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COVID-19 Vaccine

06/01/2021 Vaccine Update

Information about local Covid-19 vaccination centres

The NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme is now underway and is starting to be rolled out in GP-led vaccination centres. The information below answers some of patients’ key questions about getting the vaccine.

When will I be getting the vaccine?

People in the top priority groups, agreed by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, will get the vaccine first. More information about how the vaccine will be rolled out to people in order of priority, starting with those who most need protecting from the virus, is in the Why do I have to wait? leaflet.

The vaccine is being provided first of all for patients aged 80 and over as well as staff from care homes. Vaccinations in the Hertsmere area for the first eligible groups of patients will start from the first week of January. Patients need two doses of the vaccine 12 weeks apart.

How will I be invited for an appointment?

We will contact you to invite you to book your appointment when it is your turn. You will need to book an appointment for both your first and second dose.

Please DO NOT contact surgery to try to make an appointment before you hear from us. This will allow our staff to focus on helping patients needing medical help as well as starting to contact patients about vaccine appointments when we’re able to do so. Practice staff are not currently able to give you any more information than we have provided here.

Where will I be getting the vaccine?

Your vaccine will be in a local vaccination centre that is run by local GPs. The Pfizer vaccine is safe and highly effective, but it is complex to move, store and prepare and so can only be given in vaccination centres that meet particular requirements.

There will be one vaccination centre serving Hertsmere residents. All vaccination centres must be in places that are easy for people to get to. The NHS will announce more details a little closer to the vaccination centre opening and more information will, of course, be provided to patients at the time of booking.

Will housebound and care home patients be able to have the vaccine at home in the same way as for the flu vaccine.

We will be making arrangements to offer the Covid-19 vaccine in people’s homes and in care homes for people who are unable to get to a vaccination centre.

However, we can’t confirm when that might be as this may have to wait for supply of the right type of vaccine. This is because only some vaccines can be transported between people’s homes.

You can also find more information about the vaccine on the NHS.UK website.

For more information, please see the following leaflets:

For information on self-isolating, please see the Important Information to Keep You Safe While Isolating at Home leaflet.

Business as Usual but with a few adaptations

As we continue to operate with Covid 19 in the community we are pleased that we have continued to offer a full service to our patients all be it in a slightly different format.

  • GP appointments are being booked in as a telephone call and then the doctor decides on one of four routes:
    • The doctor is able to deal with query with either advice and guidance; or is able to make a referral or issue a prescription to be sent straight to the pharmacy.
    • The doctor needs to see a rash ( for example) and the patient will be given guidance on how to text or email a photo of the rash
    • The doctor wishes to gain more details and converts the phone call to a face to face video examination such as a with an ill child
    • The doctor and patient jointly deem it appropriate that a face to face consultation is required and an appointment is allocated by the doctor

This system has proved very popular with most of our patients as it has meant that their query is dealt with immediately and they do not have to make a physical trip to the doctors; sit amongst other sick patients and wait for their appointment, then take the prescription to the chemist etc… Patients are able to take the call at work or in the comfort of their home reducing the inconvenience; whilst knowing that if they needed to see a doctor this can be accommodated either by video link or face to face when deemed clinically necessary.

  • Nurses appointments are being booked for smears; blood tests; childhood vaccinations ; dressings etc. and there are now very few services that we are still unable to provide although Travel Vaccinations; spirometry and ear syringing (to name a few) are still not reactivated. Some services such as annual asthma checks are being conducted by telephone as the information can be gathered and decisions made by phone and it enables those that perhaps found it difficult to come for an annual review to ( where appropriate) give an update by phone. All nurses appointment patients will be pre-screened for Covid symptoms and patients MUST NOT attend if symptomatic, so that our staff can remain well and able to offer our community the services they want.
  • e- consult is a new avenue that we have launched for a wide range of conditions via our website. You can look up conditions and will be directed to the best solution for that condition. You may be guided to exercises; advised of allied health professionals who can assist or it may result in a prescription being issued or a doctor contacting you for a consultation.

Sick notes; contraception repeats etc. can all be requested via this forum so it may be worth a try? This is growing in popularity as it means you can fill it in during an evening and it will get processed within 48 hours ( this is for non-urgent problems). This saves you trying to get through at 8am if that is inconvenient for you.

  • Prescriptions. These are all being sent electronically to your nominated chemist, saving you the hassle of picking them up then taking them to the chemist and waiting for them to be dispensed. Repeat medications can be requested via our website ( see repeat prescriptions); Patient Access or NHS App, or send an email to highview.scripts@nhs.net . Alternatively if you have no access to these forums you can phone your pharmacist to place it for you or you can put a request in the Highview box outside the building.

We want to sincerely thank our patients for their support and adapting with us as we continue to manage patients health in different circumstances.

Flu Clinic 2020 Instructions

Highview Medical Centre: Flu Clinic 2020 Instructions

This year will be a very challenging year for all GP’s surgeries to deliver their flu vaccine programs.

In order to keep both our patients and staff safe, it is very important that you follow these instructions when attending for your Flu vaccination appointment:

  • Attend on your own unless you need help in mobilising.
  • Entry to the surgery will be via the front door and a one way system will be in operation throughout the building. You will then exit via the back door which leads through to the car park.
  • Walk to the practice if you are able to as there will be limited parking at the surgery on the day of the clinic.
  • Arrive on time: we have allocated a strict number of patients per period to ensure that people are queueing for the minimum of time and social distancing is maintained.
  • Wear clothing which makes it easy to expose your upper left (if poss) arm. The vaccinations will be given in the doorways of the rooms to comply with infection control. Please have your arm exposed on entering the building.
  • Please wear a face covering unless you are exempt from wearing a mask.
  • Please do not attend if you have a fever – flu vaccine cannot be administered if you have a temperature.
  • Do not attend if you or any members of your household have symptoms of coronavirus, or if you have been told to isolate. Contact us the following week and we will rebook you when you are able to leave isolation. You shouldn’t have the vaccination with a fever
  • Please follow the instructions for queuing. The queue will be controlled to ensure social distancing.
  • If you are in a wheelchair or have very limited mobility, please make yourself know to the queue marshal who will be wearing a NHS lanyard.
  • If it is raining on the day, please come prepared with an umbrella as the queue may be partially outside for a short period of time.
  • There will be no chairs available to sit on whilst waiting, and you will not be able to sit whilst having the vaccination (for infection control). If you think you will struggle with this, please reschedule your appointment.
  • There will be no toilet facilities available at the surgery during the clinic
  • We encourage you not to touch anything in the practice. Bring your own hand sanitiser to use should you wish to. There will be sanitiser available at the practice.
  • Please heed the instructions of the staff who are supervising the patient flow – they are there for your safety.

If you cannot attend the appointment time you have been given, please call us ASAP so we can reallocate you and release your appointment to another patient. Please note that it may mean we cannot vaccinate you until later in the season.

Herts Careline Newsletter Spring 2020

The Herts Careline’s latest newsletter brings you the latest updates, specifically news about our Contact-less procedure for the installation of community alarms and telecare, meaning they can continue to support new and existing customers during these challenging times.

For more information, please read the full newsletter.

Keep in Touch (KIT) Service

Our KIT service has been extended with additional staff now making calls to carers (including myself), along with a fantastic team of volunteers. I personally have found carers very grateful to receive a call just to check that they are coping both practically and emotionally, and answering any questions they may have about the government guidelines. We are giving ideas about exercising at home from our website along with details of our “things to do” during isolation ideas.  We are helping carers to get food packages and shopping arranged along with medication collections should it be required. Some carers are concerned about who will care for their loved one should they themselves become ill. We are helping people thing through their options and plan what they can do should the situation arise.

Carers in Herts Contact Number: 01992 586969

Covid- 19 Update

Message from Herts Valley CCG

GP practices move to protect against coronavirus with more phone and video appointments

GP practices are moving to protect the patients and their staff against coronavirus by reducing visits into surgeries and switching to telephone and video appointments wherever they can.

Patients with concerns about coronavirus are being asked to follow government advice, rather than contact their GP practice. If you, or anyone in your household, have a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, however mild, stay at home and go to nhs.uk to check symptoms and follow the specialist medical advice. You can also contact the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. Only call 111 if you cannot get online or if your symptoms worsen.

Patients who contact their local practice for an appointment with a GP or nurse will have an initial telephone assessment and could then be booked in for a follow-up consultation. Wherever possible, this consultation will be over the phone or by video. Anyone who needs to be seen in person by a doctor or nurse will be offered an appointment at the surgery as long as there’s no risk to patients or staff.

Practices will review appointments that are already booked- in, and will contact patients about changing this to a phone or video appointment where appropriate.

In light of this new approach, many practices are not accepting online bookings. However, patients are still encouraged to use online services for things like ordering repeat prescriptions and checking medical records.

Practices aim to send all prescriptions, including repeat prescriptions, through the electronic prescription service (EPS) to the patient’s nominated pharmacy. Patients without a nominated pharmacy can choose one online or ask their usual pharmacy to set this up. If your prescription can’t be sent through EPS to a nominated pharmacy you will need to contact the GP practice by telephone or online.

Dr Nicolas Small, GP chair of Herts Valleys CCG said: “In keeping with the Government’s approach to protect people against coronavirus by moving to all but essential contact with others, our GP practices are moving to a new way of working. Our priority is to make sure that our GPs, nurses and wider teams in practices remain available to support patients and, while more of that support will be over the phone or by video, our practices are still open and will be arranging to see patients where needed.

“We would urge people to protect themselves and others – particularly those who are most vulnerable – by following government advice around coronavirus and not coming into practices unless they have a confirmed arrangement to do that. In this way we can help keep everyone safe.

“Finally, I would encourage people to be considerate of others when buying over-the-counter medicines, such as paracetamol, and only get as much as you need. If everyone is sensible there is enough to go around.”

Isolation sick notes for your employer

Please note that we are unable to supply you with a sick note if you are isolating at home because of coronavirus. If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.

If you are asked to provide a sick note because you are unable to work from home, please visit https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/ and you will be able to get an isolation note.

Chatter Table Dates 2020

If you’d like some company when you go for a coffee, drop into the Wyllyotts Café on the dates listed below between 10.30am to 12pm and join the Chatter Table. Spend some time with others whilst enjoying a drink.

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020
  • Wednesday 11th March 2020
  • Wednesday 22nd April 2020

Drop into the cafe and look for the Chatter Table sign.

FREE Tea & Coffee!

For further information on Chatter Tables please contact Pam Cousins, email: pam.cousins@hertsmere.gov.uk, tel: 020 8207 7801.

Why not stay on after Chatter Table has finished?

The Café is open to purchase lunch and you can purchase a cinema ticket for the 1pm film with other like minded people.

The films showing on the days of the Chatter Table are:

  • 12th February – Little Women (U)
  • 11th March – The Personal History of David Copperfield (TBA)
  • 22nd April – Military Wives

For more information on the movies being shown, please call Wyllyotts Box Office on 01707 645005, email: wyllyotts.reception@inspireall.com or visit us at Wyllyotts Theatre, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar EN6 2HA.

Patient Transport Booking

From 1st September 2019, we are no longer authorised to request transport on a patients behalf to the following hospitals:

  • North Middlesex
  • Royal Free
  • Whittington
  • Moorfields
  • Chase Farm
  • Barnet General

Should you require transport to any of the above hospitals, you will now need to contact the transport booking service direct on 0333 240 4909.