Grangewood 01246 748000 | Inkersall 01246 748000 | Rectory Road 01246 748000 | Ashgate 01246 232946 | Holme Hall 01246 211435 | Whittington 01246 232946

Coronavirus Information

Infrastructural Changes at Royal Primary Care to accommodate COVID-19

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we have taken urgent measures to protect our patients, staff and the most vulnerable in the community. Please read the information below and share with friends and family to help us get the message to as many patients as possible.

If you have Coronavirus symptoms:

  • a high temperature and/or
  • a new continuous cough

 you will be asked to stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days. 

DO NOT come to surgery, your local pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them that you are self-isolating unless you feel you cannot cope, your conditions gets worse or your symptoms do not get better in 7 days. If you are symptomatic and have an appointment booked, please DO NOT attend and cancel it. 

 

Booking Appointments with a GP/Nurse Practitioner

If you wish to make an appointment you must call the surgery rather than attend. If you attend surgery to make an appointment you will be asked to return home and call the surgery.  We know this will increase the volume of our calls and have therefore boosted the number of call handlers to help. We appreciate that there may still be a wait, but please bear with us and we will get to your call as soon as we can. 

When you call for an appointment, you will be placed on to a clinicians list for them to call you by phone. If the clinician feels it is appropriate to do so, you will then be booked in for a face to face appointment. For this reason, it is essential that you ensure we have your most up-to-date contact details.

 

Booking Appointments with our Nursing Team

To reduce risks to patients, we will not be booking patients in for non-urgent nursing team appointments.

 The nursing appointments that will continue in surgery are:

  • Childhood immunisations
  • Smears
  • Urgent Blood Tests
  • Removal of sutures

We are holding certain appointment types at specific sites to prevent cross-contamination.  This will mean that your appointment may not be at your usual site and whilst we appreciate this may not be convenient, in order to safely continue offering these appointments and protect the vulnerable, it is unavoidable.

Some appointments for example your annual review will be switched to telephone appointments which our reception team will advise you of.

 

Access to the Surgeries

From Tuesday 17th March, all surgery doors will be closed except for those patients that have been asked to attend following a telephone appointment. For surgeries with a pharmacy attached, the pharmacy will be open as normal but there will be no through access to the surgery from the pharmacy.

When coming for your appointment, we would strongly advise attending alone unless you require a carer.

 

Prescriptions

Following the government’s latest instructions, we anticipate that footfall to our surgeries will be minimal as strict instructions have been put in place for the general public to STAY HOME! We therefore recommend that you obtain your prescriptions via the following channels:

• Medicines Order Line - 01246 588860 (please note, this service is not yet available for our Ashgate, Holme Hall and Whittington surgeries) if you are struggling to get through to the Medicines Order Line due to unprecedented demand, you can now request a call back from them to order your prescription. For more information, click here.
• Online via SystmOnline – https://systmonline.tpp-uk.com
• Webform - If you are not signed up for online services, you can request your medication via Web Form on our website https://www.rpcchesterfield.co.uk/prescriptions or https://www.rpcclaycross.co.uk/prescriptions


As a last resort if you are struggling, our staff here at the surgery will accept your request over the phone, however you should make every effort to use the other channels first as we need to save our telephone lines for patients who require medical assistance.
You should only come to surgery if you have been instructed to do so by a clinician.

Please help us help you and STAY HOME so we can protect our NHS

If you normally collect your prescriptions from the surgery, your prescriptions will now be redirected to the pharmacy closest to your home postal address. You will be contacted by one of our prescription clerks who will make you aware that this has been done for you if you have recently put your prescription in to be processed. If you wish to change where your prescriptions are going, you can request this over the phone or this can alternatively be done online if you have access to our online system.

Coronavirus FAQs

Q: What do I need to do?

A: If you have symptoms of:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

You should stay at home and self-isolate 7 days. For more information on self-isolation, read here.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. 

If you do not have any Coronavirus symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate. It is however advisable for everybody to practice social distancing to reduce interaction between people in order to minimize the transmission of Coronavirus.For more information on social distancing, please read here.

 

Q: I have been in contact with somebody that has Coronavirus symptoms, what do I need to do?

If you do not have symptoms but you have been in contact with someone who has tested postive for Coronavirus, you should self-isolate for 14 days to avoid to prevent further contamination of others. For more information on self-isolation, read here.

 

Q: I am self-isolating, can I get a sick note for work?

A: By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. If you are self-isolating, you can download the HMRC Statutory Sick Pay form and get more information on sick pay here. Use this service if you have to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer.

 

Q: If the surgery doors are shut, how can I order my medication?

A: You can still order your medication through the usual channels. 

  • Via Medicines Order Line (for Grangewood, Inkersall and Rectory Road patients) - Call 01246 588860.  If you are struggling to get through to the Medicines Order Line due to unprecedented demand, you can now request a call back from them to order your prescription. For more information, click here.
  • Via SystmOnline - Repeat prescriptions can be ordered online through the SystmOnline portal here
  • Via Web Form - If you are not signed up for online services, repeat prescriptions can be ordered here 

As a last resort if you are struggling, our staff here at the surgery will accept your request over the phone, however you should make every effort to use the other channels first as we need to save our telephone lines for patients who require medical assistance.

If you normally collect your prescriptions from the surgery, your prescriptions will now be redirected to the pharmacy closest to your home postal address. You will be contacted by one of our prescription clerks who will make you aware that this has been done for you if you have recently put your prescription in to be processed. If you wish to change where your prescriptions are going, you can request this over the phone or this can alternatively be done online if you have access to our online system.

 

Q: Will the pharmacy deliver my medication?

A: Most pharmacies offer a service whereby they will deliver your medication to you, however, this will all need to be arranged and agreed through your nominated pharmacy. Please contact them for more information regarding this. The surgery cannot set this up for you.

 

Q: Can I get a "Rescue Pack" or "Just in case" medication?

A: No. We know there are a few posts on social media doing the rounds saying that if you suffer with respiratory problems such as Asthma or COPD or lung disease you can obtain a rescue pack from your GP just incase you become unwell. We will not be issuing rescue packs or "just in case" medications to patients unless you are unwell and have been assessed by a clinician who feels there is a clinical reason to do so.

  

Q: Will my appointment still go ahead?

A: If you have an appointment booked in, you will be notified of any changes to appointment. Whilst some appointments are being cancelled, we are trying our best to find alternative solutions. You may find that your face to face appointment is now a telephone call, or your appointment may still go ahead but be moved to a different surgery. We endeavour to keep our patients updated at every stage, it is therefore imperative that you ensure we have your most up-to-date contact details, so we can inform you if your appointment has been affected.

 

Q: Should I still take my prescribed medications if I have Coronavirus

A: Yes! You should not stop taking any of your prescribed medications unless told otherwise by a medical professional either at our practice, out of hours or a hospital

 

Q: Do I need to wear a mask

A: There has been no evidence to suggest that wearing a mask will protect you from the Coronavirus. The World Health Organisation recommends that only people with respiratory symptoms, or symptoms associated with Coronavirus, or anyone looking after someone showing signs of coronavirus, should wear a mask.

 

Q: There's so much information, how do I know what to believe?

 A: With so many media outlets reporting new information 24 hours a day, it's hard to know which information to believe. To keep up to date with the latest information we recommend using the following credible sources:

NHS 111 

NHS Online

Public Health England

World Health Organisation

Shielding FAQs

At the end of March the NHS wrote to those people considered to be at highest clinical risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) to inform them that they should stay at home at all times and avoid all face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks. This is set out in the Public Health England guidance published on 21 March 2020. This is known as ‘shielding’.

The GPs and hospital clinicians looking after people in these groups have also received letters informing them of the highest clinical risk group and have been asked to review their patient lists and to add in any patients they think should be on that list.

People falling into this highest clinical risk group include; Solid organ transplant recipient, people with specific cancers, people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD, people with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that signifi cantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell, people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection, women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

 

Q: I have received a letter telling me that I am at the highest clinical risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Why have I received this letter?

A: You have received this letter because you have been identified as having a condition(s), or are taking medication, or receiving treatment, that puts you at the highest risk of severe illness if you catch COVID-19. The list of highest risk diseases was agreed by the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officers and includes:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients

  2. People with specific cancers:

    • people with cancer and are having chemotherapy

    • people with lung cancer and are having radical radiotherapy

    • 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)

  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of

    infection

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

 

Q: I am in one of the highest clinical risk groups, so what do I do now?

A: You are strongly encouraged to follow the guidance issued by Public Health England, as set out in the letter you have received – stay at home and avoid all face-to face contact for the next 12 weeks. This approach is called ‘shielding’.

If you have any concerns/ queries about the content of the letter you have received; your condition, or ‘shielding’, and what this might mean for you, please get in touch with your GP or hospital clinician in the first instance. All people who have received the letter should register with the Government’s web https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable. This will help you to access support wih activities such as obtaining food packages or medications. Even if you do not need any support with daily tasks, please do register with this website to let Government know.

Please note that patients are being added to the central data base all the time and there may be a slight delay between you being added to that database and being recognized by the website/ support phone line as someone who is eligible for support.

 

Q: I think I should be considered as highest clinical risk, but I haven’t received a letter. What should I do?

A: Most people that are within the highest clinical risk group have already received a letter through the post. However, we are aware that central records do not capture everybody in this group. The process for identifying additional people who meet the clinical criteria but have not been identified through the initial central process is continuing. People identified through this process will receive a letter shortly. This list is also being reviewed by GPs and hospital clinicians.

In the meantime, please continue to follow the social distancing guidance, as published on 23 March 2020.

 

Q:I have been told that I am not considered to be at highest clinical risk, but I still want to be in the shielding group. What should I do?

A: If you are not considered by healthcare professionals to be at the highest risk but nevertheless wish to follow ‘shielding’ advice then this is a personal decision that you are, of course, free to make and to follow as far as possible.

However, we suggest that people who are not included in the shielding group but who are on the broader list of conditions (below) follow strict social distancing measures instead.

This is because shielding is a severe intervention which may be difficult to ad here to for such a long period of time, and the additional benefit gained from this extra measure needs to be weighed against any impact on your mental and physical wellbeing from a significant loss of social contact and needing to stay in the home for a long period of time. We do not wish to advise anybody to follow these measures unless absolutely necessary. We also cannot provide a dedicated food and medicine delivery service to those outside the shielding programme.

People who are considered in a wider vulnerable group (sometimes referred to as the ‘flu group’) but are not in the highest clinical risk registry are:

• aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)

• under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below(i.e. for adults this usually anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds)

A: If you have any queries/ concerns about the letter you have re ceived or think that you may have received it in error, please contact your GP or hospital clinician, as soon as possible, to discuss how you can stay safe during this time. In the meantime, we strongly advise that you follow the Public Health England guidance on shielding unless advised otherwise by a healthcare professional.

 

Q: I have had a telephone call from somebody claiming to be from the National Shielding Helpline. How do I know this is not a scam?

A: While you are at home ‘shielding’ a government support service may contact you by letter, email or telephone. This team is calling to understand your food and wellbeing support needs and will always identify themselves with their name and as a representative of the National Shielding Helpline.

To give you confidence, the number they’re calling from will register on your phone as 0333 3050466. It’s not a live telephone line, however if you call it you will get the following recorded message: “You were called today by the Shielding Helpline, sorry that we missed you, there is no need to call us back as we will try again soon. Thank you goodbye”.

Additionally, for extra peace of mind early on in the call agents from this service will ask you to confirm some details, for example your name and NHS number, to make sure they are speaking to the person identified by the NHS as extremely clinically vulnerable / highest clinical risk of COVID- 19. They will never ask you for information like your National Insurance number or bank details. Your local council may also be in touch.

 

Q: What support is being offered to people who are advised to shield?

A: It is expected that many people who have been identified as highest clinical risk and are now ‘shielding’, i.e. staying at home and avoiding all face-to-face contact, will have family members, or carers/friends/neighbours, who can help them out during the period in which they are required to stay at home, picking up essential food shopping/ medicines etc.

If you are at highest clinical risk, and have received a letter from the NHS, advising you to stay at home, you should register for support from the Government. Support is initially focused on provision of food packages and ensuring medication delivery where you have no other means to doso. Everybody who has a letter and is on the highest clinical risk list should go to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable. Even if you do not require support at this time, please register with the site so that we know that you have received your letter.

We know that not everybody will have people around to support them. Local councils are working with the voluntary sector and other partners to support people at highest clinical risk during this time. Please look at your local council’s website where you will find information and advice about support available in your area.

 

Q: If I am ‘shielding’ and must stay at home, can I still go outside, in the garden?

A: As set out in the Public Health England guidance, people should "try spending time with the windows open to let in the fresh air, arranging space to sit and see a nice view (if possible) and get some natural sunlight, or get out into any private space, keeping at least 2 metres away from your neighbours and household members if you are sitting on your doorstep".

 

Q: I think I am in the highest clinical risk group but I am not currently registered with a GP, and am not currently being cared for by a hospital specialist. How will I be contacted?

A: The NHS is making every effort to identify all individuals who we think should be on the highest clinical risk list. However, it is difficult for us to get in touch with individuals who are not registered with a GP or with a hospital service.

We are working with the voluntary sector to see if there is more we can do to identify people who are known to charities/ local community groups, so that we can get support to those who might be eligible.

 

Q: I am in the highest clinical risk group but do not want to follow the ‘shielding’ restrictions. What do I do now?

A: We understand that the restrictions imposed by ‘shielding’ are difficult, both for you and for your family members and/or carers. Public Health England has issued ‘shielding’ guidance, strongly advising you to stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact for 12weeks. This is the safest thing to do to protect you from illness/ complications of COVID-19.

However, this is guidance and whether you follow the guidance or not is a personal decision for you to make.

You may decide, having weighed up the risks and the implications of ‘shielding’, that you do not want to follow the guidance. Before deciding, we would ask you to discuss the matter with your GP or hospital specialist and those that may provide care for you. This may be particularly relevant for patients who are receiving end of life care. Please do talk to somebody before you decide what to do.

If, having discussed the matter with your GP or hospital specialist, you decide not to follow the ‘shielding’ guidance, we would ask you to follow the same social distancing and hygiene measures as everybody else, i.e.

  • Stay at home

  • Only leave home to buy food, for health reasons, or to go to work (if you cannot work from home)

  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people

  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Q: I live with a person who is ‘shielding’, but I am unable to socially distance from others because of my work (i.e. NHS, social care worker, education or other key worker), or the size/ layout of my home doesn’t allow me to live separately from the vulnerable person who is shielding. What do I do?

A:  If you live with someone who has been identified as being at highest clinical risk, you should read and familiarize yourself with the ‘shielding’ guidance below, and strictly follow social distancing guidance. The rest of the household should support the person shielding to stay safe and stringently follow guidance on social distancing, reducing their contact outside the home. In your home, you should:

  • minimise the time spent in shared spaces (kitchen, bathroom and sitting areas) and keep shared spaces well ventilated;

  • aim to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from others and encourage them to sleep in a different bed where possible;

  • use separate towels from other people in the house and, if possible, use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household, or clean the bathroom after every use;

  • avoid using the kitchen when others are present, take your meals back to your room to eat where possible, and ensure all kitchenware is cleaned thoroughly.

    If the rest of your household are able to follow this guidance, there is no need for them to take the full protective measures to keep you safe.

    All people who have a letter and have been identified at highest clinical risk should register for government support at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable. Even if you do not require support at this time, please register with the site. Please note that government support is only available to the individual who is at the highest clinical risk and has received a letter confirming this.

 

Q: I have received chemotherapy in the last three months - am I at highest clinical risk and should i be adopting shielding measures?

A: People’s immunity remains compromised for some time after finishing chemotherapy and clinical teams will be aware of this when considering their highest clinical risk patient lists.

If you have completed chemotherapy in the last 3 months, please contact your care team to discuss your specific circumstances.

In the mean time, you should follow the Public Health England guidance on ‘shielding’- in summary, stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact for a period of 12 weeks.

 

Q: Are people who are currently on targeted therapies for lung cancer classed as highest clinical risk to the same level as immunotherapy patients?

A: Both groups of people are considered to be at highest clinical risk from COVID-19.

People in these groups should follow the Public Health England guidance on ‘shielding’ – in summary, stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact for a period of 12 weeks.

 

Q: Are people with metastatic cancer in the lungs who are not currently being treated at highest clinical risk?

A: People with metastatic cancer in the lungs could be more vulnerable and therefore at highest clinical risk from Covid-19. Vulnerability will depend on the type of cancer and treatments that you have had. If you have not received a letter, please contact your care team to discuss your specific circumstances.

In the meantime, you should follow the Public Health England guidance on ‘shielding’ – in summary, stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact for a period of 12 weeks.

 

Q: Are people being shielded entitled to statutory sick pay for the whole time they are advised not to leave the house?

A15: The government has established a package of measures to support individuals who are not able to work during this pandemic – go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees for more information.

 

Q: I have received a letter for a family member or loved one who is deceased. Why have I received this letter?

A: We are aware that a very small proportion of letters sent by the NHS, notifying people that they are at highest clinical risk from COVID-19, have been sent to people who are sadly deceased. We apologise for any distress caused.For more information please go to: https://digital.nhs.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/coronavirus-letters-sent-in-error. You can also read the apology statement about letters sent in error to a cohort of patients: https://digital.nhs.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/coronavirus-letters-sent-in-error-message-to- family-members

 

Q: I have received a letter to say that I am at highest clinical risk, does this mean I will be de-prioritised for ventilation if I contract COVID-19 and require hospital care?

A: You were sent this letter to inform you that your condition, or the treatment/ medication you are receiving, means that you are at the highest clinical risk from COVID-19. The purpose of the letter is to draw your attention to the guidance issued by Public Health England regarding ‘shielding’ in order to keep you safe during this COVID-19 outbreak.If you fall ill from COVID-19, or any other condition, and require treatment in hospital, you will still be treated as normal and will not be denied any medical intervention because you are in the ‘shielding’ group.

 

Q: Where can I find an electronic copy of the letter sent to people considered to be at highest clinical risk?

A: A copy of the letter can be accessed through the NHS England website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/at-risk-patient- letter-march-2020.pdf

 

Q: Is the letter available in other languages or accessible formats?

A: An easy read version of the letter is available here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/2020325_Easy-Read_At-Risk-Patient-Letter.pdf

The letter is also available in alternative languages and are available here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/guidance-and-updates-for-gps-at-risk- patients/

The Public Health England guidance, which the letter is based on, is online and available in different languages and accessible formats here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

 

Q: I have received a text message telling me that I am at highest clinical risk. How do I know if this text is real or a scam?

A: NHS Business Services Authority have sent out a number of text messages from the ‘NHS coronavirusservice’. Daily text messages were sent from 23 to 29 March from the same number - 07307 810357. If your text does not come from this number, please ignore it.

 

Q: The text I have received does not name me as being the person at highest clinical risk. How do I know the text has gone to the right person?

A: We cannot include people’s names or other personal identifiable information in the text messages in case the mobile device or the number associated with it belongs t o someone else.This is in line with recent guidance published by NHSX in agreement with the Information Commissioners Office.If you are concerned that you may have received a text message in error, and/or have not received a printed letter, please review the guidance issued by Public Health England and/ or contact your GP or hospital specialist to discuss whether the advice provided applies to you.

 

NHS Immunisations FAQs

Q: Why aren’t you stopping routine immunisations?

A:Whilst preventing the spread of COVID-19 and caring for those infected is a public health priority, it is very important to maintain good coverage of immunisations, particularly in the childhood programme. In addition to protecting the individual, this will avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases that could increase further the numbers of patients requiring health services. 

 

Q: Should people/babies really still go and be immunised at their GP surgery even though there is a risk that by doing this they may be infected with COVID-19?

A: Your GP surgery or health clinic will take all possible precautions to protect you and your baby from COVID-19. People should still attend for routine vaccinations unless they are unwell (check with your GP whether you should still attend) or self-isolating because they have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. In these circumstances please rearrange your appointment.  Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent against other infectious diseases.  Babies and toddlers in particular need vaccinations to protect them from measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, diphtheria, whooping cough, meningitis, polio, tetanus, hepatitis B, TB and more.

 

Q:What are “routine” childhood immunisations?

A: The national immunisation programme is highly successful in reducing the incidence of serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as pneumococcal and meningococcal infections, whooping cough, diphtheria and measles. It remains important to maintain the best possible vaccine uptake to prevent a resurgence of these infections.

Practices will be prioritising the following:

  1. Routine childhood immunisations, from 8 weeks up to and including vaccines due at one year of age including first MMR and hepatitis B for at risk infants;
  2. Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy;
  3. Pneumococcal vaccination for those in risk groups from 2 to 64 years of age and those aged 65 years and over (subject to supplies of PPV23 and clinical prioritisation).

Neonatal BCG and all  doses of targeted hepatitis B vaccines should also be offered in a timely manner.

 

Q: If you are not doing school age immunisations, isn’t there a risk that we will see big increases in the diseases those children are normally vaccinated against?

A: School aged immunisations will be rescheduled. UK government has provided clear public health advice on specific measures to take to prevent further Coronavirus cases which includes social distancing. On this basis, community clinics are not recommended given that this is likely to increase the risk of exposure to the virus.

 

Q:Do GP surgeries really still have the time to do immunisations? 

A: Practices will be busy responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the routine childhood immunisation programme will continue to play an important role in preventing ill-health through causes other than coronavirus infection.

 

Q:How important is it that you get your immunisation at the time you are called?  Is there a risk in delaying for a few months and if there isn’t then why don’t we stop and reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 through a visit to the general practice?

A:Parents should be informed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that routine childhood immunisations are started and completed on time. This will help protect the infant or child from a range of serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Whilst infections such as invasive pneumococcal and meningococcal disease are now much reduced in incidence, this has only come about because of high levels of vaccination. To prevent resurgence, infants still need protecting through vaccination. Pertussis continues to circulate at elevated levels and it remains important that pregnant women are offered the pertussis vaccine, and that their babies start receiving protection against this, and other infections, from 8 weeks of age. 

 

Q: There is a shortage of liquid infant paracetamol which is often used by parents to help manage a baby’s reaction to their routine immunisations so won’t parents stop bringing their babies because of this?

A: Vaccination to protect from serious conditions should not be delayed. Whilst parents should continue to try to obtain and administer infant paracetamol if possible, infant vaccines can and should still be given even if it is not possible to give prophylactic paracetamol.

Where parents have been unable to obtain infant paracetamol, the following advice is for clinical staff in primary care and parents.

  • Fever can be expected after any vaccination but is more common when the MenB vaccine (Bexsero) is given with the other routine vaccines at eight and sixteen weeks of age.
  • In infants who do develop a fever after vaccination, the fever tends to peak around six hours after vaccination and is nearly always gone completely within two days.
  • Ibuprofen can alternatively be used to treat a fever and other post-vaccination reactions. Prophylactic ibuprofen at the time of vaccination is not effective. Ibuprofen is not licensed for infants under the age of 3 months or body-weight under 5 kg. However, the BNF for Children advises that ibuprofen can be used for post-immunisation pyrexia in infants aged 2 to 3 months, on doctor’s advice only, using 50 mg for 1 dose, followed by 50 mg after 6 hours if required. See the BNF for Children for more details https://bnfc.nice.org.uk/drug/ibuprofen.html#indicationsAndDoses
  • There have been concerns about the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, in relation to COVID-19. This is being investigated by the Commission on Human Medicines and NICE. NHS England have advised in the interim for patients who have confirmed COVID-19, or believe they have COVID-19, that they use paracetamol in preference to NSAIDs. If parents cannot obtain their own supply of infant paracetamol and it has not been possible to prescribe it, as their baby will have been assessed as being well before vaccination, providing their baby has fever only and no symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection, consideration should be given to using ibuprofen as described above. https://www.cas.mhra.gov.uk/ViewandAcknowledgment/ViewAlert.aspx?AlertID=103001
  • Information about treating a fever in children is available from the NHS UK webpage “Fever in children” at www.nhs.uk/conditions/fever-in-children/
  • If an infant still has a fever 48 hours after vaccination or if parents are concerned about their infant’s health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.
  • The diseases that the vaccines protect against are very serious and therefore vaccination should not be delayed because of concerns about post-vaccination fever.

 

Q: How will parents know when their babies have a temperature after their regular immunisations whether it is an expected reaction or COVID-19?

A: Parents should be advised that the vaccines given may cause a fever which is usually resolved within 48 hours (or 6 to 11 days following MMR). This is a common expected reaction and isolation is not required, unless COVID-19 is suspected.

When the MenB vaccine (Bexsero) is given with other vaccines at 8 and 16 weeks of age, fever is more common. Where parents are able to obtain liquid infant paracetamol, they should follow existing PHE guidance on the use of prophylactic paracetamol following MenB vaccination available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/menb-vaccine-and-paracetamol

Indications to date suggest that COVID-19 causes mild or asymptomatic illness in infants and children. As has always been recommended, any infant with fever after vaccination should be monitored and if parents are concerned about their infant’s health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111. Post-immunisation fever alone is not a reason to self-isolate.

This advice applies to recently vaccinated people of all ages.

Any infant with fever after vaccination should be monitored and if parents are concerned about their infant’s health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.

 

Q: Should people aged 70 and over attend the practice for immunisation?

A: It is recommended that PPV23 continues to be offered to eligible groups, including those aged 70 and over who have not previously been vaccinated. If an eligible individual aged 70 years and over attends the practice for other reasons, the opportunity to vaccinate them should be used. This may also present an opportunity to vaccinate them against shingles if they are eligible.

Understanding COVID-19

Below are some useful videos to help you understand what Coronavirus is and what you should be doing to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Explaining COVID-19 to Children

This is such a uncertain time for us all and it's a lot for adults to take in, so we can't imagine how confusing this must be for our children. If you've been struggling to explain what's happening to your little ones, the videos below are fabulous resources to help them to understand what is happening in the world right now and why it's important to stay home.

Treating yourself at Home

During this time it's really important that our patients make every effort to treat minor illnesses at home before contacting our surgery, where understandably our phone lines are extremely busy. There are a number of things you should do before contacting us to ascertain whether your condition is something you can treat at home or whether you will need to be seen by a clinician.

Becoming unwell can be a very scary experience, however if you understand more about the illness it can help you to feel more in control. We have listed below two useful resources for adults and children to give advice on what you need to do depending on your symptoms. Please make use of them not only during the COVID-19 outbreak but also year round to ensure that we are saving appointments for those patients who really need them.

Adults - 111 Online

111 online is a fast and convenient alternative to the 111 phone service and provides an option for people who want to access 111 digitally. 

It is one of several digital NHS services that are empowering people to manage their own health and care.

https://111.nhs.uk

Visit 111.nhs.uk, enter your age, sex, postcode and main symptom and you will then asked a series of questions about your health problem. 

You can: 

  • find out how to get the right healthcare in your area, including whether you need to see a GP or seek urgent care
  • get advice on self-care
  • get a call back from a nurse, doctor or other trained health professional if you need it

Children - HANDi App

If you child becomes unwell during this time or indeed anytime throughout the year, we highly recommend downloading the HANDi App.

The app has been developed by paediatric consultants and provides access to home care plans, as well as GP and hospital clinical guidelines, for the most common childhood health care conditions:

  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • ‘Chesty baby’ illnesses, such as bronchiolitis, asthma and croup
  • ‘Chesty child’ illnesses, such as wheezing and asthma
  • High temperature
  • Abdominal pain
  • Common newborn problems

For those with an iPhone please either click https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/handi-taunton/id969445171?mt=8  or alternatively search for HANDi Paediatric on the Apple App Store.

For those with an Android phone please either click https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.myoxygen.handi.taunton or alternatively search for HANDi Paediatric on the Google Play Store.

Support for your long term condition during COVID-19

Here we have collated a list of useful resources to support you with your long term condition during the Coronavirus pandemic, from information regarding how Coronavirus affects your condition to support lines and apps, we've included everything we think you might need to better support and inform you on how to self-manage at home.

 

COPD/ Emphysema/ Bronchitis

Asthma

Chronic Kidney Disease 

 

Sickle Cell

 

HIV

 

Cancer

 

Diabetes

 

Chronic Liver Disease

 

Chronic Neurlogical Disease

Looking after your Mental Health during COVID-19

In this time of uncertainty and change, it's normal for us to feel scared, anxious or depressed. For those with pre-existing Mental Health conditions, the current climate may trigger some of these emotions, and for those that don't have pre-existing Mental Health conditions the current climate may trigger some of these emotions for the first time, and that alone can be a scary experience. If you find yourself struggling with your Mental Health, please contact the surgery who can book you in for a telephone consultation with one of our experienced Mental Health practitioners. 

The BBC have put together a useful artical on how to protect your Mental Health during COVID-19 which you can read here

Below is a list of helplines and support groups who can offer expert advice.

Anxiety UK

Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)

Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

Bipolar UK

A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.

Website: www.bipolaruk.org.uk

CALM

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Men's Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.

Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Mental Health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Website: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Mind

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Website: www.mind.org.uk

No Panic

Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.

Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider's Access Charge

Website: www.nopanic.org.uk

OCD Action

Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.

Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider's Access Charge

Website: www.ocdaction.org.uk

OCD UK

A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.

Phone: 0333 212 7890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.ocduk.org

PAPYRUS

Young suicide prevention society.

Phone: HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm, and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays)

Website: www.papyrus-uk.org

Rethink Mental Illness

Support and advice for people living with mental illness.

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.rethink.org

Samaritans

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers. 

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

Website: www.sane.org.uk/support

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

Phone: Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)

NSPCC

Children's charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.

Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)

0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.nspcc.org.uk

Refuge

Advice on dealing with domestic violence.

Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.refuge.org.uk

Your NHS needs YOU!

NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak. To do this we need an 'army' of volunteers who can support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well. Our doctors, nurses and other professionals will be able to refer people in to NHS Volunteer Responders and be confident that they have been matched with a reliable, named volunteer. 

You can help by signing up for one or more of the tasks listed below. Once you have registered and checks are complete you will be provided a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app. Switch the app to 'on duty', and you'll see live and local volunteer tasks to pick from nearby.
 
Here are the ways you can support:

Community Response volunteer:
This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home.

Patient Transport volunteer: This role supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring that they are settled safely back in to their home.

NHS Transport volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites, it may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.

Check-in and Chat volunteer: This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.

This programme enables volunteers to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, which is permitted under the new rules announced by the Government on 23rd March 2020. Volunteers may be asked to show the active task they are responding to if asked.

Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone.

Your safety is our priority. The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance through our 'getting started pack'. If you do become ill you can pause your volunteering.

Patient transport drivers will require an enhanced DBS check and will receive guidance to do this role safely, also included within the 'getting started pack'.

To sign up, click or for more information, click here

Support Services for Young People and Families

With schools closed for the foreseeable future we know that this can be a tough time for both parents and children. Please find below a list of useful resources if you find yourself needing support in this difficult time:

  • Chat Health: 07507329952 (text)
  • Parent Line: 07520619919 (text)
  • Advice Line – 0115 8834661 / 0115 8834663

Chesterfield Citizens Advice

Our Citiziens Advice Workers that hold clinics here in surgery are currently working from home and therefore we cannot book appointments with them for our patients. However if you do need some help or advice you can contact the Citizens Advice team on 0300 456 8437. 

Their advice line is open 10am-2pm Monday to Friday, and they have extra advisers logged in to take your call while their outreaches and offices are closed.

Nationally, the Citizens Advice website has lots of information on a wide variety of topics:

 

Changes to Integrated Sexual Health re: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There have temporarily been some changes to the integrated sexual health services in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and to protect their staff, patients and local communities. 

At this time, you are unable to use the "walk-in" service at the Wheatbridge clinic in Chesterfield, only urgent booked appointments and emergency coil fittings will take place in the clinic. All patients will be triaged via the information and booking line: 0800 328 3383.

The Saturday clinics and community sexual health (peripheral) clinics are currently closed.

If you need Sexual Health advice during this time visit Your Sexual Health Matters website www.yoursexualhealthmatters.org.uk for:

The following services are currently suspended until further notice:

  • Vasectomy services
  • Psychosexual Counselling
  • Sexual Health Promotion
  • All routine LARC services, including replacements and new fittings. People will be advised during telephone triage of bridging methods (postal condoms will be coming online imminently, so we can signpost to people to oral contraception online and the postal condoms-both can be ordered via our website).
  • Pregnancy & TOP advice. All patients will be signposted to the acute services.