IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
Update on Accessibility resources to help you communicate about COVID-19/Flu Vaccine
The attached link is a resource developed by Mencap which explains the benefits of the COVID vaccine to patients with learning difficulties, and other vulnerable patient groups.
Resource for LD and Vulnerable patients for Flu/COVID vaccine
Update 05.01.2021 - Shielding Patients – update re: Tier 4
The Department of Health and Social Care has sent the following update and documents to explain that patients previously identified as needing to ‘shield’ should once again be shielding due to the move to Tier 4 in Bolton.
The advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable in these areas is the same as was in place nationally during the November restrictions, and includes the following:
Stay at home as much as possible, minimise contact with others and not to travel unless essential
Work from home, but if this is not possible, they should not attend work. The formal shielding notification people will receive will act as evidence for their employers and the Department for Work and Pensions for benefit eligibility purposes
Avoid going out to shops, including pharmacies. Support will be available to assist in accessing shopping and to arrange the free delivery of medicines
Those children whose clinician has confirmed are still clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend school
People are encouraged to go outdoors for exercise and to continue to attend medical appointments
This shielding advice for Bolton will remain in place until at least 01 February 2021, even if the town is taken out of Tier 4 before that date.
The full version of the guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
The Department of Health and Social Care will be writing to all of those impacted by this change in advice. They will make use of email, where possible, and copies of the letter will be published alongside the guidance.
Update 03/12/2020 - Guidance making a Christmas bubble with friends and family - please click on the link for more information (making a Christmas bubble with friends & family)
The surgery is following strict social distancing rules for both staff and patients. It is requested that anyone who attends the surgery premises for any reason, must wear a face covering whilst on the premises, this is to protect both our patients and our staff.
UPDATE 24.07.2020 - PRINTABLE FACE COVERING EXEMPTION CARDS
Mask Exemption Cards – Print & Wear
From 15 June 2020, it is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on a bus, coach, train, taxi or tram.
From 24 July 2020, it is the law that you must wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England
However, some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a reasonable excuse not to. Reasonable excuses include:
- not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate (note – there are lip-reading masks available, with clear panels that make the lips visible)
- to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
- to take medication
Here are some links to sources of printable face mask exemption cards...
Printable face mask exemption cards (specific reasons)
First Transport printable face mask exemption cards (generic reasons)
KeepSafe website – printable face mask exemption cards (fairly generic) plus lots of other plain and simple COVID-19 guidance factsheets – including in other languages
We thank you for you co-operation.
Guidance note for patients requesting exemption letters
We are aware that some patients might be understandably anxious about the Government’s recent announcements around the use of face masks/coverings in various public settings.
GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face mask/covering. The government guidance on exemptions suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption therefore it is sufficient for an individual to self-declare this.
Please go to the GOV.UK website for further information on the use of face coverings.
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) ALL appointments will be triaged via the telephone by a GP and will then be advised if you should attend the surgery, if required.
26.05.2020 Update Information regarding Coronavirus in other Formats and Languages
Coronavirus in other Languages
Accessibility resources to help you communicate about COVID-19
The Deaf Health Charity - Sign health
Handwashing Rap - People who have a learning disability
Information in easy read
20.04.2020 Update on advice for parents during coronavirus
Child Advice Unwell
16.04.2020 Update - Shielding Letters for patients
We are experiencing a high number of calls to see if you will be receiving a high risk letter. Please bear with us and if you are a high risk patient information will be sent out in due course.
Letters requesting people to shield have been sent either directly from NHS England, recently, General Practice has been asked to identify patients on the advice of NHS England.
These letters have been sent to patients with a variety of underlying health conditions which may make patients significantly more at risk of complications related to COVID-19. Identifying patients is, unfortunately, not an exact science and there may be some inclusions or exclusions of patients from this list. Please be assured that we are doing all we can to identify our most at risk patients to help them stay as safe as possible. If you feel we have made a miss take them please contact the surgery.
Shielding at this time is for your own personal protection. It is your choice as to whether you follow this guidance. Should you choose to shield, this letter can be used for evidence for your employer and support from the Government.
Please consult the Government website using this link for further detailed information relating to shielding.
Advice for everyone - Coronavirus (COVID-19) http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
COVID-19 guidance for Employees
Please remember do not attend A&E or your GP practice if you are experiencing symptoms.
Useful Contacts for shielding Patients
Have symptoms: NHS 111 Online Or ring 111
Advice on benefits Bolton Council Emergency Contact 01204 337221 they are not just taking people who are not on the shielded list. Anyone in need can apply for help.
Age UK Bolton have a few volunteers that can be used for urgent shopping and medication needs 01204 382411
Age UK telephone befriending. Sign up on line or contact 0800 434 6105
BCoM Help and support some food parcels being delivered (Conditions apply) too 01204 363680 Option 6
Urban Outreach food parcels again conditions apply.01204 385848
Bolton Nice charity based around School Hill, Food parcels available. 07900535403
Coronavirus Advice - If you feel you have the symptoms of COVID-19 we recommend that you if you are able to, then please access the NHS online advice if you think you have Covid-19 https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
Just to reiterate the current guidance: If you have a new persistent continuous cough, high fever above 37.8 or Shortness of Breath then you may have Covid-19. Remember for the majority of people this will not be a serious illness and you will get better by staying at home and self-isolating for 7 days or 14 days if you live with other people, there is no need to call the health service. The website will then suggest what to do next. Only if the outcome is that you need a GP assessment call the surgery. This will usually be because the assessment suggests you don’t have Covid-19 and may have something else. Further information https://www.gov.uk/taking-sick-leave, https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
Sick Notes You will not need a sick note from the doctor for up to 7/14 days off work. Some employers may extend to 14 days. Please check with them before calling the surgery.
Child Immunisations These will continue, but if you have to self-isolate don’t worry they can be delayed until the isolation timeframe is over.
We will actively risk assess those that need to come in sooner rather than later. You will not go without your regular medications. If you haven’t had your scheduled review and the clinical staff feels it is safe for you to have, it will be re-autherised Online Prescriptions to reduce the need to come to the surgery and also the need to handle paper we would recommend that this is the perfect time to consider registering for online prescriptions. We will endeavour over the coming days to make this easier. Watch out for further messages.
Going forward the surgery will be operating mainly by telephone and online. The doctor may send you a text link to facilitate a video consultation. Please remember just because we have a Covid-19 pandemic it doesn’t mean that other acute illnesses are not important. If you have other symptoms or signs please use https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ it can guide you through many conditions and help you decide if you need to be reviewed by a doctor or use self-help measures that you can try in the first instance.
Vulnerable At Risk Patients please be reassured that we will be identifying vulnerable patients to minimise the risk to their health and where monitoring and reviews are absolutely essential, we will be providing it. As a system we will actively be making contact with our vulnerable cohort of patients to ensure that they have their medication food supplies and aware of what to do if they become unwell. If you are aware of such neighbours and are able to, please check that they are managing.
Appointments In order to reduce the footfall in the surgery we are in the process of postponing face to face routine reviews and blood tests. This is to try and minimise the risk to you and the staff in the practice. Our administrative staff will be calling all patients who currently have appointments booked to see if you are able to postpone the appointment or alternatively chance to a telephone consultation. Those patients that need to be reviewed will be either by phone or face to face if safe care cannot be delivered in any other way. Some of you will already have experienced this and we thank you for your understanding and co-operation.
Useful information for our Vulnerable Patients