COVID VACCINE (14.4.21)
FOR THE VERY LATEST INFORMATION ABOUT THE VACCINATION PROGRAMME CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR LATEST NEWSLETTER
Covid Vaccination and Blood Clotting
We are delighted to have been able to deliver the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine to over 13,000 patients in recent weeks. The vaccination centre at the Harpenden Public Halls has worked really well and we are continuing to bring patients in for their vaccine – now focussing on group 6, those who are clinically high risk, and also our unpaid carers. The above newsletter gives exact details as to who comes under the group 6. We are not allowed to deviate from this list as we are being tightly monitored, so please do not ask us to do so. Please be aware we are also receiving many calls from patients enquiring about their vaccine, which in turn prevents our poorly patients getting through to the practice.
There are some weeks when we are not receiving as much supply of the vaccine as we would like and this has caused not only frustration and concern to the GP Partners but to our patients as well. We do liaise with our colleagues in the NHS locally to try to get more vaccine stock into our centre, but the supplies are controlled nationally and this means we can’t offer as many vaccine appointments as we want to. If you or someone you care for is eligible for a vaccination and is very concerned about waiting to be vaccinated, you can alternatively try to book online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus- vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or dial 119 to see if an alternative nearby vaccination centre has any appointments.
If you had your 1st Pfizer Covid Vaccination in January or early February, and have not booked your 2nd vaccination yet, please call or email the surgery as soon as possible. We will then book you in the Pfizer clinic at the Harpenden Public Halls on Friday 8th April.
For more information on the vaccine programme in this area, you can use this link https://www.healthierfuture.org.uk/covid
The Elms Medical Practice has invited ALL their patients in Cohorts 1-9. If you are in one of these cohorts and have still not had your vaccine, please contact the surgery by phone or email and we will book an appointment for you.
If you prefer to go to a mass site, please contact 119 or use the Covid vaccine online booking portal www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
Dr David Hemsi is the Clinical Director of the Harpenden PCN who has been instrumental in setting up and running the Harpenden Vaccination Centre
Question: Does the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine cause blood clots?
Answer: Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that we would normally expect to see amongst the groups of the population who have been vaccinated. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.
More than 11 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK. Vaccine safety is of paramount importance and the regulatory agency, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) continually monitors the safety of vaccines in the UK.
For more information and a statement from the MHRA, see this LINK
COVID vaccine supplies 19.3.21
You may have seen news coverage about vaccine supplies over the coming weeks.
From now until 29 March, our GP-run vaccination centre at The Harpenden Public Halls will still be delivering vaccinations to people in the top priority cohorts. This includes everyone aged 50 or over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups. If you are one of these patients, you can also choose to book a vaccination online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/ or by calling 119.
Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between 29 March and the end of April will receive their second dose. If you had your first dose at our GP run vaccination centre then we will contact you when it is time for your next appointment. There is no need for you to phone us.
If you booked your first appointment at a pharmacy or large vaccination centre through the national booking system website or by calling 119 then you should already have a second dose appointment in your diary, which you should attend as planned.
Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place in April via the national booking system will also still go ahead.
Up to date information about COVID vaccinations can be found at https://covid.healthierfuture.org.uk/
COVID-19 Vaccination Question and Answers
Herts Ad Article - Harpenden Vaccine Hub
Letter from Matt Hancock
Previous Newsletter 17.2.21
Previous Newsletter 27.1.21
Previous Newsletter 8.1.21
If you are a frontline health or social care worker, please book through the national booking system here: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
The national booking service allows you to arrange an appointment at a vaccination centre or community pharmacy-led service. Call 119 if you don’t have the internet. You can choose a time slot and location that suits you. Please take appropriate ID with you to the appointment as this may be checked.
Vaccinations for people with learning disabilities and their Carers
Our Primary Care Network (PCN) is currently working hard to vaccinate all adults (aged 16 and over) with a learning disability and their Carers.
We are contacting people with learning disabilities and/or their Carers on their behalf, to arrange an appointment to have their first COVID-19 vaccine.
There is more information on vaccinations for people with learning disabilities and their Carers on this NHS website: https://www.healthierfuture.org.uk/covid/coronavirus-information-for-people-with-learning-disabilities
Vaccinations for people aged 16-65 with specified underlying health conditions
Please click on this government link for exact details - Publishing.service.gov.uk/government Greenbook_chapter_14a 12Feb2021.pdf
Vaccinations are now being offered to people aged 16-65 with specified underlying health conditions, sometimes called ‘clinically at risk’. If you have one of the identified health conditions you will be contacted through your GP practice soon to book your first vaccination.
The list of conditions included in this list has been decided nationally by the joint committee on vaccinations and immunisations (JCVI). This is based on your risk of suffering serious illness if you get coronavirus – it is not about how unwell you are, or how your condition or illness affects your daily life.
The list of conditions and treatments is set nationally and tightly defined and it is:
- chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma requiring continuous systemic steroids with previous hospital admissions
- chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease
- chronic neurological disease including epilepsy
- Down’s syndrome
- severe and profound learning disability
- solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients
- specific cancers
- immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
- asplenia and splenic dysfunction
- morbid obesity
- severe mental illness
We have to follow this JCVI guidance when we vaccinate our patients and cannot move you onto the list of people with underlying health conditions unless there has been a mistake in your medical records.
Vaccinations for eligible 16 and 17 year olds
Note that if you are aged 16 or 17 and qualify for a vaccine because you have a learning disability, are a front-line health or social care worker, or have a specified underlying health condition, you need to have the Pfizer vaccine, because this is the only vaccine that is currently licenced for people of your age. The local PCN vaccine hubs currently do not have any deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine and so you will need to book through the national booking system here: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119
Vaccinations for Carers
A Carer is defined as those who are in receipt of a Carers allowance, or those who are the prime Carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare will be at risk if the carer falls ill.
If you are aged 16 and over and are the prime Carer for an adult who is at high risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, with whom you have daily close personal or face to face contact, eligible to receive a Carers allowance and would be detrimental to their health and wellbeing if the Carer was not able to attend, you may be eligible for a vaccination within Group 6. Carers of children are not included in this phase, apart from Carers of children who have serious neuro-disabilities and other complications.
All patients who are registered at the practice as an unpaid Carer, will be contacted to arrange a vaccination at our GP-led vaccination centre.
If you are registered to receive a Carer’s Allowance, you can book an appointment now via the national booking service www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 if you do not have internet access.
The NHS is working closely with social care services colleagues and organisations that represent Carers to put in place arrangements to offer the vaccine as soon as possible to other Carers who will be eligible to receive a vaccine but don’t meet the current criteria in terms of the two categories mentioned above. For example, if you are known to be a Carer by social services or Carers in Herts, you will be contacted directly by the NHS in the coming weeks. For other Carers who are not known by social services or other organisations, more information will follow
I had my first vaccination in January at my GP-led vaccination centre but don’t have my second date yet. Who should I call?
Please don’t call anyone. You will be invited back to the same place you went to receive your first dose, about 12 weeks after you had the first jab. The Elms and the other PCN practices will be arranging dates for the second dose clinics, once we have notification as to the delivery dates and will be in touch with our patients nearer the time.
Remember that you aren’t fully vaccinated until after the second dose. Getting the second jab is as important as getting the first.
Across Harpenden and St Albans we are looking for volunteers to help with the vaccination clinics. Please click HERE for more details as to how to volunteer
Herts Valley CCG Information. Click HERE
Commonly Asked Questions about Covid Vaccines:
English - https://twitter.com/bbcasiannetwork/status/1339514423917076480
Warning after Covid vaccine scam emails received click HERE for link to more details
Scammers have been contacting people claiming they can arrange coronavirus vaccines for a fee. People around the country have received emails in recent weeks which appear to be from the NHS offering COVID vaccine appointments. Click on link above for more detail
Helping our patients avoid fraud
We are aware that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.
To protect yourself and your family members from fraud and criminals, remember the following points.
The vaccine is only available on the NHS for free to people in priority groups, and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. Anyone offering a paid-for vaccine is committing a crime.
- The NHS will never ask for payment or for your bank details.
- At the moment we are also not making house calls to deliver or discuss the vaccine. Anyone offering this now is committing a crime.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.
People may receive a national NHS letter inviting them to book a COVID vaccination online or via the 119 telephone number. This is for vaccinating at Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Watford and St Albans, the mass hub sites. The invites for this have been sent centrally by the NHS. If you receive a letter then it is your choice whether you book in to a mass vaccine site, or wait until you are called for a vaccine at the Harpenden Public Halls. We simply want people to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Remember, wherever you choose, you will in time, need to return to that first site for your second dose of the vaccine.
The National Covid Vaccine roll out is a phased programme, with Primary Care Network (PCN) sites opening up across the country including West Hertfordshire over the coming weeks.
The Harpenden Health PCN (The Elms Medical Practice, The Village Surgery and Davenport House) started vaccinating on Wednesday 13th January. We have been ready and our teams were in place and raring to go for some time, however our PCN has been reliant on NHS England to deliver the vaccine. We do not know until very short notice as to when each delivery will take place, so please do not contact any of the surgeries as we will have no further news. We have no control over any of this as it is a national roll out and not done at a local practice level.
The Clinics are being held at the Harpenden Public Halls and it is invite only in line with the government priority groups. Each clinic is led by a Clinical Lead which is on a rota with Dr David Hemsi (The Elms), Dr Chas Thenuwara (Davenport House) and Dr Tania Goodwin (The Village) and the Practice Managers from each practice are on rota as the Operations Manager for each clinic.
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ IF YOU WISH TO HAVE A COVID VACCINE: Please click on: COVID VACCINE INFORMATION LEAFLET which you will need to read to enable your informed consent to have the vaccine.
You will also have or will get a text with a link to this document. Please make sure we have your up-to-date email, mobile and home phone numbers. We do not want you to miss out because your contact details are not up to date. at the practice.
When our Harpenden Health PCN get our confirmed dates you will all in turn receive an invite in accordance with the strict Government 'At risk' group order, see below. As the vaccine will be delivered at short notice we will be ringing and texting patients to book their appointments. If you get a text you can link straight to the 'ACCUBOOK' and book both appointments through your phone or tablet directly. As the first group is the over 80 year olds we will be contacting the majority by a phone call. It is essential that you read the leaflet above as soon as possible so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you want the Covid vaccine this will in turn enable us to quickly book your appointment and move on to the next patient invite call.
Please do not contact the Practice with regards to the Covid Vaccine as you will be contacted as and when available for each risk group in turn as per National Strategy.
As you can imagine we are having to be very focused on this huge programme of work but please be assured that we still remain open and we are finding ways to continue to look after patients during these busy winter months whilst supplying our GPs and nurses to run these vital Covid vaccine clinics. We will keep you informed on this website, so please keep looking for updates.
The Covid 19 pandemic continues, however the Practice needs to ensure annual reviews and regular monitoring continues. We are sure you will appreciate during this unprecedented time; the Practice has had to review methods of working and we are collaboratively working with neighbouring practices, Harpenden Primary Care Network, and the Herts Valley CCG Team. We continue to develop robust Standard Operating Procedures to deal either patients presenting with Covid -19 symptoms, general health concerns, routine reviews, or patients self-isolating due to the Covid-19 Virus; also, how to avoid the spread of infection to patients, GPs, and Staff.
The government has kept Primary Care at alert level 4 and we need to keep a balance of the risks and benefits with regard to face to face monitoring. Wherever possible we are therefore offering telephone, and when appropriate or advised by the clinician, video consultations and face to face. This allows for important patient care to continue. If a clinician invites you for an appointment at the practice, please be assured that we follow extremely strict infection control procedures to ensure the protection of our patients and staff. We do kindly ask all those visiting or attending the Practice to wear a face covering such as a scarf or mask.
Digital services are being increasingly relied upon and patients will always be offered a digital service in the first instance to minimise contact between staff and patients.
To enable our online services please visit our website for instructions. You will need a Patient Access Registration letter from the Practice which supplies you with the necessary pin number so please either phone reception or email the practice to request this.
Our patients also have access to ONLINE CONSULT which gives patients access to round the clock medical guidance.
We recognise that there are many patients at risk, vulnerable or still shielding at home and our clinical team continue to contact these patients to check on their wellbeing and health needs. We also support a new initiative called Harpenden Cares. It is a community-led response to the Coronavirus involving many of our fantastic voluntary groups including our very own Harpenden Health PCN Social Prescriber. They offer help and advice where needed and have proven to be a highly trusted source of information. You can find more detail on this service at https://harpendencares.org/
Best wishes from all at The Elms Medical Practice
Act Like You’ve Got It, Anyone Can Spread It
If you have a high temperature, or a new continuous cough or you have lost your sense of taste or smell, please self-isolate immediately and contact 111 online. Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can ask for a free test to check if they have the virus.
To ask for a free test please click on this link: FREE Coronavirus Test Request
If you have Covid symptoms please do not call the surgery until you have spoken to the 111 service.
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 10 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 ONLINE 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:
Please read this advice about staying at home https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
SELF-ISOLATING - please see attached leaflet - COVID Isolating At Home
- 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 are staying at home
What to do if your child is unwell during this COVID Pandemic
Advice for Parents
NHS COVID APP
TO DOWNLOAD THE NHS COVID APP - CLICK HERE
CONCERNS ABOUT COVID?
Click here for the latest CONCERNED ABOUT COVID FAQ including information regarding testing
Government Guidance on Shielding
If you are under 18 and received a letter recently from the government about whether you are extremely vulnerable and should still be shielding, please contact the surgery via Online Consult or by Telephone option 2 and ask for a telephone consultation with a GP to discuss this.
EASY READ INFORMATION ON COVID
COVID-19 LATEST OCT 2020
Why Downs Syndrome added to High Risk
HOW TO KEEP SAFE
HOW CAN YOU STOP COVID SPREADING?
GET TESTED IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS
CHECK IT OUT!
YOUR COVID-19 DATA
NHS DIGITAL RESEARCH
GPES Extraction FAQ
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