Update on the Covd-19 Booster Programme
Message to our patients – update on the COVID-19 booster programme
Across Somerset the NHS and its partners are working extremely hard to roll out the COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to our communities.
All adults are eligible from Monday 13 December, and you will be able to book via the National Booking System from Wednesday 15 December.
You can book your booster for 3 months from the date of second vaccine, and you can access the National Booking System to book the appointment from 2 months.
We are working at pace to increase the availability of appointments so that there are plenty of options for people on the National Booking System. Some local vaccination services may will also contact patients directly.
New appointments are being added every day across our vaccination services. Further availability will come online from Wednesday 15 December.
We will be working with all of our sites to take further steps to increase what they can offer again, including opening later and on more days.
All of these appointments will be added to the National Booking System and so we encourage everyone who is aged 18 and over, is yet to have their booster and who is approaching 3 months from your second vaccine to use the National Booking System to arrange your appointment when you are able to do so.
In terms of any planned appointments with Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre, there are no changes at the current time and everyone should attend your planned appointments as normal. If we need to make any changes, we will contact you directly.
Welcome to Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre & Westonzoyland Surgery
Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre & Westonzoyland Surgery provide the highest quality healthcare to patients in the area. Our aim is to provide friendly, personal and comprehensive health care for you and your family.
Our surgery is fully accessible for disabled patients and the practice has a portable hearing aid loop available for use in consulting rooms.
Registered at a local Practice and thinking of changing surgery?
There have been many media campaigns recently highlighting the pressure the NHS is under as well as the shortage of GPs, Nurses and the longer waiting times for GP appointments – indeed across all NHS services at the moment. This is worse in Bridgwater due to the sudden closure of Victoria Park Medical Centre.
The routine wait for appointments is 3-4 weeks at the moment. We all appreciate that you may feel let down by your practice if you have to wait for a few weeks for routine GP appointments. We don’t like it either and it is not the service we want to provide to you. The increasing demand for GP services and shortage of GPs and nurses is putting increasing pressure on all our practices.
It can be tempting to think about registering at another local practice if you believe you will get seen quicker. However, this is unlikely as all practices are experiencing the same problems. In fact, by moving practice your care will be affected as you will lose the continuity of care and the relationship you have built up. It also creates additional work for the practice you leave and your new practice, which makes the problem worse.
We all have a part to play in protecting GP practices and our NHS. We all need to ensure that we access services appropriately. These are a few things you can do to help:
- Visit www.patient.co.uk or www.nhs.uk for health advice and information. They provide information that the GPs trust.
- Self help support for depression, anxiety and other similar problems can be found for free at: http://selfhelpguides.ntw.nhs.uk/somerset/
- If you have a minor ailment, such as a sore throat, cough, cold, athletes foot, hayfever, rather than ask for a GP appointment you could seek advice from a pharmacist. Their ‘Minor Ailments’ scheme often means they can dispense medications at no cost to you.
- If you have a query concerning your medication, you can also seek help from your pharmacist, rather than your GP.
- If you are not housebound, please do not request a Home Visit from your GP. This reduces the time they are in the practice which reduced the number of patients they can see.
- Cancel any unwanted appointments so that they can be booked by another patient.
- For all dental problems, please contact your dentist.
- If you have an acute eye problem, such as flashes, floaters or a foreign body, contact the local ACES Service –
- please contact Specsavers 01278 452245, Turners Optometrists 01278 422978, or East Quay Vision – 01278 440440
All the practices in Bridgwater area want to provide the best service we can within the resources we have available and to do this we need all of our patients to be reasonable and responsible in their use of our services and all services in the NHS.
PATIENT ACCESS EMAILS
We advise users of Patient Access to check the name and email address of the sender. All emails from Patient Access will come via an email address that ends in @patientaccess.com. We advise users never to click on any log in links that you receive via email but to visit the site via the address bar of your browser instead so that you know you are on the genuine Patient Access log in page. You can find more information and guidance on our information security page here: https://www.patientaccess.com/security
We strongly advise users to set up their Memorable Word security feature, as well as using biometrics (fingerprint ID) if they use the app.
Email addresses used to register for Patient Access account are secure. We do not share any data and no data is ever saved or stored on any device you use to access Patient Access.
SURGERY UPDATE FROM 19TH JULY 2021
From July 19th, whilst the government have made it no longer mandatory to wear face coverings indoors, this change does not apply to healthcare settings. As a busy GP surgery, we will frequently have the more vulnerable population in our building (eg. The elderly, patients suffering from cancer and chronic disease, those on immunosuppression and those who were not able to be vaccinated from Covid-19).
As a result, our expectation remains that all patients/visitors to the GP surgery should wear a face covering when inside the Surgery to help protect the more vulnerable patients who need our help unless there is a medical reason to be exempt. This is particularly important at this time as local and national Covid-19 cases are seeing a huge increase which will only worsen when existing restrictions are relaxed.
We would ask you to see wearing a mask not necessarily as a measure to protect yourself but more to protect those around you who are more vulnerable. This also extends to our staff as any isolation required due to Covid will have a big impact on the service we can provide our patients including unforeseen cancellation of appointments.
We thank you for your understanding.
If you find it difficult to request your prescriptions, you may like to consider using our online request system on our website to order your medication, as you can request your items at any time of day or night. This will also save you time queuing on the Prescription Line as we are very busy.
Please follow this link
As you know we need two working days to process prescription requests. We manage hundreds of requests each day and this time is needed, for reasons of patient safety, to ensure that medication is appropriately prescribed.
NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
Please do not call or turn up at the surgery or the local hospital, to enquire about COVID vaccinations.
We know that patients and all health and care staff are eager to find out when they will receive their COVID vaccination. Please be assured that we will contact you directly, when it is your turn to book your vaccination and we will answer all your questions at your appointment.
The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those people who experts have agreed will benefit from it the most and we are systematically working through all eligible groups according to the national priorities.
Health and care teams across Somerset are working exceptionally hard to roll out our local vaccination programme in Somerset in line with the JCVI’s prioritisation and we are continuing to vaccinate people aged 80 and over, care home residents and staff, as well as widening out the offer to frontline health and social care staff.
Please continue to attend any vaccination appointments as planned. If there are any changes we will contact you direct – please do not call the surgery. We will be able to answer all your questions when you come for your appointment.
A message from the Partners at Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre
As you are all aware, we are in unprecedented times, we are in the middle of a public health emergency that requires us all to work together to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Due to the coronavirus outbreak how you contact us will be different at the moment. This is to limit face-to-face contact whenever possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus. For now, the majority of appointments will be over the telephone but we remain open and if you need to see your GP please ring us on (01278) 433335. Urgent cases will be brought to the surgery for assessment but this will be discussed on an individual basis. We would urge all patients to attend the surgery ONLY if you have a planned appointment. This is a measure to protect all of our patients. It is of vital importance that we all listen to Public Health Advice regarding social distancing and self isolation for those who have symptoms or who have symptoms within the household. It is the only way of slowing the spread and protecting our loved ones. Everyone here at Cranleigh Gardens is working very hard to serve our patients and our community and we would appreciate your understanding during this difficult time. Many thanks. Stay safe, and please look out for each other.
Drs S Pal, A Pal, C Dillon and A Tottenham
For self certification certificates: http://ow.ly/lzOO50yQKib
If you need a note for self isolation: http://ow.ly/hMcg50yQKie
Self-isolation if you or someone you live with has tested positive for coronavirus
Social Distancing is vital to protect everyone from the spread of Covid-19 but particularly more vulnerable patients like the elderly, patients with cancer, the immuno-suppressed and patients with underlying health conditions which include diabetes, COPD, heart conditions and asthma. Please take it seriously as it will save lives.
We are letting you know about a very useful website called Germ Defence which was created by a team of doctors and scientists to give you advice that has been proven to reduce the spread of viruses in the home. It can help you plan how to protect yourself and members of your family from infection by COVID-19 and ‘flu.
It’s easy to use and only takes 10 minutes - just click on this link:
(If this link does not open when you click on it, please copy and paste it into your web browser.)
Please pass details of the Germ Defence website to your friends and family.
There’s a button at the bottom of the Germ Defence website for sharing by social media.
If you’d like to know more:
- Over 20,000 people previously took part in research about Germ Defence
- People who followed the advice in Germ Defence had fewer and less severe illnesses - and so did the people they lived with
Results of the study were published in The Lancet medical journal
- Germ Defence has been updated with COVID-19 advice to help prevent a wave of COVID-19 and ‘flu this Autumn/Winter
- Information about how the Germ Defence website is being evaluated is available here.
Changes during Covid-19 pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, primary care services are working in a different way to prevent the spread of the disease and protect patients and staff, while still providing essential services. Where patients are advised that a face-to-face appointment is necessary, services have taken measures to minimise risk to patients and staff.
If you or someone you live with HAS coronavirus symptoms (new continues cough OR fever OR loss of/change in smell or taste)
- Stay at home
- If your symptoms worsen or you feel that you cannot manage at home, please refer to the NHS111 online coronavirus service. If you can't get help online, call 111
- Please do not go to your GP Practice, Community Pharmacy, Dental Practice or Optician
If you, or people you live with, DON'T HAVE coronavirus symptoms and you think you need primary care help and advice, don't delay:
- GP Practices are there to help you get the care and advice you need
- To protect you from coronavirus, your GP Practice will try to help you remotely as much as possible:
- Contact the Practice, either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed. Find out more here: https://www.nhs.uk/health-at-home/
- You will be assessed and as far as possible you will receive advice or care via a video consultation, or over the phone
- If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, you will be advised on what to do. GP Practices have measures in place to minimise any risk from coronavirus
Please do not enter the Practice unless you have been advised to. This will ensure they can continue to provide essential care safely.
Hospital Investigations and Results
If you have had an investigation arranged by a hospital consultant or in a specialist clinic it is the responsibilty of that hospital to provide you with the result of that test.
- Your GP will not receive that test result directly unless it is included in a letter to you, the patient
- The GP will get that letter at the same time that you do as they are posted at the same time
- Specialist tests often require clinical interpretation. This may include discussion at a multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT), which may occur only once a week.
- If you are concerned about a test result or delay in getting the result please contact the secretary of the consultant or speciality who ordered it at the hospital
- If you have a letter, please use the telephone number provided on the letter. If you do not have a letter, please telephone Musgrove Park hospital switchboard on: 01823 333444.
Our aim is to provide all our patients with comprehensive healthcare services of the highest quality within available resources.
- To provide excellence in patient care for each individual and family.
- Each patient to be given care that recognises the individual.
Temporary change to fit notes
For Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), where employees go off sick on or after 10 December 2021, employers can only ask employees for proof of sickness (such as a fit note) after 28 days of sickness (including non-working days). Proof of sickness cannot be requested earlier than 28 days.
Fit notes do not have to be provided for DWP benefit claims until 27 January. This will not affect claims to benefit.
These changes are to give GP’s more time to work on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) booster programme.
If you are concerned about your health condition, you should continue to see your GP.