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Seasonal Flu vaccines
Your free flu jabs are available now for the eligible groups. This year may be bad due to generally low immunity caused by reduced social mixing in the previous two Covid years and with any resurgence of Covid infection (and new variants) plus flu, it could be a bad winter. So it's strongly recommended for all at risk people to have their vaccine in good time to build up immunity.
We've sent out messages by SMS to the highest risk groups first and will be contacting those without access to SMS and arranging visits for the housebound soon. There are appointment slots available for online booking through the NHS App and Patient Access (don't book into the wrong slot eg for cild flu vaccines if you are an adult!).
This is a useful video to explain why winter vaccines are especially important now.
Polio boosters for children
We have sent out call ups for children aged 1-9 to have additional boosters of polio vaccine or complete an incomplete course (sadly some parents have not understood the importance of having their children fully vaccinated). This is due to live polio virus being found in London's water supply, indicated the risk of infection in the community for any unvaccinated children or with low resistance to polio. Polio is of course a serious, potentially fatal or life-changing disease we eradicated through vaccination in the UK many decades ago. Information for parent here.
Phone queues have shortened du etc staff recruitment but we are we are sorry for any delay you might experience. Use Patchs for a much quicker way to request assistance. Though we have managed to recruit more admin staff, some didn't work out and we still have vacancies (also a nurse, assistant practice manager and IT staff in particular) and reliable locum GPs are still in short supply, so staffing continues to be a problem we are trying hard to fix.
'Patient callback' saves you hanging on the phone - the system will automatically call you back when your queue position is reached. You won't be forgotten! To avoid phone waits use Patchs:For any medical or admin help, Patchs is the quickest way - most queries are responded to on the same day of receipt. Patchs is not available from Fridays 6.30pm until Mondays 8am and on public holidays. This is to safely manage demand. It is available at all other times, so you have plenty of time to explain your problems. When we are closed please use the extensive self-help advice on NHS.UK (Patchs will recommend items).
We operate a 'Total Triage' system. Here is an explanation of Triage and why it benefits our patients
Why did we change from eConsult? Most NWL GPs (7 boroughs except Ealing) have chosen to change from eConsult to Patchs. Wide public consultation and patient representation informed a detailed NHS procurement process, looking at initially 15 different systems and ending with the shortlist of eConsult and Patchs, from which Patchs was chosen.
Having listened to many patient comments over the past couple of years, we hope the new system will be easier and quicker for patients (though it may take a while to bed in) and will welcome your further help to make our service as responsive as possible.
For some initial information you can look at Patchs website.
We'll schedule another patient Zoom meeting soon.
NHS information about Online Consultations
Additional evening and weekend appointments from our Primary Care Network (PCN) , Harness
Harness provides additional appointments at weekends, 10am - 4pm and on weekday evenings up to 8pm and also some extra day-time slots. Out of hours can booked via 111 or by phone 07541 490200 and in hours via our practice reception.
You will need to submit a Patchs request and may then be offered a F2F appointment, video etc. You can book smear tests, childhood immunisations, in fact pretty much anything you would book at our surgery. The doctor, nurse or HCA will have access to your records.
More info here
Covid Autumn Booster now available
These are now available, initially for over 75yr olds, those with a severely weakened immune system and frontline health and social care workers. You can now book these online from https://www.nhs.uk/.../coro.../book-coronavirus-vaccination/ (under '1st booster and seasonal booster' or by ringing 119.
Soon all those over 50 will be offered the booster, along with care home residents, housebound people, pregnant women and those over 5yr in a high risk category.
There is a guide too the autumn booster here https://www.gov.uk/.../a-guide-to-the-covid-19-autumn...#
It is anticipated that Covid may increase again (though case numbers are still high) and along with a likely increase in seasonal flu, could cause more problems again. It is certainly recommended to keep your immunity up, especially in view of the changing variants and also most important to get your flu jab.
Here is information about local vaccination sites.
A sad goodbye
After 13 happy years, Dr Nehal Patel has left us. She is taking her family as far away as possible (!) - to New Zealand, where her sister and some of her friends live. She has found a GP practice to work in and has just arrived to courageously start a new life. She has contributed immensely to our practice and her many patients will be especially sad to see her leave; she has given great devotion and skill and we'll miss her greatly as a colleague.
And another sad farewell
Our Assistant Practice Manager, Yvonne, has moved upwards to a new post in the NHS managing a large team running a patient centre in South London. Congratulations to her but after 12 years her loss leaves a big hole at the centre of the practice and in our hearts: we'll certainly miss her. We wish her well in her new role.
Patient Zoom Meeting Recording May 11th 2022, we had over 80 participants and discussed surgery news, why we are continuing the use of online consultations and plans, the local covid situation and vaccinations, and answered many varied patient questions submitted in advance. Recorded video (1hr) available here
Text answers to questions submitted during the meeting in the chat available here (warning! - 9 page document, 1Mb)
The Surgery remains Fully Open Circulating virus levels are still high, with two current variants being more easily transmitted, so please come to the surgery only if you have an appointment or have been asked to and use Patchs - or phone- to request any admin or clinical help. We see everyone who needs a F2F appointment but many things can be dealt with more efficiently by other means and we use Patchs to help us offer you the best option.
If attending the surgery, it is still advisable to continue precautions such as wearing a properly fitted face mask and using hand sanitiser when entering. We still need to protect vulnerable patient attending the surgery. You should have had your booster vaccine to protect yourself, your family and others.
- For Possible Covid-19 issues use the NHS Online Covid checker (or phone 111 if no access)
- For Emergencies phone 999
- For Out of Hours advice or care phone 111 as usual.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATES We recommend still wearing MASKS in shops and most indoor public spaces and public transport (despite it not being obligatory) and keep personal distancing and good ventilation. And GET FULLY VACCINATED URGENTLY!
MORE DETAILS on the pandemic on our COVID-19 PAGE
National advice on all aspects of Covid-19 from Gov.UK
COVID VACCINATION MYTHS AND MISINFORMATION - It's a very safe and effective vaccine - do not delay!
Beware of Covid vaccine fraud
Your COVID Vaccination Status To show others that you’ve had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine. This important especially when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.
Use the free NHS App (not the special Covid tracking App), easy to sign up to online.
If you do not have a smartphone you can request this on paper from 119 (takes 5 days)
Please do NOT contact the surgery for COVID-19 status - we cannot provide letters showing this.
If you are travelling the rules change frequently in each country and are complex, so check gov.UK website