Practice changes and COVID restrictions from June 2022
Throughout the pandemic we have strived to make the Freshney Green and its surgeries and services as safe as possible for all our patients and staff. We will continue to do so going forward.
Public Health England have recently updated all practices in the current level of measures for Infection Prevention and Control required, therefore from June 2022 face coverings are now optional for anyone within the building (employees and patients).
There may be times the GP or Nurse still requested you wear a face covering when attending an appointment, this could be due to a possible respiratory or unknown infection, masks are available at the ground floor reception desk.
If you would prefer one of our employees to wear a face covering during your consultation, you may request they do so.
NOTE: some services within the building may follow different guidance around face coverings.
How has COVID changed the practice?
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has put increased demand on primary care services and during lockdown the practice was busy re-organising our services to effectively cope with providing you with safe healthcare while dealing with suspected coronavirus cases.
As you will appreciate, this is an unprecedented time and your co-operation, understanding and patience has been greatly appreciated.
All of our clinical, administrative and reception staff have continued to work hard to provide you with healthcare as close to normal as possible while sometimes working with high levels of stress and anxiety for their own safety and that of their families.
It is important patients continue to attend for their chronic disease health checks and medication monitoring therefore our nurses and HCAs continue to provide your health checks, immunisation programs and cervical screening.
The biggest change you will notice has been we cannot pre-book appointments to far in advance and your initial contact with the GP will be by telephone.
The GPs are working long hours to make sure all of your health needs are met; on average the GPs make around 350 phone calls a week and bring into the practice 50 patients for examination or treatment.
The practice has and will endeavour to carry on working as much as practically possible while adhering to government guidelines and keeping you and our employees safe.
COVID 19 Prevention and Infection Control
Following these simple steps can help prevent the spread of colds, flu and other respiratory infections like COVID 19:
- Cough or sneeze into a clean tissue, not into your hands.
- Dispose of the tissue immediately into the nearest waste bin.
- If you so not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
- Always clean your hands after coughing or sneezing, using soap and warm running water, alcohol hand sanitiser or hand wipes if soap and water are not available.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
DO NOT touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Exemption letters for face masks
Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this, this includes exemption cards. No person needs to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about their reason for not wearing a face covering.
Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.
This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.
For further information on when and where you should wear a face covering visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
Symptoms of COVID
For the safety of the general public, other patients and the employees of Freshney Green Primary Care Centre you should follow the government coronavirus guidance for test and trace.
Symptoms of COVID
- A fever or high temperature of 37.8 degrees or above
- A new continuous cough
- A loss of or change in smell and or taste
If you have any of these symptoms contact NHS 119 who will be able to arrange a test for you.
Your should slef-isolate for at least 10 days if:
- You have symptoms of coronavirus and you tested positive, had an unclear result or did not have a test.
- You tested positive but habe not had symptoms
If you have symptoms, the 10 days starts from when they started. If you have not had symptoms, the 10 days starts from when you had the test. But if you get symptoms after your test, self-isolate for a further 10 days from when your symptoms start.
You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if you feel ok, keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after 10 days:
- A high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
- A runny nose or sneezing
- Feeling or being sick
Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone.
If you live with or are in a bubble with someone who has tested positive then you may will need to self-isolate for 14 days. How long to self-isolate
You will need to self-isolate for 14 days if you have returned to the UK from one of the countries on the high risk list. Coronavirus: how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK
Most people will be aware of the news about the approval of one of the COVID Vaccines (the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine) announced nationally today. This is very welcome news and we will be working with our NHS and council colleagues to get the vaccine to those eligible as soon as it is available. Patients will be contacted when the vaccine is available to them. Please do not contact your GP practice regarding the COVID vaccine.
UPDATE - 21/12/2020
The UK vaccination programme is being rolled out in phases and over the next few weeks and months many more clinics will be established to provide vaccinations.
The national Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has determined the priority order for people receiving vaccinations and in this initial phase we are focusing on the over 80s, care home residents and care home staff. Vaccinations of the over 80s and care home staff are underway and the vaccination of care home residents will also begin soon. Everyone in the UK will be offered a vaccination, however the whole programme of work will take months to complete due to its scale and complexity.
We appreciate that many people are enthusiastic about having a vaccination and in the Humber Coast and vale region we are working hard to vaccinate people as quickly as we can in line with the JCVI prioritisation.
UPDATE - 11/01/2021
We are delighted to be offering the COVID-19 vaccine to our patients, with the rollout well underway as we vaccinate our more vulnerable patients, care home residents and staff first.
We understand there is a huge amount of interest in the vaccine however, please do not contact the Practice to book an appointment. The vaccination programme will take months, it will not happen in a few days. Please be patient, do not worry, no one will be excluded from the programme and when it is the right time for you to be vaccinated, we will contact you to book your appointments. In the meantime, do continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.
You can get information about the COVID-19 Vaccination online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination.
How to get your COVID-19 vaccination
Currently those people at risk of serious illness from coronavirus in the priority groups 1 – 4 are being contacted by the NHS in a range of ways to book an appointment.
You may already have been contacted by your own practice or somebody working on their behalf to offer you an appointment at one of the local designated primary care centres. They are currently working through the eligible cohorts and you will be contacted when it is your turn.
However, local people may also receive a letter from the National NHS Vaccination Booking Service offering them to book their vaccine with the national system at a nearby vaccination centre or community pharmacy. If you have not already got an appointment, you can book in this way if you wish to.
If you receive a letter from the NHS to book with the national system and you have already had your vaccination, or you already have an appointment booked at a local primary care centre, then please ignore the letter. Please ensure that you keep any appointments that you have already booked.
Bringing your 2nd dose of COVID vaccine forward to 8 weeks
Following the change in JVCI guidance those patients aged over 50 or in an at risk group can now bring their 2nd COVID vaccine appointment forward to an 8 week interval between the first and second vaccine. You will be receiving a written letter to let you know how to go about this, there should not be any need for you to contact the practice, all changes can be done by calling 119 or using the online booking.
If 119 do advise you to contact the practice as they cannot change your appointment please call the local CCG AskUs team on 0300 3000 500 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org this local team will be able to manage your booking.
The Prime Minister announced tonight that COVID boosters are to be offered to everyone over 18 (who had their second dose of the vaccine at least three months ago).
You will be able to book online from Wednesday (December 15) by visiting www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or by ringing 119 if you do not have access to the Internet.
We are awaiting further details tomorrow and would ask the public to be patient and to please NOT ring their GP practice.
Additional clinics will be made available in North East Lincolnshire. We will also update any local walk-in sites on the CCG walk in clinic page which you can find at www.northeastlincolnshireccg.nhs.uk/covid-19/vaccineclinics/
COVID Vaccination Status for Travel
From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine.
Vaccine status will be available from:
- the NHS App which you can download from app stores
It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified so you can use this service.
If you cannot access this online service, and you have had 2 vaccines, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel abroad in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take 7 working days for the letter to arrive.
This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status.
When you're planning your travel, check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is time to get proof of your vaccination status before you leave.