CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 Latest Information 8.7.20
If you have received a letter recently telling you not to shield please ignore. We have not been informed about a 'Shielding Service' and we believe these recent letters have been sent in error. Please continue to follow latest Government guidance.
We have been contacting our shielding patients and continue to do so. In the meantime if you have any health concerns or you are delaying seeing a nurse for things like regular injections, please contact the surgery. We have a protected treatment room and we can see you safely at the surgery. Due to the necessity of deep cleaning between each patient the number of appointments are limited but we will endeavour to see all those that need urgent treatment in a timely way.
GPES data for pandemic planning and research (COVID-19)
Act Like You’ve Got It, Anyone Can Spread It
STAY HOME TO HELP US SAVE LIVES.
- IF YOU GO OUT, YOU CAN SPREAD IT. PEOPLE WILL DIE.
- ACT LIKE YOU’VE GOT IT, ANYONE CAN SPREAD IT.
- ANYONE CAN GET IT, ANYONE CAN SPREAD IT.
Latest government advice on coronavirus
Please stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days if you have one or both of:
a high temperature of 37.8 or above
a new continuous cough
a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or test (ANOSMIA)
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
For medical help linked to coronavirus you can also contact the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
Only call 111 if you cannot get online.
If you need medical help for any reason, do not visit the GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:
- for health information and advice, use the NHS website or our surgery website home page E Consult
- for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
- for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance
To find out more please visit the government website:www.gov.uk/Coronavirus
Harpenden Town Council is supporting a new initiative called Harpenden Cares, It is a community-led response to the Coronavirus involving many of our fantastic voluntary groups including out very own Harpenden Health PCN Social Prescriber. They are already supporting many of our local patients who are at risk, or shielding at home. They are offering help and advice where needed and have proven to be a trusted source of information. Click on the following link for further information:
If you are a Redbourn patient, why not call the 'Redbourn Corona Volunteer Group.' It is funded by St Albans Council. Simply call 01582 794550 between 9am - 12pm
For all our patients who are in the medically, extremely vulnerable high-risk category , click on this link: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable for government support. You can register on behalf of someone if they can not do it themselves.
You can also register for one of the local volunteer support schemes at https://www.communities1st.org.uk/COVID19support
Harpenden and St Albans Community Leaflet COVID Community Leaflet
THE PRACTICE CONTINUES TO REMAIN OPEN HOWEVER WE ARE HAVING TO TRIAGE ALL CALLS DUE TO STRICT COVID RESTRICTIONS. WE ARE RUNNING A FULL TRIAGE TELEPHONE APPOINTMENT SYSTEM AND IF DEEMED NECESSARY WE CAN ORGANISE A VIDEO CONSULTATION OR YOU WILL BE INVITED IN FOR AN EXAMINATION. ONLY ONE PATIENT IS PERMITTED IN AT A TIME AND A DEEP CLEAN HAS TO BE COMPLETED BETWEEN EACH PATIENT SO THIS IS A LIMITED SERVICE.
Please review this website for updates
Please look at the NEW E-Consult (on our Home page) - by using this service many patients find they do not need to contact the practice. The E-consult is full of self-help information, videos, photos and where to get the appropriate treatment, support or medication.
If you do need to call the practice to make a telephone appointment with a GP or nurse we will first of all ask you to tell us why you need medical help. This will help us decide how best to help you. Please do not contact the practice for medical help linked to coronavirus. Follow the advice above. This system is called a 'Triage' system. The word 'triage' comes from the French word 'trier' meaning ‘to sort', however in Primary Care it is not used in the context of sorting or prioritising it is used, particularly during this COVID pandemic, as a screening process. It enables our skilled receptionists and our clinical team to determine whether your needs can be dealt with over the phone, on video, seen in the surgery, an urgent referral to secondary care or a referral to the local COVID hot hub.
We are asking all patients to stay away from the surgery wherever possible. The reason for this is to limit the spread of Covid-19 through unnecessary contact.
We will initially arrange for a GP to call you back over the phone to assess your needs. If they can, the GP will provide you with advice there and then. A GP will decide if you need a further consultation or need to come into the practice for an examination. We will only do this if the GP or nurse is sure that there is no risk to other patients or our staff.
Wherever possible, this consultation will be over the phone. If a GP feels they need to see you they may ask you to have a video consultation. The GP will then send a text with a link and an invite.
If you are asked to come to the surgery, you will be asked to remain in your car until called by the clinician. We have a new intercom entry system to allow access into the surgery. When attending the practice please ensure you are wearing a face mask at all times. You will then be invited to go straight through to the clinicians consulting room.
During the COVID Pandemic, and until further notice, appointments can no longer be booked on line as we need to triage all patients requesting an appointment.
But please do use other online services, including:
- Ordering repeat prescriptions – please only order what you need
- Checking you medical records
- E Consult
Please download the NHS APP to register for all on line facilities.
We aim to send all prescriptions, including repeat prescriptions, through the electronic prescription service (EPS) to your nominated pharmacy. If you do not have a nominated pharmacy please ensure you choose one online or ask your usual pharmacy to set this up for you.
Any prescriptions not sent through EPS will need to be collected by the pharmacy from the practice. You will need to get your medication from your nominated pharmacy and not come to the practice to collect your prescription. If you haven’t nominated a pharmacy we will ask you to do so. Please wherever possible use our on-line system for ordering repeat prescriptions rather than coming to the practice to drop the prescription off. If you do drop the prescription off at the surgery please ensure it is in a sealed envelope. Prescriptions will be turned around as soon as we are able but please be advised that Pharmacies make take longer than usual to dispense them due to the high number of requests. Please allow 2-3 working days for repeat prescriptions.
If you currently manage your own prescription requests and your prescription can’t be sent through EPS to a nominated pharmacy you will need to contact the GP practice by telephone or online.
Please be aware that home deliveries by community pharmacy is not an NHS funded service. Some pharmacies do offer a delivery service which you may be charged for.
Registering with the Practice
Please either post these through the front door in a sealed envelope, post them through the royal mail, or email them to us at email@example.com
or use the registration page on our website.
Letters and other documents
Wherever possible we will send any requested letters, test results or any other documents via your direct personal email. Please double check with the Elms team that we have an appropriate and up to date email address. By giving us this information we will accept this as consent to send data to your home email address. If you don’t have an email address then please come to the surgery wearing a mask, use the intercom to let us know you are here and we will pass the requested documents to you. If you are housebound we will try and post these to you, however be aware you may be asked to post a self-addressed envelope to the practice so that this can be actioned. Completion of forms and letter requests will take between 5 – 10 working days dependent on urgency and direct care of patient. There is a fee for letters and completion of forms and this will have to be paid for in advance, so please request our surgery BACs details and send a copy of your BACs transaction to confirm payment has been made. This is a new system for us so please be patient.
Our receptionists have been for a few years now asking questions when you phone to ensure we signpost you to the correct clinician, we now have to ask even more questions to enable our highly trained team to screen all calls ensuring our patients are cared for effectively and appropriately. This can sometimes lead to longer waiting times on the phones but we have a full team answering calls and you will get through.
We want to ensure we have a safe and efficient service not only as we deal with the Coronavirus challenges but also moving ahead, continuing to meet demand, ensuring our continued high quality of care for all our patients.
Thank you for your continued support and kindness.
KEEP SAFE AND WELL
Please read this advice about staying at home https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
- Try to avoid visitors to your home. Essential supplies can be dropped off.
- Do not use public transport or taxis.
- Rest and drink plenty of fluids and make sure someone checks on you regularly. Avoid unnecessary contact.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Put used tissues into a bin immediately and wash your hands.
- Unless advised not to take, paracetamol can be used to relieve pain or fever. Follow the instructions in the pack. If in doubt CALL your local pharmacy.
- You should remain at home until 7 days after your symptoms started. After 7 days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can go back to doing what you would normally do following latest national guidance e.g. social distancing. The cough may go on for some weeks in some people, even though the coronavirus infection has cleared. A cough by itself does not mean you have to stay at home for more than 7 days.
- You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home
Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
· you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
· your condition gets worse
· your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Use the 111 coronavirus service https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Please avoid calling the Practice where possible and regularly review this website for updates.
Find out more at gov.uk/coronavirus
Please only ring 111 if you are unable to get help online
111 can only give isolation notes to patients with symptoms for up to 7 days or those living with patients with symptoms for up to 14 days. These should be accessed via the online 111 service
You should still be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
EASY READ INFORMATION
Click here for easy read posters and handwashing advice
Stop Coronavirus Keep Clean Easy Read
Check It Out Easy Read
COVID-19 Easy Read New Rules May 2020
COVID-19 Easy Read Picture Poster
COVID-19 Easy Read Poster
MENTAL HEALTH during COVID
WHO Healthy at Home
Government Public Guidance on Health and Wellbeing
How to Look After Your Mental Health
Herts Happiness, Wellbeing and Mental Health
Action for Happiness
Young Minds and Mental Health
Every Mind Matters
Silver Cloud On Line Courses
If you are over 16 and you are experiencing emotional difficulties such as anxiety, worry, depression and stress then you can self refer for talking therapies. Please click on the HPFT link below or call 0300 777 0707
HPFT NHS UK Community Wellbeing Services
New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing Free Courses
Local Mental Health Offer Leaflet
You can either register or continue to use our on-line services directly through the practice or you can now access these services and indeed more by downloading the national NHS APP.
***** NEW CLINICAL SYSTEM *****
We have recently moved to a new Clinical System supplier called EMIS on the 4th June 2020, this necessitates a change for patients to either register with the NHS APP or the new Clinical System provider (EMIS) on line service. As you may be aware, we are now part of a Primary Care Network (Harpenden Health PCN) and all practices need to be on the same system, hence the move. A huge upheaval for the practice and staff particularly in light of the COVID Pandemic, however we are excited by this as we believe it will benefit our patients going forward e.g. more extended hours appointments available at each of the Harpenden practices for all patients and further cohesive services for our local community. Please can we ask you all to be patient as we make these vital and necessary changes to our computer systems. Thank you
Due to Coronavirus fewer people are contacting their doctor. If you have symptoms that could be cancer or changes unusual to you, please contact the surgery.
Diarrhoea and Vomiting
What to do if your child is unwell during this COVID Pandemic Advice for Parents
No Deal Brexit – Latest info please click here
FLU VACCINATION INFORMATION
FLU MYTH BUSTER
We are already making plans as to how we will deliver the flu vaccinations in this Pandemic Climate. We are looking at joint
working with our Harpenden Health PCN and using larger locations allowing for social distancing and safe care. We believe
there will be a huge demand for the flu vaccination this year and although we have ordered more flu
vaccinations, it will be a case of booking early to ensure you receive one. Once we have made arrangements we will make an
announcement on this website so please watch our home page for that alert.
The vaccine is free to all in the categories below:
- adults 65 and over
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- pregnant women
- children aged 2 and 3
- children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
There are 3 types of flu vaccine:
- a live quadrivalent vaccine (which protects against 4 strains of flu), given as a nasal spray – this is for children and young people aged 2 to 17 years eligible for the flu vaccine
- a quadrivalent injected vaccine – this is for adults aged 18 and over but below the age of 65 who are at increased risk from flu because of a long-term health condition and for children 6 months and above in an eligible group who cannot receive the live vaccine
- an adjuvanted trivalent injected vaccine (FLUAD) – this is for people aged 65 and over as it has been shown to be more effective in this age group
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they will be offered an injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2.
The ‘Protecting your child from flu’ leaflet is now available to download in audio from: https://www.healthpublications.gov.uk/ArticleSearch.html?sp=St-194&sp=Sreset
And also in braille – on demand from the Health Publications website.
And the same leaflet is available on GOV.UK in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Romani, Romanian, Somali, Tagalog, Tamil, Turkish and Urdu.
The Elms Medical Practice is now a Teaching & Training Practice
Health Education England has approved The Elms Medical Practice for teaching and training within the East of England Deanery. This means we are able to host newly qualified doctors within their Foundation years, as well as those undertaking General Practice training.
We have also established strong links with other educational institutions and provide training to:
· Physician Associate trainees (University of Hertfordshire)
· Final Year Medical Students (University of Cambridge)
· Year 5 Medical Students (University College London)
· Year 5 Medical Students (Kings College London)
The practice team are enthusiastic about the delivery of high-quality teaching and training, and are supported by a dedicated team of educators and administrative support:
Dr David Hemsi (Associate Trainer)
Dr Ellen Sibly (Associate Trainer)
Dr Vidya Kanthi (Associate Trainer)
Mrs Sarah Brindley (Practice Manager – Education Non-Clinical Lead)
Miss Emma Heaton (Deputy Manager)
Appointments with our learners may be offered to you and booked only with your consent. All learners are closely supervised by a named GP Partner. For training purposes, learners may require video recordings of some consultations and again, only with your consent. These are used solely for teaching and confidentiality is upheld between both the learner and GP educator.
We hope you will support our commitment to the teaching and training of undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professionals, and we would welcome any feedback regarding your experiences with them.
Harpenden Primary Care Network - Please Click here to read information sheet for details.
MEASLES OUTBREAK IN LOCALITY 2019
Measles outbreak in our area May 2019
Please call us to check your child/teenager is vaccinated with the 2 doses - we can provide any missing vaccinations at your convenience
For more info please read the following Public Health leaflet and link below:
Measles Public Health Leaflet 2019
Heart Age Campaign 2019
This is to increase awareness of heart health and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, the campaign encourages adults to complete the ‘One You Heart Age Test’ which reveals your heart age compared to your real age and gives advice on how to lower it. Click HERE to link to the Heart Age Campaign website.
Gluten Free products are no longer available on prescription in Hertfordshire
Do you get gluten-free foods on prescription? Gluten-free foods are no longer available on prescription.
You can buy these foods from supermarkets, pharmacies and online without a prescription.
For more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01442 898865
Gluten Free Information Leaflet
Please can you take a moment by accessing the link above and answer the surveys about changes the CCG is proposing on access for IVF, gluten free foods, over the counter medications, female sterilisation, vasectomy and being fit for surgery (i.e. BMI and smoking policy).
These are very important issues and it is important that patients have a say. The deadline is 14th September. Thank you in advance for your time on this.