Elgar House Surgery Newsletter April 2021
Our aim is to assist our patients to achieve a state of wellbeing, using the best primary and secondary health care available to us.
A retirement messaged from Dr Pike
In January 1990 I started work as a partner with Drs Ritchie, Ridgway, Ford, Johnstone, Cooper and Williams, when the practice was still based in the far left corner of the Smallwood Health Centre. Just over 31 years later I shall be leaving Elgar House in ther very capable hands of Drs Newman, Smith and Shah when I retire at the end of April. It has been a fascinating and hugely rewarding career, and I shall certainly miss the practice and patients, but it is the right time for me to step aside and for the practice to move on from the pandemic in the next few years and to a changed way of working.
I must take this opportunity to thank you, our patients, for your help and support for me, and for the whole practice throughout the last 31 years, and especially in the past 12 months as we have had to change the way we work completely. Your willingness to allow us to move to much more work by phone and video link, and far greater use of messaging has given us the ability to continue to offer the best service we can for everyone. I speak for everyone in thanking you for your patience and understanding.
I am now looking forward to new challenges in retirement, and will always have very fond memories of my time here. I am also very pleased to let you know that the partnership is growing, with both Dr Bulchandani and Dr Bergin taking on new partnerships from the beginning of April.
Dr Bulchandani has been with us now for four years, starting out as a locum, but very quickly becoming a fully committed GP in Elgar House. Dr Bergin has been with us for the past three years. Both have been a huge support to the practice and will make very capable and enthusiastic partners themselves complementing the skills of the existing partners very well and setting Elgar House up for success as we all emerge from the Covid pandemic in the coming months.
Before I sign off I also need to thank the entire practice team who work so hard to keep the practice running as smoothly as possible, from Michelle Hallahan and the management team to Elaine James and Sam Giles and the Nurses and Health Care Assistants, Rebecca Wilson and the whole front of house team, and everyone who has worked with me during my time here. I am so grateful to everyone, staff and patients alike, and so pleased to be leaving the practice in such good shape for the challenges to come.
Thank you for your time,
Update on COVID 19
Patients are still required to wear a face covering when visiting Elgar House and follow government guidelines. Whilst patients can not currently book appointments online due to coronavirus, there are still options to contact us.
Patients can continue using the service via:
- Telephone 0152769261
- Online Consultations
- Our website
- Email- M81002.email@example.com
Opening times are 08:00- 18:30 Monday to Friday.
From the 9th April, the vaccination program highlighted significant updates in relation to the AstraZeneca vaccine. JCVI advise that individuals under 30 should be offered an alternative, due to new indications of blood clots.
Lateral flow device kits are now available for all members over 18, who are not symptomatic. More information on this will be added to our website in due course.
Practice Pharmacy Team
Elgar House Surgery is pleased to welcome two of our newest team members Sam and Sophie.
Having worked as a community pharmacist for 11 years, Sam is now taking on a new challenge here with us. Her main duties will be monitoring medication, helping patients with any medication queries, and issuing prescriptions. She plays a part in syncing medication so that patients can request more than one prescription at one time and will check quantities and dates to help out where possible.
When out of office, Sam has an eye for cake baking and achieves a work life balance by creating delicious cakes.
We are also delighted to welcome our new apprentice technician Sophie, who is working alongside Sam. Sophie’s training will be a 2 year course, with both on the job and coursework involvement.
Sophie covers general practice and pharmacy tasks throughout, ensuring that she monitors medication, assists with patient requests and produces clinical letters.
With both of their friendly and caring approaches, we are excited for their contribution to the team.
Pharmacy on site
Patients can also access the pharmacy located in the surgery to collect repeat prescriptions that have been requested by a doctor. This can take up to 48 hours to process after requested. Opening times are 08:15- 18:30 Monday to Friday.
Patient Access is a convenient way of looking after your healthcare. It gives you remote access to GP services via computer or downloading the mobile app. This will enable you to book GP appointments, order prescriptions and directly message us. This minimises risk with face to face contact and is ideal for those self-isolating.
Patients over 16 are able to contact the practice with general health concerns, using the online consultation forms. This can be found on the main website under online forms. Please note that this is not for emergencies.
There will be several questions to go through, which determines whether the method is appropriate for your problem/queries.
You can also access specific assessments or reviews, such as contraceptive pill and asthma review.
Telephone call back
Due to an increase in calls, we have set up a call back system that allows patients to hold their position in the telephone queue. By selecting the requested keypad option, you can leave us to contact you and avoid waiting time.
If you would like an alternative way to requesting prescriptions, you can email M81002.firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need to state your name, date of birth, address, and name of medication. A member of the team will then respond to you as soon as they can. This email can also be used to complete registration forms and temporary patient registrations. Additional information for this can be found on the home page of our website.
Patients may receive a text message from us on numerous occasions, such as confirmation messages, being updated and informed on important information, or so that we can assist you with photos. If the request for a reply is in place, please ensure that this is actioned. The option to attach photos or documents into your replies is available, by clicking on a link that is sent in the message.
Thank you for reading our newsletter.
If you have any ideas or suggestions on how we can improve the service we offer to our patients please come into surgery and fill out a suggestion form or contact us via our website.
If you would like to receive this newsletter by email please register at reception or on our website.
Information about ReSPECT
Elgar House Winter Newsletter December 2020
Shielding advice for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people
The Government has reintroduced shielding advice for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people across all areas of England from the 5th January 2021. This shielding advice is expected to be identical to that which was in place nationally from 5th November to 2nd December 2020. This advice does not alter if an individual has received the COVID-19 vaccination.
The Government will be writing to all individuals in England to inform them of the advice and support available. It is expected that Government will also be sending text messages and emails to affected patients where the NHS holds the relevant contact information.
We know that this may be a difficult and worrying time for people. We anticipate that patients may have questions about the advice they should follow. We are very grateful for your continued efforts in supporting those at highest risk from COVID-19 during the pandemic and will continue to provide further updates as necessary.
Worcestershire County Council - Covid-19 update January 2021
I know that the news of a new lockdown for England, will be frustrating and upsetting for many people. Worcestershire has tried very hard to keep Covid-19 cases down, and many of you have made sacrifices to protect yourselves and others. We have all had to make changes to the way we live our lives in recent months, and that included over Christmas, when so many were not able to spend time with loved ones.
But some stark realities remain for us all. Worcestershire’s infection rates are at the highest we have ever seen. In the past 7 days alone, the county has 1,888 positive Covid-19 cases, which is more than all positive cases seen during May, June, July, August and September 2020 combined. I am concerned about this level of spread, and the risk it poses to our health and the lives of our vulnerable and elderly residents. We need to act now to protect one another, prevent the virus spreading further and reduce the demand on our hospitals.
The pandemic continues to dominate our daily lives, cases are rising nationally and we know the new variant of Covid-19 spreads very quickly. Our NHS is also facing considerable pressure on its services. All of these factors have led to the government’s announcement of a new lockdown across England. This means once again, we are facing tough restrictions on our way of life. I know this is hard, but by doing as we are asked, we are saving lives. The restrictions have been brought in to protect every one of us.
Please now stay at home, don’t go out unless you need to, for example to buy food or collect medicines. The Government has set out the clear limitations of the lockdown and I ask you to read the restrictions and follow the rules. You can read a full explanation of all the restrictions on the government’s website; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home
Once again, Worcestershire County Council’s Here2Help service is available to anyone who needs support or is clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding). If you have no-one to turn to for help, our service can respond and provide help such as collecting medicines and getting shopping. You can reach the service online; https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help
If you are on the Government’s shielding list, you will be receiving guidance about what to do now. It is key that you socially distance, and you reduce your physical contact with others. The governments webpages are updated regularly and you can read detailed guidance at; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
While we are all at home, please do remember to check on vulnerable or isolated residents. Just a phone call or a text message can provide a vital link to the outside world, and can ensure those who need comfort or help, have someone to turn to.
You will know that a programme of vaccination has begun nationally, and we are already seeing Worcestershire residents receiving the first doses. This process is being co-ordinated by central Government, and following a strict order for administering the doses. Worcestershire County Council is supporting NHS colleagues to ensure the roll-out is progressing. The vaccines are safe, and if you are called forward to receive one, I strongly urge you to do so. In the meantime, please keep following the rules, wear face coverings, wash your hands, keep your distance. These simple measures help reduce the spread of the virus.
We are all in this together. Throughout the pandemic, you have shown your resilience, kindness and compassion for others. We have seen many examples of people supporting one another, lending a hand or going the extra mile. The situation has demonstrated how working together, we are able to support one another and get through. I am asking you to do this once again. The single most important thing you can do for everyone, is to stay home. Please do this for yourself and for others. We all want to protect people who are precious to us, our family and friends. Let’s take care of each other, and work together.
Thank you for doing this. Our actions now will hopefully bring brighter days for us all in 2021.
Dr. Kathryn Cobain“
Worcestershire County Council
County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP
To find out how you can help as we tackle coronavirus go to: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help
Supporting your recovery after COVID-19
As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind.
These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help.
Your COVID Recovery helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.
What is Post-COVID syndrome / Long COVID?
Emerging evidence and patient testimony is showing a growing number of people who contract COVID-19 cannot shake off the effects of the virus months after initially falling ill. Symptoms are wide-ranging and fluctuating, and can include breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog”, anxiety and stress.
Vaccine Fraud Scam
A dangerous fake NHS text has been circulating, telling people they're eligible to apply for the COVID-19 vaccine. Here's what it looks like.
Any concerns please contact the CCG’s Counter Fraud Specialist:
Tel: 07752 290964
COVID-19 Appointments - January 2021
Pease read this notice in full before attending your COVID 19 appointment.
We are very excited about the COVID-19 vaccine and is has now been approved for use in the UK. We have now set up our COVID-19 vaccination clinics and will begin to offer this to our patients. We have been working hard here at Elgar House Surgery to ensure you have as much information as possible and so we urge you to read this notice in full so as to reassure you of the process and what to expect.
Because of the nature of the vaccine and the logistics of getting it delivered, not all GP surgeries will deliver it from their buildings. We are pleased to say that patients registered at Elgar House Surgery will be offered their COVID-19 vaccine at Winyates Health Centre. These dedicated sessions although held at Winyates Health Centre will be run by the Elgar House team to which you are all familiar with.
When we receive the first vaccine, we will contact people in the Government’s priority order to arrange the appointments. You will need two appointments as there are two vaccines. The first and second vaccine will be administered 21 days apart.
You may have already received a text message asking you whether you would like to have the COVID-19 vaccine. We will be working our way through your replies and so PLEASE DON’T RING US. If you have not yet received a text message please remember we are contacting our patients in the Government’s priority order to arrange the appointments and so you will be contacted accordingly.
Separate arrangements will be made for those patients that are housebound and residents in the care homes to receive their vaccination as we did with their flu vaccinations.
We will run this immunisation campaign in the same safe Covid- 19 secure way similar to our flu clinics except these will be held at Winyates Health Centre. We understand you will have a lot of questions and so we ask that you please read this notice in full and take a look at the links attached before attending your appointment.
This is a great step forward, we look forward to getting the clinics underway and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
We also wanted to let you know that COVID -19 testing will be available to book for Redditch AND Bromsgrove residents.This will be running at Redditch Town Hall. It will help to identify people across Bromsgrove and Redditch who may be carrying the virus without showing symptoms. Tests will be available for residents from the 28th of December until the 2nd of January and a test can be booked online at: BOOK YOUR COVID-19 TEST
Please DO NOT contact the surgery to arrange these tests.
Questions & Answers
Who is currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?
The vaccination is free and currently being offered to those who are most at risk of contracting coronavirus.
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- Those aged 80 years and over
- Frontline health and social care workers
- Those aged 75 years and over
- Those aged 70 years and over and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable
- Those aged 65 years and over
- Those aged 16 to 64 years with underlying health conditions
- Those aged 60 years and over
- Those aged 55 years and over
- Those aged 50 years and over
If there is someone you rely on as your carer, please ask them to contact their own surgery as they may be eligible for a free flu vaccination too.
I have not been contacted by the surgery regarding my COVID-19 vaccination? I have not yet had a text message asking me if I would like to have the COVID-19 vaccine.
Please note we are working hard contacting our patients in the Government’s priority order to arrange the appointments and so you will be contacted accordingly.
I have had a text message from the surgery asking me if I would like to have the COVID-19 vaccination however I have not been contacted yet?
We will be working our way through your replies and so PLEASE DON’T RING US.
What do I need to know about these appointments when the reception team contact me?
Please note that reception will ask you the following questions when booking you in.
- Do you have any COVID symptoms or are you currently isolating?
- Have you had COVID in the last month?
- Have you had a flu vaccination in the last 7 days?
- Do you have a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine, food or medicine?
- Are you currently pregnant?
- Are you currently trying for a baby?
- Are you breast feeding?
What do I need to know about the vaccine?
There are two information links below explaining all about the vaccine. You will need to be booked in for two appointments as you will need to have a second vaccination 21 days after having the first one. Please read these before attending your appointments.
Where will my vaccine appointment be held?
Your appointments will be held by Elgar House staff at Winyates Health Centre. We have popped a link for directions below to help you get there. Their full address is: Winyates Way, Redditch, B98ONR
What should I do when I arrive for my appointment?
- Please arrive at your appointment time.
- Please go to the check in desk.
- After check in please take a seat in the waiting area.
- You will then be called into your appointment.
- You will be asked to wait after your appointment for 15 minutes in the observation area to make sure that you are safe.
These clinics may be very busy and so please do not be alarmed, we are working with other GP surgeries at the same time. Please do not hesitate to ask us a question if you are concerned in any way.
What happens if I am late for my appointment?
We may need to arrange an alternative appointment date for you.
Do I need to wear a face covering when I attend my appointment?
We would ask that all patients please wear a face covering when attending these appointments and follow social distancing measures.
What happens if I develop COVID-19 symptoms before attending my appointment?
Please DO NOT ATTEND this appointment if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms. Please contact the surgery to cancel your appointment.
We would like to thank all of our patients for their understanding at this time and we will do everything we can to ensure these clinics run safely and with care.
From all of the team
Elgar House Surgery
The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.
Who is eligible for the flu vaccination this year?
People with certain medical conditions
If you are under 65 with a long-term condition please contact the surgery to make an appointment for your flu vaccination. You will be booked into a set clinic which we are holding for under 65s. We will be sending text invites but you do not need to wait for your invite to contact us
Adults 65 and over (as of 31st March 2021)
If you are over 65 please contact the surgery to make an appointment for your flu vaccination. You will be booked into a set clinic which we are holding for patients aged 65 and over. We will be sending text invites but you do not need to wait for your invite to contact us
Over 50 and under 65 without a long-term condition
You may be aware that the government recently announced that the 2020 flu vaccination programme would be available to people over 50 for the first time.
If you are pregnant we will be sending text invites but you do not need to wait for your invite to contact us.
We will be contacting patients regarding childhood flu vaccinations that are not carried out as part of the school programme but you do not need to wait for your invite to contact us.
Booking Your Appointment
We will be texting (or phoning patients for whom we do not have a mobile number) who are eligible for the vaccination. You do not need to wait to be contacted before you can book your appointment. You may still receive a text invite if you have booked an appointment as these are automated.
Keeping you safe
We will be delivering the flu vaccination programme in a different way this year, to ensure it is socially distanced and safe for our patients and staff.
How are we doing this?
- Staff administering your vaccine will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Patients attending the practice are asked to wear face coverings.
What to do when you come for your appointment
We are asking patients to follow these guidelines when attending their flu vaccination appointment:
Please wear a face covering when attending the practice.
Arrive promptly, ideally as close you your appointment time as possible.
Please do not enter the building until a couple of minutes before your appointment time.
Please wear clothing that ensures your arm is ready for the vaccination as soon as you go in to see the clinician e.g. a short sleeve top, with any jacket / coat / jumper removed whilst you wait.
Please cancel your appointment as soon as possible if you are unable to attend – these clinics are extremely popular and this means we can offer the slot to someone else.
As with all appointments at the current time, please do no visit the practice if you have a fever, cough or have lost your sense of taste or smell. Please cancel and rearrange your appointment if you have any of these symptoms.
Please contact the practice to make your appointment. You can do this as follows: Please call the practice on 01527 69261 and select option 6 to make your flu vaccination appointment.
We encourage all of our patients to use ‘online consult’ as it’s a much quicker way to contact the surgery. These requests are constantly being checked and it’s an easier alternative compared to waiting on the telephone.
Online Consult is a 24-hour triage system that’s accessed via our surgery website. Online Consult provides patients with a convenient way to seek health advice. With links to self-care resources and forms for detailing symptoms, it supports patients around the clock.
For example, using ‘Online consult’ you can:
- Arrange appointments
- Request a sick note
- Request Medical records
- Request a medical report
- Request medication
- Complete our patient survey
- Complete your asthma questionnaire
The link for Online Consult can be found on the home page of our website: Online Consult
The New Way To Be Seen
You may notice a chance when you next book a GP appointment. When you call up for a GP appointment you may now speak to a ‘Helathcare Navigator’ who is trained to offer you an appointment with the most appropriate person depending on your need and urgency. Below are some examples of some of the services you mey be navigated to:
- Practice Nurse appointment
- Practice Pharmacist appointment
- GP appointment
- NHS 111
- Local community group
- Accident and Emergency
- Social prescribers
- Self-referral to physiotherapy service
What your pharmacy can help you with
Did you know that your local pharmacist can give you confidential advice and treatment on minor illness such as:
- Coughs, colds and sore throat
- Minor skin conditions, acne and athletes foot
- Styes and minor eye infections
- Head lice
- Pain, including backache
- Cold sores
- Diarrhoea or constipation
Do we have your correct contact details? Update them now:
Have you changed your mobile number or email address? Update your contact details using online consult https://www.online-consult.co.uk/org/elgar-house-surgery/start/14/24
If you need a physio
There is a new assessment service from the NHS in Redditch. There is no need to speak with you GP you can simply arrange an appointment by following this link: https://www.hacw.nhs.uk/self-referral-msknorth
NHS Test and Trace emails
NHS Test and Trace phishing emails are being sent by scammers, the fake email refers to the service as ‘track and trace’. The email advises the recipient that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. You are instructed to click on a link in order to find out who that person is and are warned that if you fail to do so within 24 hours, legal action may be taken and your benefits suspended.
Remember, contact tracers will never ask you to:
- Dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087).
- Make any form of payment.
- Give any details about your bank account.
- Give your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts.
- Disclose passwords or pins.
- Create any passwords or pins.
- Purchase a product.
- Download any software to your device.
- Hand over control of your pc, smartphone or tablet.
- Access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS.
Thank you for reading our newsletter.