine offer to 16 - 17 year olds.

There is nothing you need to do now - you will be contacted and invited for your vaccination as soon as the programme is up-and-running.

We are currently waiting for the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to update and publish. We are also currently awaiting guidance on the vaccination of 12 - 17 year old clinically vulnerable children and will be in touch as and when we have further information.

Latest update by NHSD regarding Type-1 Opt Out

The current NHS Digital (NHSD) extract of GP data for Research purposes (known as the GPDPR) has been delayed due to NHSD wishing to review the way in which this data will be collected, to conduct more public involvement and information about the plans and change the way in which patients can opt out of the extract of their GP data.

Currently the only way to opt out is to complete a Type 1 opt out form and return this to the practice. There was a deadline of the 1st September but this deadline has been removed (see below):

However, this extract will not be taken until the NHSD have changed the way it will take the data and respect the patient’s choice for using their data.  NHSD are introducing the following changes to the opt outprocess which will mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time:

  • Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1st September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded.
  • NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out.
  • The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian.

This means that you can opt out at any time in the future and NHSD will delete data that they already have taken for research purposes, the deadline of the 01/09/2020 has been delayed until a new system of opt out is developed.  Hopefully, this will be a simple centralised approach via the NHS app or NHS website to avoid paper form and administration work for your GP.

We will update you when we know more about the NHSD plans to change how you can control who has access to your data.

For further information on this - please click here.

Infection prevention control guidelines to remain in place

The highest priority for the NHS remains the safety of staff, patients and visitors. While COVID restrictions will end in many settings in England from 19 July, everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering (unless they are exempt) and follow social distancing rules.

Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are therefore set to remain in place for all staff and visitors and across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dentists, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Read the infection prevention control guidance for further details.

GENERAL PRACTICE DATA FOR PLANNING AND RESEARCH DATA COLLECTION

Patients wishing to register a Type 1 Opt out from the NHS Digital General Practice Data for Planning and Research collection which starts on 1st September 2021 should download this form and return it to the Practice.

More information on this data collection can be found here.

Video - How the NHS uses your patient data from GP practices to improve health and care

Important Information on Covid Vaccine Certificate

Please do not contact the surgery to enquire about covid vaccination certificates.

We are unable to issue this certificate at the practice.

Please see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad for further information.

Proof of your vaccination status will be available on the NHSapp, which is also valuable for accessing your health records and ordering repeat prescriptions. Refer Online Services page to download it.

Alternatively you can call the NHS helpline on 119 (from 17 May) and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you've completed your course of the vaccine, the letter may to take up to 5 days to reach you.

Important Information on Vaccine
If you are in touch regarding concerns about the Oxford Astra Zeneca, Public Health England have produced a patient information leaflet that is available here.
NHS e-Referral service: Putting patients in control of their outpatient appointments
How to Access your GP Practice During Covid
Recognising Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptoms

Please refer to this leaflet to identify your symptoms and seek medical attention if they are serious.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Advice in your region: England | Scotland | Wales | Northern Ireland | Ireland Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19). Check if you or your child has coronavirus symptoms Find out about the main symptoms of coronavirus and what to do if you have them. Self-isolation and treatment if you have coronavirus symptoms Advice about staying at home (self-isolation) and treatment for you and anyone you live with. Testing and tracing Information about testing for coronavirus and what to do if you're contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. People at high risk Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women. Social distancing and changes to everyday life Advice about avoiding close contact with other people (social distancing), looking after your wellbeing and using the NHS and other services during coronavirus. GOV.UK: coronavirus – guidance and support Government information and advice.