Coronavirus

INFORMATION ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

 

SSP Health is working with local health authorities to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations through GP practices and other venues.

The most vulnerable have been offered the vaccination first, with larger numbers of people being offered it over the coming months.

Our practices will contact patients individually to arrange vaccination appointments - two will be needed, around 12 weeks apart (with some people offered it 8 week apart.

Please DO NOT contact your surgery inquiring about an appointment ahead of us contacting you as they are given in order, based strictly on clinical need.

The NHS also periodically asks people to contact them to arrange a vaccination appointment.

Please do not attend your vaccination appointment if you have Coronavirus symptoms. Cancel the appointment. You will be given another date for your vaccination.

Please attend the appointment at the correct time. If you come early you will have to wait. Wear appropriate clothing for an injection and wear a facemask.

Unless you need assistance, please come alone for your vaccination as social distancing needs to be adhered to.

You can also have your vaccination at one of the NHS regional centres if you wish and you may be contacted separately by the NHS about this. You can choose the regional centre or your GP-led centre.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep safe from COVID-19 but even after your inoculation you must abide by restrictions, handwashing and social distancing until the Government advises you otherwise.

Coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective. They have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks that all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.

Millions of people in  the UK have been given a COVID-19 vaccine with very few side effects being observed.

It is important to register with a GP practice so it can offer you the vaccine. Contact your nearest GP practice and it can advise you about registration. 

Detailed information from the NHS on the vaccines is available by clicking here.

There are more places you can now travel abroad to – but please stay safe and check Government websites for rules relating to the country you are going to.

If you need evidence that you have been vaccinated from COVID-19 you can get this from the NHS – but you CANNOT get this from your GP surgery. 
The NHS can give you your vaccination status in a digital or paper format. 
You can request this via the NHS App or by ringing the 119 NHS helpline to have it sent to you by letter.
For more information click here.
If you think you have Coronavirus and have symptoms, which can include fever, a new continuous cough or the loss of the sense of taste or smell, DO NOT come into your GP practice or visit any other health facility, including a pharmacy.

Please stay at home and read the NHS 111 web pages for advice and information or ring the NHS on 111.

If you think you have come into contact with someone who has Coronavirus, please see the NHS 111 web page for information on what to do: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

You should self-isolate for at least 10 days if you have symptoms of coronavirus and you tested positive, had an unclear result or did not have a test, or if you tested positive but have not had symptoms.

If you have symptoms, the 10 days starts from when they began. If you have not had symptoms, the 10 days starts from when you had the test. But if you get symptoms after your test, self-isolate for a further 10 days from when your symptoms start.

Keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after 10 days:

• a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery

• a runny nose or sneezing

• feeling or being sick

• diarrhoea

Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone. If you have diarrhoea or you are being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they have stopped.

You should self-isolate for 14 days if you live with (or are in a support bubble with) someone who:

• has symptoms of coronavirus and tested positive, had an unclear result, or did not have a test

• tested positive but has not had symptoms

This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.

The 14 days starts from:

• when the first person in your home or support bubble started having symptoms

• the day they were tested, if they have not had symptoms – but if they get symptoms after they were tested, self-isolate for a further 14 days from when their symptoms start

You can stop self-isolating after 14 days if you do not get any symptoms.

Get a test to check if you have coronavirus if you get symptoms while you are self-isolating. If your test is negative, you should keep self-isolating for the rest of the 14 days.

If your test is positive, you should self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. This might mean you are self-isolating for longer than 14 days overall.

Anyone with symptoms can get a test for COVID-19 and those with positive results will be called by the NHS Test and Trace service. This is totally free of charge.

To protect patients and staff and to limit the spread of Coronavirus, our practices will ask you a series of questions (called triaging) when you contact us for any appointment. Please use our online consultation tool if it is available through your practice web page or a health app. If you do not have the internet or prefer not to use this, please telephone us.

Please be patient while waiting for the phone to be answered – this is due to the large number of calls that come into the surgery.

You may be offered a telephone or video appointment. Video consultations will not be recorded. This is to protect our teams to ensure they can carry on providing you with safe care. You will be offered a face-to-face appointment whenever the clinician believes it is necessary. If you have a preference to how the clinician conducts your consultation you can discuss this with the practice.

During this current crisis, our practice and SSP Health takes the protection and safety of our staff and patients very seriously. We have a range of measures to keep people safe from COVID-19, including social distancing and regular cleaning of patient areas.

 

May we politely request that to help us protect you, the following points are noted:

  • If you have any symptoms, please do not attend surgery. Please contact us and we will rearrange
  • The surgery may be limiting access to the practice. You may be required to ring the doorbell/use the practice intercom to verify who you are. When the clinician is ready for you, you will be asked to enter the building. Please inform the clinician that you have been triaged and are able to attend the appointment
  • Please only attend surgery if you are asked to do so 
  • Please ensure you keep 2 metres apart and maintain social distancing where possible
  • It is advisable not to bring handbags or additional items to your appointment to minimise contact and possible spread. Please DO bring tissues to allow you to use if required and an appropriate plastic bag to dispose of any tissues used. These items will need to be taken home and disposed of by yourself
  • Please stand away from the reception desk
  • Please wear face protection when attending surgery
  • Please use hand sanitiser on entering the premises and leaving the premises. Hand sanitiser is available
  • Please attend appointments alone wherever possible unless you require a carer, interpreter, or are attending with children/babies
  • Please be aware of advice from NHS111 regarding reducing the spread of coronavirus
  • If you are due to have an injection, please wear loose clothing or clothing that is easily removable
  • Please note, the above list is not exhaustive or definitive. Please do not be offended or upset if you are asked to comply with a request from a member of staff that is not displayed on the above charter. Whilst we take every precaution to ensure that our practices are fully compliant with COVID 19 guidance, be aware that there are COVD-19 risks associated with any physical attendance at surgery
  • If you leave your home, stay alert and use social distancing and handwashing to help prevent the spread of the virus

Please be polite and respectful. You GP and the practice team are available and working hard to support you, your family and friends with their healthcare needs. Please remember that you can visit your local pharmacy for clinical advice on minor health concerns.

The Government has guidance for people who are at very high risk of severe illness from Coronavirus because of an underlying health condition, called ‘shielding’. People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions. For more advice for people who are shielding, see this web page: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/advice-for-people-at-high-risk/

The wearing of a face covering is now mandatory in many public and private areas. Some groups of people are exempt from this requirement, including children under the age of 11; people with disabilities; those with breathing difficulties; those travelling with someone who relies on lip reading. These groups of people, their parents or guardians can explain the reason, if needed, about why they are not wearing a face covering.

There is no need for our GP surgeries to issue exemption letters for patients who are unable to wear face coverings and the NHS has advised us not to do this.

Here are some useful web links which explains this further:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/coronavirus-guidance/face-covering-guidance/

The Government and the NHS are well prepared to deal with this virus. But you can help, too.

Germs can live on some surfaces for hours. To protect yourself and others always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Bin the tissue and, to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel.

Please remember, your health is valuable and important to us, so stay alert – control the virus – save lives.

See this video for information about the changes to how GP surgeries offer appointments...