Guidance for our patients Last updated 19.1.21
Covid-19 vaccination programme
The first phase of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme has begun. However, initially the vaccination will be prioritised for those aged 80 and over, care home workers and residents, and frontline health and care staff. These vaccinations will be delivered through a limited number of hospital and GP hubs. See this leaflet explaining who was chosen for the first group and why.
COVID-19 Vaccine: The NHS will get in touch when it’s your turn to be vaccinated – please do not contact the surgery before then.
Now that more doses of Covid-19 vaccines are available, the NHS is able to open more vaccination services, including the first Vaccination Centres.
People who are eligible and who live near these new vaccination services will receive letters from the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service, telling them how they can book their appointment.
The NHS is rolling out additional services quickly, but it remains important that the public don’t try to book or go to these services before they receive their booking letter.
And when you do book an appointment, please make sure you attend.
You may receive a letter from the national NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service inviting you to book an appointment at a regional Vaccination Centre, the closest of which is at the Excel Centre, London E16 1XL
If you receive the letter from the national service and can travel to the Vaccination Centre safely, we recommend that you book using the details the letter provides.
If you are unable or don’t want to go to a Vaccination Centre, you can choose to wait and get your vaccination at the local vaccination hub for patients in this area.
When atttending a vaccination centre or hub by car, please remember parking restrictions still apply and be considerate to others.
The vaccination programme has started for patients over the age of 80 years of age and we are inviting people according to the criteria and prioritisation set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), and will contact you when it’s your turn.
Like the rest of the NHS we are working to offer vaccines to everyone in the top priority groups by the middle of February.
Please do not contact us if you haven’t received an invitation yet. We are very busy at the moment and doing so could prevent a patient who needs our help from getting through. We will contact you when it is the right time for you to book your appointment. We have not forgotten you. When it is your turn the NHS will contact you. More information on the vaccination programe in South East London is available at www.selondonccg.nhs.uk
Please click on the link for some frequently asked questions which may help you further: Covid-19 Q&A January 2021
This is going to be a long-term programme and it will likely take until at least Spring before all high-risk groups have been offered a COVID-19 vaccination.
Please continue to follow the national guidance to control the virus and save lives.
Information on the vaccine is available on www.selondonccg.nhs.uk/what-we-do/covid-19/
Volunteers sought to help at the coronavirus vaccination clinics
The Bromley GP Alliance is currently rolling out Covid-19 vaccination clinics across Bromley.
Volunteers are urgently required to act in the role of marshals, stewards and meeting patients.
The magnitude of this immunisation programme is probably the greatest task any of us will ever be involved in.
If you would be interested in volunteering to carry out such a role, register your interest by e-mailing email@example.com
Due to the coronavirus pandemic we have had to change our system of appointments. If you need to consult with a GP (for any health problem), you will need to use an “online consultation” – click on the blue box (called e-consult) on this website’s home page and complete the on-line form (no log-in details required). If you don’t have access to the internet, you can telephone the surgery and a member of the reception staff will complete and submit the on-line form for you. This will be seen by one of our doctors and responded to by the end of the next working day, and you may have avoided having to come into the surgery.
The ability to book face-to-face appointments over the internet has been suspended in line with all other general practices while the Coronavirus crisis lasts.
If you do have to come to the surgery, you will be stopped at the entrance and asked a number of questions by a member of our staff in relation to Coronavirus. This is to ensure the safety of all our patients and staff. Please remember to wear a face covering. Measures are in place to keep you safe from infection during your visit to the surgery.
Due to the Coronavirus situation we are no longer able to issue paper prescriptions. Therefore, when requesting your prescription please include your choice of nominated pharmacy so that we may send the prescription electronically to the pharmacy.
Sick notes cannot be collected from the surgery. Wherever possible, these will be emailed, otherwise they will be posted.
Our nurses are providing the following services:
- Child & baby immunisations
- Cervical smears
- Vaccinations for pregnant women
- B12 vaccinations, if clinically urgent
- Depo injections
- Zoladex and other hormone injections
- Clinically urgent blood tests
- Telephone consultations for contraception, mental health reviews, and asthma reviews.
Please phone the surgery if you have any queries about this.
If you are feeling unwell with a new, continuous cough or high temperature (37.8 degrees and above), please stay at home – do NOT come to the surgery – and avoid contact with other people.
If you have symptoms of Coronavirus infection, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for seven days from when your symptoms started. Any individuals in the same household are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days from that moment as well. If other members of your household develop symptoms, however mild, at any time during the 14 days, they must not leave the home for 7 days from when symptoms started. Staying at home while you have coronavirus (COVID-19) helps to protect your friends, colleagues and the wider community. It will also help to control the spread of the virus.
We realise that staying at home may be difficult or frustrating, but there are things that you can do to help make it easier. These include:
Plan ahead and ask your family, friends or employer for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home.
Stay at least two metres (about three steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible.
Sleep alone, if that is possible.
Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water.
Stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible.
You do not need to call NHS111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation, or are no better after seven days, use the
NHS 111 online service at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19. If you have no internet access, you should telephone 111. For a medical emergency only, dial 999.
While at home you should make sure you do the following things:
If you have coronavirus symptoms you should remain in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis.
You will need to ask friends or relatives if you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication. If you are at highest clinical risk you can contact the council to request assistance either by telephoning or by clicking on the following link: https://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/1113/volunteering/1410/volunteers_and_requests_for_assistance/2
You can order medication by phone or online. You can also order your shopping online. Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection if you order online. The delivery driver should not come into your home. Wash your hands after taking in deliveries.
Avoid visitors in your home.
For further guidance on staying at home visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection’
The government and NHS are well-prepared to deal with this virus. You can help too.
Germs can live on some surfaces for hours. To protect yourself and others:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
- Bin the tissue and, to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
- Do not share pens, avoid shaking hands, avoid using door handles when possible (push the door open with your arm). Regularly clean door handles and other shared items
This is the best way to slow the spread of almost any germs, including Coronavirus.
The NHS is well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases and has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff, while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
Since September 2020 the number to call to arrange a Covid-19 test has changed. If you require a test, please call 119 or visit https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/antigen/name
Face coverings when using NHS services
All patients and visitors to NHS services must wear a face covering at all times. This includes hospitals, community clinics and GP services. You must also wear a mask on public transport and in shops. Evidence has confirmed that face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission if you are suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.
Please wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting on a face covering and after taking it off. Please avoid touching your face covering whilst wearing it to avoid transmission of the virus.
If you attend an appointment without a face covering, you will be provided with a face mask in an emergency.
Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are suffering from coronavirus but not showing symptoms. People with coronavirus symptoms, as well as members of their household, should continue to follow the advice to self-isolate.
They may be beneficial in places where it is hard to follow maintain social distancing measures. This applies when using public transport, such as trains, buses and metro systems, or when visiting shops.
They do not need to be worn outdoors, while exercising, in schools, in workplaces such as offices and retail, by those who may find them difficult to wear, such as children under two or primary aged children who cannot use them without assistance, or those who may have problems breathing while wearing a face covering.
The public is being strongly urged not to purchase surgical masks or respirators. These are prioritised for healthcare workers working in more high-risk environments where the risk is greatest.
Instead the public is encouraged to make face coverings at home, using scarves or other textile items that many will already own. Read the guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering. These face coverings should cover the mouth and nose, whilst allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandanna that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.
Clinically extremely vulnerable patients
If you, or a relative are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus because of an underlying health condition please click on the following website link for guidance: guidancehttps://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
The advice for people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable changed on 6th July to the following:
Meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing;
No longer observe social distancing with other members of their household;
In line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, form a “support bubble” with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight without needing to socially distance.
From 1st August the guidance was further relaxed. Specifically:
- People can go to work, if they cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe;
- Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible, children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing;
- People can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but should maintain strict social distancing; and
- People should remain cautious as they are still at risk of severe illness if they catch Coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if they do go out, follow strict social distancing.
The current advice can be found on gov.uk
Advice for parents
When your child is ill or injured it is very difficult to decide if/when to call your child’s GP, NHS111 or go to the Accident & Emergency Department (A&E). During the current situation and while the government is asking everyone to stay at home, it can be confusing to know what to do. Please click on this link for guidance: Coronavirus Parents Guide
Recovery after Coronavirus
Recovery from COVID–19 may take time. The length of time needed will vary from person to person.
It’s important not to compare yourself to others. On-going symptoms could last for several months after you contract COVID–19 and this can be perfectly normal. Please see the attached patient information pack for advice Post-COVID-Leaflet 2020
NHS Volunteer Responders
If you are over the age of 18 and are fit and well with no symptoms and would like to volunteer to help vulnerable patients with food deliveries etc, please click on this link www.goodsamapp.org/nhs
During the pandemic we are trying our best to keep our staff as well as our patients safe. This means that where possible, following government advice, some staff are working from home, while those who are coming in to the surgery are socially distancing. Perspex screens have been fitted over the reception counter. All (51) of the staff – the doctors, nurses, health care assistants, administration staff and receptionists – have been risk assessed. Ten risk assessments have been completed for our black and minority ethnic staff, amounting to 19.6% of the workforce. All of our staff have carried out infection control training. There is no shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at this surgery.
Coronavirus Response Transparency Notice
We are undertaking a range of work to support the government response to the coronavirus outbreak. This notice details our legal bases for processing personal data in the course of this work.
Purposes for which we may process your data
The health and social care system is taking action to manage and mitigate the spread and impact of the current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Action to be taken requires the collection, analysis and sharing of information, including confidential patient information where necessary and lawful, amongst health organisations and other appropriate bodies. This is due to the urgent need to protect public health and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the COVID-19 outbreak.
To support the healthcare response to COVID-19, NHS Digital has been directed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (the Secretary of State) and NHS England under the COVID-19 Directions to:
- establish information systems to collect and analyse data in connection with COVID-19; and
- develop and operate IT systems to deliver services in connection with COVID-19
Examples of some of the purposes for which NHS Digital may process personal data under the COVID-19 Directions and in response to these requests may include processing personal data for the purposes of:
- understanding COVID-19 and risks to public health, trends in COVID-19 and such risks, and controlling and preventing the spread of COVID-19 and such risks
- identifying and understanding information about patients or potential patients with, or at risk of COVID-19, information about incidents of patient exposure to COVID-19 and the management of patients with or at risk of COVID-19 including: locating, contacting, screening, flagging and monitoring such patients and collecting information about and providing services in relation to testing, diagnosis, self-isolation, fitness to work, treatment, medical and social interventions and recovery from COVID-19
- understanding information about patient access to health services and adult social care services as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19, and the availability and capacity of those services
- monitoring and managing the response to COVID-19 by health and social care bodies and the Government including providing information to the public about COVID-19 and its effectiveness and information about capacity, medicines, equipment, supplies, services and the workforce within the health services and adult social care services
- delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with COVID-19, including the provision of information, fit notes and the provision of health care and adult social care services
- research and planning in relation to COVID-19.