Covid vaccine 2nd doses
We are not given any information before announcements to the public about any changes in the vaccination programme, so following on from the Prime Minister’s announcement today (14th May 2021) please see below.
We will be working through our patient lists to bring forward all 2nd doses of Covid-19 vaccine for those aged 50+ and those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) to within 8 weeks of the 1st dose.
This will take us a few days to organise this and rearrange our clinics.
Those who are 8+ weeks will be prioritised and will be contacted as soon as possible. Those under 8 weeks will be contacted in due course.
We cannot stress enough – please DO NOT CALL THE SURGERY about when you may be called. You will be contacted either by phone or text once we have clinics in place that are available to book into.
AstraZeneca vaccines and clot risk
We are currently receiving a large number of queries surrounding the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. This is causing significant delays on the phone lines, and limiting availability for non COVID queries.
We hope that the following information clarifies the position on AZ vaccines:
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives in the UK and around the world.
As the MHRA – the UK’s independent regulator – and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation have said that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.
For anyone over the age of 40, the only contradication to receiving the AZ vaccine is if you have previously had the very rare HIIT syndrome (blood clots associated with low platelets).
The government will follow the updated advice, which sets out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 40 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible, but only if doing so does not cause a substantial delay in accessing a vaccination.
Everybody who has already had a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same jab, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts following their first vaccination.
When people are called forward, they should get their jab. Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and provide strong protection against COVID-19.
We are now vaccinating at Brackley Medical Centre for patients within our PCN (Primary Care Network - Brackley and Towcester).
We are governed by NHS England as to who we vaccinate, and in which order.
We will be contacting those patients by text or phone call who fall within each priorty group who are due to be vaccinated.
As we get such short notice of the deliveries of vaccines, it is very difficult to arrange letters to be sent out to patients about when clinics are being held. Please advise older members of your family to look out for a text message or be ready to receive a phone call from us (the surgery number is usually withheld).
Please DO NOT call the surgery about the vaccine as phone lines are extremely busy.
We thank you for understanding.
Free Lateral Flow Tests available from Lowick Pharmacy
Following the announcement that everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing, we are delighted to announce that Lowick Pharmacy at Brackley Medical Centre will be an official ‘Pharmacy Collect’ centre.
People aged 18 and over without symptoms will be able to visit Lowick Pharmacy and collect a box of seven rapid Lateral Flow tests to use twice a week at home.
The aim of the tests is to help identify positive cases in asymptomatic people and thereby break the chain of transmission. Having a negative test result will help reassure you that it is safe to visit friends and relatives outdoors.
Once you have completed your test you will need to register your results online at https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or by calling 119. Should you test positive you will need to self-isolate and order a confirmatory PCR test.
Booking of Covid Vaccinations
YOU DO NOT NEED TO CALL US. WE WILL CALL YOU TO SCHEDULE YOUR VACCINE APPOINTMENTS.
If you have a mobile number registered on your GP record then you will receive a text message with a link to book your vaccine appointment.
If you do not have a mobile number then the surgery will phone you and offer you an appointment.
Please be aware of the current scams going around and note that WE WILL NOT ASK FOR YOUR BANK DETAILS when contacting you to book an appointment.
You will be contacted in the same way as you were initially in order to book the corresponding second vaccine that is required.
It is important to note that even when you have received your vaccine, you must follow government guidance on social distancing and wearing a mask, as well as the additional measures in place in your area.
For more information on the vaccine, please visit: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
Lateral Flow Device Testing Centre - Brackley
A new Lateral Flow Device testing centre has opened at Brackley Leisure Centre, South Nothants. The location of this site will mean that those working in the South of the county will be able to access asymptomatic testing more easily.
Lateral Flow Device testing, otherwise known as rapid testing, is used for people who DO NOT have symptoms of COVID-19. The aim is to identify the one in three people who may be infectious without being aware, in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
Each test involves a swab of the mouth and nose and provides a result within 30 minutes.
The new site will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10.00-12.00 and again 14.00-18.00, providing people with a range of time slots to access the testing.
To book a time slot for your test you must visit https://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/Pages/covid-19-community-based-testing.aspx
Priority is given to workers in the following sectors:
- Health or social care
- Education or childcare
- Essential shop, supermarket or financial services
- Food production or processing
- Warehousing, packing or distribution
- Essential public sector services including waste, bin collections, security, etc
- Construction, utilities or communications
- Agency workers
If you do not receive regular rapid test kits via your workplace in the areas of employments above, it is advised that you take up the opportunity to get tested on a weekly basis to reduce the spread of the virus.
Attending Brackley Medical Centre
If you require medical advice, please call 01280 702436:
- In most cases you will be be booked in for a telephone assessment with one of our clinicians.
- If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, you will be advised what to do.
Please can we ask all patients to phone the surgery with any queries and not enter the building unless advised to do so.
Only patients with face to face appointments should come into the surgery.
Thank you for your co-operation and understanding.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Brackley Medical Centre is following advice from NHS England and has moved to a telephone triage system. This is designed to reduce the number of people physically attending the surgery to protect staff and patients from COVID-19.
Our Urgent Care Unit operates on a telephone triage basis. You will be called by one of our clinicians who will assess your situation. If they decide you need a face-to-face appointment they will make the necessary arrangements.
If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus; including a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or if you have a reduced sense of taste or smell, you are advised to get a test as soon as possible. If you test positive you will need to self isolate. Your self isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had your test if you did not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days. Anyone you live with will also have to self isoalte at the same time. You may need to self-isolate for longer if you get symptoms while self-isolating or your symptoms do not go away. For further information read more HERE about how to self isolate.
Do NOT attend the surgery if you have symptoms associated with coronavirus. If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, call NHS 119 or visit the online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.
Only call 119 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or cannot get online.
For the latest COVID-19 information please visit www.gov.coronavirus.
Please note, if you are found to have mislead a member of staff regarding these symptoms, or are not self isolating appropriately, you will be asked to leave the surgery immediately, and you may face a fine of £1000 under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulation 2020.
Absense from work due to Coronavirus - You do not need to contact your GP
If you're off work sick for 7 days or less, your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you've been ill. Instead they can ask you to confirm that you've been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called self-certification.
If you're off work sick for more than 7 days, your employer will usually ask for a fit note (or Statement of Fitness for Work) from a GP or hospital doctor. Fit notes are sometimes reffered to as medical statements, doctors note or sick note.
DO NOT ASK YOUR GP FOR A FIT NOTE IF YOU ARE OFF WORK DUE TO CORONAVIRUS. INSTEAD YOU CAN GET AN ISOLATION NOTE TO SEND TO YOUR EMPLOYER HERE.
We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employeeis advised to stay at home due to suspected COVID-19.
Respiratory Rescue Packs
The CCG Prescribing team have been made aware of posts on social media telling patients with asthma and COPD to ask for rescue packs.
The advice from the prescribing team is that patients who have not previously had rescue packs should not have them issued for the following reasons:
- In patients with COVID-19 infection we are not aware of any evidence of benefit from early prescription of steriods
- As COVID-19 is a virus, antibiotics will not be of any benefit
- GP practices and pharmacies are already working at capacity, additional requests for prescriptions for the 'worried well' cannot be supported
- We will need to protect the medicines supply chain
- The best way to for 'at risk' patients to protect themselves is to self-isolate as per government guidelines
- Patients who develop severe symptoms should use the NHS 119 online coronavirus service. Self-treating at home may delay appropriate treatment
COPD patients who are at risk of exacerbation should have a rescue pack on repeat already.
Breathing Space and ‘Kicking Back at Covid’ Long Covid support
Breathing Space and Kicking Back at Covid https://www.northamptonshire-carers.org/Event/breathing-space-long-covid-group-feb-05-21
Long Covid services provide support to anyone in Northamptonshire with:
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and *related conditions
- Persistent breathing / lung problems after having COVID 19 (‘Long Covid’)
- An unpaid caring role for someone with the conditions above
The services are managed by Northamptonshire Carers in partnership with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) and funded by NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The services bring together people with COPD and related conditions/Long Covid / their unpaid Carers, with health and wellbeing professionals, combining wellbeing support with medical advice and group interaction. The services empower people to manage their condition, combat loneliness, inactivity, depression/anxiety and have reduced unplanned medical interventions.
Members have access to:
- Dr Rob Gale the Breathing Space GP - individualised phone consultations
- Pulmonary Rehab ReStart team
- Any session within our Empowered Patient Programme run by Dr Rob Gale
- Breathing Space guest speakers
- Any of our social groups (currently run via zoom)
- Proactive emotional and wellbeing support, offered via specialist support workers, who make regular phone contact with members
- Facebook https://en-gb.facebook.com/BreathingSpaceNorthants/ and WhatsApp groups available to members 24/7
During Covid distancing, information is being provided by phone, sent in the post and by a huge range of zoom and internet based resources and sessions. As much support as possible is offered to those who have no internet capability. Once restrictions are relaxed, groups will be able to physically meet once more.
Anyone can refer by phone or email, including self-referral:
Phone Northamptonshire Carers: 01933 677907 (option 5)
Further information can be found on the following webpages:
Kicking Back at Long Covid: https://www.northamptonshire-carers.org/Event/breathing-space-long-covid-group-feb-05-21