Category Archive News

Queens Platinum Jubilee Extended Bank Holiday Weekend Practice Closures

A special extended Bank holiday weekend for the Queens Platinum Jubilee means we are closed on Thursday 2nd June to Sunday 5th June – re-opening as normal on Monday 6th June.

Please remember to order any medication needed to cover this period by 30th May 2022.

If you need medical advice during this period you can:

Visit your pharmacy. Your local pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints. Opening times for local Pharmacies can be downloaded

or you can visit NHS Choices.

Access NHS 111. If you need urgent medical advice but your condition is not life threatening, simply visit 111.nhs.uk, enter your age, sex, postcode and main symptom, and then you will be guided through a series of questions about your health problems.

To access the service via phone, simply dial 111 from any mobile or landline free of charge and you will be put through to an operator who will run through a few questions regarding your health problem in order to get you the right care.

A&E or 999. For a genuine medical emergency including; loss of consciousness, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, persistent and or/severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot

be stopped call 999 or go to your nearest A&E.

Serious Shortage Protocol for HRT gels

The NHSBSA have released new Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) for HRT products.

The SSPs apply to Oestrogel pump gel, Sandrena 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets and Lenzetto spray.

Pharmacies are now allowed to switch patients to patches if they are unable to obtain a supply of the gels.

Pharmacies are also allowed to restrict the quantities to 3 months’ supply without contacting the prescriber.

Local pharmacies have been contacted to ensure they are aware of the SSPs.

Please note that you do not need to contact your GP, your Pharmacist will be able to look into this for you.

Important information regarding the Covid-19 Booster Vaccines

It was announced on Sunday, 12 December 2021, that the NHS will offer a booster vaccination booking to every adult by the end of December in response the Omicron variant.

Please note that you should not contact your GP Practice to book your booster jab, you should use the National Booking Service or call 119. Some vaccination sites may offer a walk-in service but the best way to ensure you get a jab is to make an appointments through the nationals booking service.

General practice is working hard to support the covid-19 vaccination programme, but we are still here for you but the way you access care may be different:

  • Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients where there is a clinical need. You will be asked to first discuss your conditions over the phone or online with a member of the healthcare team to assess what would be most appropriate for you and which practice member would best provide it.
  • Most common conditions can be assessed and diagnosed by your doctor by telephone or video consultation. They are experienced and skilled in doing this. Using technology like this will help to protect you, your family and loved ones – and GP practice staff from the potential risk of the virus.
  • General practice services are extremely busy and are working hard to treat as many patients as possible.

Proof of Medical Exemption – Covid-19 Vaccination

Some individuals are unable to be vaccinated and also, in some cases, tested for medical reasons. You can apply for proof that you have a medical reason why you should not be vaccinated or why you should not be vaccinated and tested.

If you get this proof of medical exemption you’ll be able to use the NHS COVID Pass wherever you need to prove your COVID-19 status within England.

Until 24 December 2021, you can self-certify that you’re medically exempt if you work or volunteer in a care home.

Some businesses in England choose to use the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry. Until 24 December, businesses can decide whether to allow in people who self-declare that they’re medically exempt.

From 25 December, if you’re unable to get vaccinated, you’ll have to use the NHS COVID Pass in the same way that people who are fully vaccinated use it.

For full information on the requirements for proof regarding being exempt from Covid-19 vaccination please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-medical-exemptions-proving-you-are-unable-to-get-vaccinated

Clarification on Covid Face Covering Exemption Cards/Certificates

With the new legal requirements regarding face coverings coming into effect in England, we thought it might be useful to explain when and who requires a covid exemption card/certificate.

If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering:

  • You do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this
  • You do not need to show an exemption card

This means that you do not need to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about your reason for not wearing a face covering.

However, if you feel more comfortable showing something that says you do not have to wear a face covering, this could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or sign. Carrying an exemption card or badge is a personal choice and not required by law.

If you wish to use an exemption card or badge, you can download and print out or show these templates: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Exemptions from face coverings

In settings where face coverings are required in England, there are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear them, so please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances.

Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • children under the age of 11 (The UK Health and Security Agency does not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
  • people speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • to avoid the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public

There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering:

  • if asked to do so in a bank, building society, or post office for identification
  • if asked to do so by shop staff or relevant employees for identification, for assessing health recommendations (for example by a pharmacist) or for age identification purposes, including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
  • in order to take medication

Have trust in your GP surgery receptionist

GPs across South Cheshire and Vale Royal are urging us to talk to their receptionist, to make sure you get the right help, which may not necessarily be from your GP surgery.

Services are constantly changing and, in many circumstances, your GP may not be the best person you need to see. 

Reception teams across South Cheshire and Vale Royal have undertaken additional special training to make sure you can get to the right Healthcare Professional to treat your needs.

This is called ‘Care Navigation’, where your receptionist or care navigator will ask why you are contacting the practice, to make sure you get the right care sooner.

Dr Annabel London, GP and Clinical Lead for Primary Care at NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Vale Royal CCG, said: “My main message is to have trust in your receptionist, they’re bound by the same rules of confidentiality as I am, so they’re not asking questions to be nosey.

“Through the specialist training, they will be able to direct you to the best person or service who can treat your condition or help with the reason why you’re calling.

“An example would be back pain – if you ask for a GP appointment but don’t say why, you could wait to see your GP. When you see your GP they would direct you to self-refer to a physiotherapist as the best person to treat your condition.  With Care Navigation, if you tell the care navigator a few of your symptoms, they can advise you how to self refer straight to physiotherapy without waiting to see a GP to be aware of this.  

“You get the treatment you need sooner, allowing a GP appointment to be used by a patient who can only see a GP.”

The Care Navigator might suggest you see an alternative health care professional such as:

  • a Dentist
  • a Midwife from the local Maternity Services
  • a Pharmacist from your Community Pharmacy
  • a Physiotherapist
  • a Clinician from Sexual Health
  • other local support services

Care navigators will continue to receive ongoing training to support them in developing their role and skills.

Dr London added: “Please, help us to help you by answering the questions from the care navigator get you the right care in the right place and at the right time.”

Patient Research Experience Survey – The Results

A few months ago The National Institute for Health Research asked for feedback on the patient of clinical research taking place in the NHS.

Thank you to all those that took part, your responses will help improve the way clinical research is delivered in the NHS. You can view the final report below.

Patient Research Experience Survey – Final Report