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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

The NHS vaccination programme will offer every adult the chance to book a covid-19 booster vaccine by the end of the year to protect the nation against the Omicron variant.

As part of the biggest and fastest vaccine programme in health service history, online bookings are available for all those in their 30s and above from today.

The best way to get your vaccine is by booking online at www.nhs.uk or by calling 119 – please do keep checking availability as appointments are loaded onto the system every day. The website and phoneline are understandably very busy and we thank you for your patience when booking.

The national booking service will then open up to everyone aged 18 and over from Wednesday this week.

The NHS is prioritising bookings for boosters and is urging people to book a slot to guarantee their vital jab. Some sites offer walk-in appointments where no appointment is needed. Please check here for clinics with walk-in availability and their opening hours www.happyhealthylives.uk/vaccinationdrop-ins

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.

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.
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.

Why are GPs needing to work differently?

Please check these leaflets from BMA to know more on GP access and why do they need to work differently.

Why are GPs needing to work differently? - Leaflet

GP access - Leaflet

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.

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.

Drop-in Covid-19 Clinic

If you are 18+, registered with a GP surgery in England and are yet to receive your 1st Covid-19 Vaccine, please attend Stratford upon Avon's drop in clinic at Stratford Hospital on Friday 9th July between 4pm & 7:30pm. You do not need an appointment.

Sensory Garden

The Patient Participation Group (PPG) at the Pool Medical Centre have been working hard to create a sensory garden. It is hoped that this garden will provide a calm and relaxing environment for patients to use whilst waiting for their appointments as an alternative to the waiting room.

Please check this page for detailed information and photos showing the development of the garden so far.

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.

Long Term Conditions

The Pool Medical Centre is now changing the way in which patients will be called for their review if they have a long term condition. Patients will now be contacted to book a review during their birth month. If patients have more than one condition which requires a review, these will all take place at the same time. 

We hope that this new recall system will reduce the number of appointments patients need to attend and will mean that most patients will not have to come to the Practice multiple times throughout the year.

New Telephone System at the Practice

The Pool Medical Centre now has a new telephone system installed and our Go-Live day was Thursday 8 April 2021.   

Analogue telephones are being phased out and Warwickshire CCG are rolling out the new X-on Surgery Connect system throughout GP Practices.  The new ‘phone system will enable staff to work from home more easily rather than using their personal mobile ‘phones or landlines.   

The new system will work as follows: You will hear a welcome prompt saying “Thank you for calling the Pool Medical Centre” and will be told what number you are if you are in a queue. 

You will then hear a prompt asking you to please listen to the following options: press 1 for appointments; 2 for prescription queries; 3 for test results; 4 for general enquiries (to speak to a member of Reception) and 5 for secretaries (to discuss referrals).

We hope this will be beneficial to our patients too as we hope it will minimise the time people need to wait for their call to be answered as well as being more efficient.

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
Revamp of Covid-19 Vaccination Hub

Please check this leaflet for details on revamp of Covid-19 Vaccination hub.

Information regarding the Coronavirus Vaccine

Covid-19 vaccination: Don’t call us, we will call you

We are vaccinating in line with the guidance set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), who decide the order in which people should be vaccinated. The poster attached demonstrates the top priority groups. 

The focus currently is on vaccinating groups 1 – 4 (in order from the top priority downwards) and GPs are working tirelessly to offer the vaccine to eligible groups as quickly as possible. The top four priority groups are:

  1. Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
  2. All those 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
  3. All those 75 years of age and over
  4. All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 18 years of age)

When it is your turn to receive the vaccine, you will be contacted and invited to attend an appointment. You may receive an invite to attend the following sites, but you have a choice about which to attend: 

  • Mass vaccination centre – Birmingham Millennium Point or NAEC Stoneleigh Centre

Local vaccination site – if you cannot travel to a mass vaccination centre, you can wait to be contacted by the South Warwickshire GP Federation or Local Vaccination Hub to attend a local vaccination site. Details of the local vaccination sites can be found on the CCG’s website.

  • Hospital – in or out hospital patients may be offered the vaccine at a hospital hub

If you are in priority cohorts 1 – 4 and have not been contacted by Wednesday 17 February, please contact your GP to let them know. Please do not contact your GP about the vaccine before this date.

If you have already received your first vaccination, you will receive another invitation to receive your second dose within three months of having your first vaccine. This is in line with national guidance, and more information on this decision can be found on the Government’s website.

If you have any questions, please view the Frequently Asked Questions page on the CCG’s website (NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group - Your Health - FAQs ).

Vitamin D Supplements

During the autumn and winter months everyone is advised to take a supplement of vitamin D every day to support general health and in particular for bone and muscle health. Many of us have been indoors more than usual this year and so might not have been making enough vitamin D from sunlight. You can find general advice on vitamin D here: https://www.nhs.uk/vitamin-d

This advice is particularly important for people who have been shielding this year due to COVID-19, or who are living in care homes, because they are most likely to have been indoors over the spring and summer and so may not have been able to obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight.

The Government is offering a free 4-month supply of daily supplements of vitamin D for all adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable to support general health and in particular for bone and muscle health. If you would like to opt-in to receive your free supply of vitamin D, you will need register your details between 30 November 2020 and 4 January 2021 at the following link: https://www.nhs.uk/get-vitamin-d

You do not need to opt-in to receive the vitamin D supplements if:

  • You are already taking, or are prescribed, a vitamin D supplement by your GP or healthcare professional
  • You are currently living in a nursing or residential care home as we will provide these direct to the home where you live.

It is expected that vitamin D supplements distribution will begin from January 2021. Further guidance on how to safely take vitamin D supplements will be provided during the opt in process.

How to Access Your GP Practice During Covid

Please watch this video on 'How to Access Your GP Practice During Covid'

Covid Testing
The Coventry & Warwickshire Healthcare System is aware of issues affecting the national Covid-19 testing programme which are preventing people with symptoms from getting a test. Although these issues are out of our control, we are able to provide you with the following guidance for anyone affected.
  • Try requesting the test via the national online testing system at specific times – early morning or after 8pm.
  • If you have Covid-19 symptoms self-isolate for 10 days or until you are able to get a result.
  • Ensure your household members self-isolate for 14 days or until you or they have been able to get a test result.
  • Do not contact your GP or 111 as they will be unable to assist you with this.
To request a test please go to https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Face Coverings Exemption
We have received many requests from patients for letters to exempt them from wearing face coverings. We have been advised that this is something we are not able to do. Please click here to see link to the current Government guidelines which includes a printable exemption card.
Delay in Hospital Operations - Covid 19
Hospital appointments and operations are currently delayed due to Covid 19. Although we appreciate the concern this may cause you, please be aware that we do not have any control over the hospital appointment systems and are therefore unable to chase hospital appointments on your behalf. However, if your symptoms worsen, please contact the surgery to discuss this with your GP.
Face Coverings
In order to keep patients and staff safe, we kindly ask that all patients who come to the Surgery for any reason wear a face covering. This could be a face mask or something as simple as a scarf. Please be aware that staff may be unable to assist you if no face covering is worn. Please note that this does not apply to children aged 5 years and under. Thank you for your support.
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.
Covid-19 - Surgery opening hours
The Reception telephone lines will be open from 8am-1pm and 2pm-6:30pm Monday to Friday and the Reception team will be available to answer any queries during this time. The main door of the Surgery is no longer open but you will be able to collect paper prescriptions, other paperwork or hand in samples which have been requested, by ringing the doorbell at the side door. Please note that the Reception team are unable to answer queries at the side door.

Covid-19 - Appointments
In line with government advice any patient requesting an appointment will be triaged over the telephone by a Doctor or Nurse in the first instance. If you do require a face to face review the Doctor or Nurse will organise this with you directly.

Covid-19 - Annual check-ups
We are currently postponing all routine face to face check ups for conditions like Diabetes, Asthma, COPD and Cardiac. However, our Nurses will try and review patients over the telephone where possible.

Covid-19 - Smear tests, Contraception reviews and HRT
Please put in a request for contraceptive/HRT medication either online or posting the request through the letter box at the Surgery.

In most cases, we will issue repeats without face to face consultations to keep you going until after the pandemic.

We have suspended coil fitting and removal clinics, implants and smear appointments. We may switch depo provera injections to an alternative method but a Doctor will discuss this with each individual.

Covid-19 - Vitamin B12:
If you have been having regular B12 injections for some while, your body will have several years supply of Vitamin B12 stored, so it will be completely safe to delay your next injection for a few months.

Also, most people on B12 injections can absorb enough by mouth in tablet form and B12 tablets can be bought over the counter.

Covid-19 - Dressings:
We are trying to keep these going but will be aiming to teach as many people as possible to dress their own wounds in case they have to self-isolate or we do not have nurses available.

Our Nurses will discuss ongoing wound care with each individual.

Practice Newsletters
Please check our practice newsletters: Newsletter June - July 2020