New COVID Vaccine
Everyone is excited that there is progress on a Covid vaccine and that this should improve the quality of life for us all. Like all GP practices, our surgery is committed to caring for you in the best possible way whilst keeping both you and the practice team safe. Similarly, they are working hard to ensure that they are prepared to act and inform you as soon as more information becomes from NHS England.
• Three Covid vaccines have been announced and the Pfizer vaccine has just been authorised for use in the UK, the other two have not yet been licensed– but this is expected soon.
• NHS England have said that there will be some large Vaccination Centres and some mobile units to deliver and administer the vaccines. It is not yet known what there will be in our area.
• Implementation issues are being addressed by NHS England. Once they have finalised arrangements, they will let us know locally.
• The expectation is that the vaccinations will not start for most people until 2021 and it will take some time to vaccinate everyone who is eligible.
Meanwhile, we should to follow advice of hand-washing, face masks and social distancing.
The surgery is noticing a trend in the number of patients reluctant to get a COVID test when they have symptoms. There seems to be an impression that it “is not really in this area” or “I know it’s not COVID”
Getting a test now is much easier than it was. You can book a test easily online or via 119.
Please do not ignore COVID symptoms.
- A fever
- A new continuous cough
- A loss of taste or smell
If you experience any of the above (It does not have to be all and it can be more), you MUST book a test.
If you test positive, you can still contact the surgery for help in dealing with your symptoms and for monitoring. In the first instance contact the surgery online or by telephone if you are unable to do so online. Please do not just turn up in person at the surgery. The doctor will still examine you if necessary and will do this in a segregated room or they can see you in your car dependent on the nature of the examination needed. The doctor will be wearing full PPE.
Home monitoring of patients over the age of 65 for Oxygen saturation can be arranged. An easy to use piece of equipment can be loaned which will involve sending results to the surgery three times a day. This is one of the most effective ways of checking how your body is coping with the virus.
Virtual Patient Group
The PPG has recently been reviewing its role and is aiming to become a nimbler, more active group. To this end, we are incorporating the role of the Virtual Patient Group (VPG), which has been dormant for a while, and would like to enlarge it and make it more representative of the demography of patients. VPG members will receive most of the communications from the PPG via email and they will be encouraged to be active in helping communicate messages and providing feedback to the PPG/Surgery. Essentially VPG membership will be little different from the PPG except for attending meetings and voting on matters of policy.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the VPG then please contact the PPG as below.
The Surgery will be open as usual on Christmas Eve and will be shut on December 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th. During this period patients should us the 111 service. Please do not use the online service unless you can wait until Tuesday 29th December for a response.
You can contact the PPG via email; firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chair of the PPG.