COVID-19 INFORMATION

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Privacy Notice update

The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health and social care services and to protect public health.  Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak. 

As a result of the current emergency it has become necessary of us to update our privacy notice in relation to patient data.  Patients should read our COVID-19 Privacy Notice Update , which should be read in conjuction with our existing Privacy Notice

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Use this service if:

  • you think you might have coronavirus
  • you've been in close contact with someone with coronavirus

Do not go to the GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.

 

COVID-19 Face Coverings:

Please ensure you wear an appropriate face covering before entering the surgery (in accordance with Government Guidelines). You may wear one of the following:

A medical mask (no material masks) or a visor if you are unable to wear a mask.

If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering, please contact reception prior to your appointment to discuss options available to you.

 

AstraZeneca Oxford Vaccine Goverment Guidance:

New guidance has been issued for the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. This follows further reviews by the independent regulator, the MHRA, and the Commission for Human Medicines, of a very small number of people in the UK who have developed a rare blood-clotting condition since having the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The MHRA and Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations have emphasised that the risk of this condition is extremely small and that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people. They have recommended that:  Everyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine should still have a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, irrespective of age, unless they have had a blood clot or have an existing risk of thrombosis (blood clotting).

People aged 30 and over or who have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease should still be offered the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. The benefits in protecting them against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition.

People aged 18-29 who do not have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease will be offered an alternative Covid-19 vaccine where available. (This has been recommended as a precaution as people under 30 are at less risk from Covid-19 and not because they are considered to be at particular risk of developing the rare blood clot.)

People under 30 can still choose to have the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine if this will mean they can be protected more quickly and they have been made aware of the guidance. Please see the leaflet below that has been produced by Public Health England and the NHS to answer any questions you may have.

Leaflet on COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting

COVID-19 Government Measures:

On Monday 16th March 2020 the UK government announced a package of measures, advising those who are or may be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

This group has been identified to the public as those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
  • those who are pregnant

This wider group, who broadly speaking comprise the criteria of adults eligible for an annual flu vaccine, will not be proactively contacted but have instead been asked to take steps to reduce their social interactions in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

The following group of diseases and conditions considered to be very high risk and should expect to receive a letter advising to stay at home at all times and avoid all face-to-face contact for at least twelve weeks from today, except from carers and healthcare workers who you must see as part of your medical care.

     1. Solid organ transplant recipients

     2. People with specific cancers

  • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
  • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of   treatment
  • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.
  • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.

3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD

4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell disease)

5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection All patients on the following medications have been centrally identified and will be contacted via the letter:

  • Azathioprine
  • Mycophenolate (both types)
  • Cyclosporin
  • Sirolimus
  • Tacrolimus

6. People who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

If you would like further information or advice regarding self-isolation and shielding vulnerable people please refer to the government website: Gov.uk COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

The GPs are reviewing this new guidance and politely request that if you have concerns about you or a family member’s being identified within one of these categories that you adopt the recommended measures and not contact the surgery to seek confirmation.

Thank you for your continued assistance at this time.

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments

Please ensure all your personal details are held correctly at the surgery, importantly, please ensure you have provided us with an up-to-date mobile telephone number so that we are easily able to contact you to book your COVID-19 vaccination and keep you informed regarding future doses.

To manage your booking or to book your vaccination online, please visit the GOV.uk website, link below. Please note, you can only use this service if you have received a letter inviting you to book your vaccination appointment and are registered with a GP surgery in England.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

 

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