Welcome to Holderness Health
COVID Vaccination Programme
Amazingly, we find ourselves half way through February already and what a busy month it has been for the practice! Here is the next instalment of our vaccination update to keep you all informed as to how things are going….
We have pushed ahead with the COVID-19 vaccination programme as quickly as we have received our deliveries and are delighted to say that we have now invited everyone in our top 4 cohorts. Where we have not been able to reach people by text or telephone, invitation letters have been sent out. We believe that there are only a very small number of people in these groups who have not yet been vaccinated and the door is always open – if anyone has a change of heart about wanting the vaccine, it’s never to late to request it.
We acknowledge that no system is ever perfect so if you are over the age of 70 and have not yet been vaccinated, please do contact us now. If you are in any other age group, our plea remains the same – please do not contact us as this just blocks the lines for those who are seeking normal appointments. We have a booking team who will contact you when it is your turn to receive the vaccination.
Over the weekend, we have received further guidance on who to vaccinate next. This week and next week, we have been instructed to focus on inviting Cohort 6 which is a wide age range of between 16 and 64 of people who have underlying health conditions. It includes a wider group of people at higher clinical risk. The reason we have been asked to focus on this group is because of the relationship that GPs have with patients who have long term conditions and our role in ensuring continuity of care for this group. People who fall into this group include those with chronic respiratory disease, chronic heart disease and vascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease, diabetes, immunosuppression, asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen, morbid obesity and severe mental illness. Adult carers also fall into this group if you are in receipt of a carer’s allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person, someone who has a severe mental illness or whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill.
Please be patient as Cohort 6 is a large group and it will take us some time to work through and invite everyone.
For our patients that are in Cohort 5 (those aged 65-69) who have not yet been vaccinated, we are told that you will shortly receive an invitation from the National Booking Service to attend a vaccination centre or community setting. Now that the new vaccination centre has opened at Hull City Hall, we expect that you will be invited there. We recognise that this will not be popular with everyone but it is the decision that has been made by NHS England to ramp up the vaccination programme even further and reach even more people. If you are in this group and can travel, it will be the quickest way to obtain your vaccination. If you are unable to travel, we promise we will not forget about you and will assist with local vaccinations in Holderness as soon as we are able to do so. Once again, it would be really helpful if you did not contact the practice with detailed queries about when you may be able to access a vaccination locally as we don’t have any details as yet and will share more information when we do.
We have received some enquiries from concerned parents about vaccinations for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable children. The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation and Public Health England are clear that the majority of children should not be vaccinated at this time. The Astra Zenica vaccine is only authorised for patients over the age of 18 and the Pfizer vaccine for those over 16 years. The only exceptions to the general guidance that children under 16 should not be vaccinated at present is for children with severe neuro-disabilities who tend to get recurrent respiratory tract infections and who frequently spend time in specialised residential care home settings for children with complex needs. It is expected that less than 2000 children nationally will fall into this category and no other children aged less than 16 years old are recommended to be vaccinated.
We have also received some queries from social care workers who have not yet been vaccinated via arrangements made through their employer. We have been advised that the National Booking System will now be made available to eligible social care workers to self-refer. Until 28 February, eligible social care staff will be able to self-book a vaccination at a vaccination centre online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
. You will need to self-declare at the point of booking and will be asked for identification and written authorisation when you attend for your vaccination appointment.
We were so relieved that the snow did not ruin our vaccination clinics last week and that we were able to proceed. Our thanks to all of you who braved the cold to attend! Our valiant staff and volunteers have done an amazing job despite the freezing temperatures.
We are continuing to visit truly housebound patients although we didn’t complete as many last week because of the weather. Our roving team are back on the road today…
By the end of this week, we expect to have administered just short of 10,000 vaccinations which is almost 30% of our registered patients which is great news but still a long way to go!
And finally, we are beginning to receive information about second doses so please look out for further information from us in the coming weeks. We expect to start giving second doses in 3-4 weeks’ time and are waiting for further information about delivery schedules. We will keep you posted regarding when invitations for second doses will be sent out.
As ever, thank you to everyone for the lovely feedback and comments we continue to receive regarding the vaccination programme – it’s great to know that you have felt safe and cared for when you have visited us for your vaccinations.
The Team at Holderness Health
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Important Information Regarding Appointments during the COVID-19 Pandemic
To help reduce any Coronavirus risks for patients and staff, we have made changes to our appointment booking systems. We will now be doing telephone triage for ALL patients requiring an appointment.
Telephone appointments can be made by ringing the surgery or via Patient Access (see below). Once you have been booked in, you will be called back by a clinician who will manage your care via telephone or video consultation. Only in exceptional circumstances will you be asked to attend the surgery for a face-to-face appointment.
If you wish to book a telephone appointment or order your medication online and already have online access, please click the Patient Access image below. If you want to register for online access for the first time, please do this through the NHS App – you can then use this for future bookings and prescription orders. Click here for instructions on how to register for the NHS App.
You can also obtain advice from the surgery by completing an online form. Just click on the Engage Consult logo below. Your submission will be reviewed by a clinician who will contact you within 24 working hours to advise you. Please do not use this route for any urgent issues. You can also make administrative requests through this system, for example, to request an ordinary sick note. (Please note that we cannot issue COVID-19 related sick notes and these must be obtained online from NHS 111 using this link: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note ). Please DO NOT use the online form to order your repeat prescription as we cannot accept requests via this route – you need to log in to Patient Access or order via the NHS App.
Information About Ordering and Collecting Your Prescription
The best way to order your prescription is online using Patient Access or the NHS App. See here for instructions about registering for the NHS App which you can do without having to come into the surgery.
As an alternative, you can drop your repeat prescription request into one of the postboxes located outside of all of our buildings.
Please only order on your normal cycle and do not attempt to ‘stock up’. This will help us ensure that everyone gets what they need, when they need it. You will now receive a text message to confirm that we have received your order – please allow 7 days from receiving this text before trying to come and collect your prescription.
For patients who have been advised to shield, we have set up an extended delivery service so that you will not have to come to the surgery to collect your prescription. For other patients, we will send a text when your prescription is ready to collect. All collections will be from either Hedon Group Practice in Hedon or St Nicholas’ Surgery in Withernsea. Other locations are currently closed for patient access.
Please, please, please DO NOT ATTEND the surgery to collect your prescription if you have a high temperature/fever or any cough, flu or respiratory symptoms - please send a nominated person to collect on your behalf.
The measures we have put in place aim to ensure that queue times are kept to a minimum and will help us to keep you safe.
Booking Telephone Appointments and Ordering Medications for Children and People You Care For
A system called ‘Proxy Access’ is now available to allow you to have online access to book telephone appointments or order repeat medication for your children and others you may be caring for. We hope that this will help make life easier and prevent unnecessary trips to the surgery.
Visit our Proxy Access web page (accessible on the right hand side of the screen) or click here for our Patient Information Leaflet which gives full details of how to apply and the application form to complete.
Further COVID-19 Information and Advice
If you are worried you may be affected by Coronavirus, please visit https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or call NHS 111 for further advice. Further information can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/