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Update January 12th 2021
We appreciate that you have all been keen to know how you will be vaccinated. We would like to thank you for your patience whilst the details have been sorted out. We understand that this is an anxious time for us all.
As many of you will know, the vaccination centre at St. Boniface, Buckfastleigh, has successfully vaccinated the majority of our 80 yr old patients and will be inviting 70-79 yr olds to attend in the future. The centre is reliably stocked with vaccines on a regular basis and will remain the main vaccination site for the South Hams and South Dartmoor patients for the foreseeable future
This coming weekend (22/23/24th January), as an exception to inviting patients for their vaccination exclusively at St. Boniface, local surgeries within the area will be booking appointments for patients to have their vaccination locally. This is because an increased supply of vaccine is guaranteed for this weekend only, something which we are unable to rely on in the short- medium term.
We are determined to vaccinate as many patients as possible, at speed, and in a safe manner, and to deliver on this there is a need to ensure that St. Boniface is utilised to maximum capacity; future surgery- based vaccinations clinics are unlikely.
It is therefore imperative that patients invited to St Boniface attend their appointment if at all possible. Putting it off, thinking that a locally-based vaccination will be available to you, would be a big mistake, and put you at additional risk through delaying vaccination.
We fully understand that some of you may not be able to travel to the vaccination hub. We urge those of you who can travel but may be without transport to think now about how you might be able to get to the vaccination hub. Do you have a relative, friend, neighbour or a volunteer who could take you? Please be aware that you may be invited at very short notice (1 or 2 days). This is due to uncertainty about supply of vaccine to the vaccination hub. The quickest and easiest way for vaccination appointments to be sent out is by SMS text message where we have your mobile number recorded. If you do not have a mobile phone, do not worry you will be contacted by phone.
Please do not worry if you are unable to travel to the vaccination centre, you will still be vaccinated but you may have to wait a little longer for this as plans have not yet announced locally for the rollout of the vaccine into GP surgeries or for the housebound.
Vaccination is by appointment only. You will be contacted when your turn comes. Please do not turn up at the vaccination centre without an appointment as you will not be able to be vaccinated and will have a wasted journey.
Please help us by not contacting the surgery to ask when you will be vaccinated. You will receive an invitation when your turn comes. We are working hard to keep you all safe and well during this difficult time, and ask you to understand that by ringing to ask about vaccination you will be preventing others from accessing urgent or important medical care.
We urge all our patients to help us continue to keep you safe and well during this pandemic. If you are able, please look at our website for more information about how to access the most appropriate service for your medical need.
Please ensure that we hold your current contact details (mobile and landline numbers, email address). You can update these by your online access or alternatively you can email reception email@example.com (please do not include any other queries on your email).
We hope to have some really exciting news about Covid vaccinations later this week. Please watch this space.
Don’t make things harder for the NHS by calling your local hospital or GP practice about getting the vaccine – the NHS will contact you when it’s your turn. Blocking phone lines with queries stops other people getting healthcare and diverts staff time, meaning the vaccine rollout will be slower
There are other things that our patients can do to help the NHS give the vaccine to as many local people as possible, as quickly as possible:
1. Choose the right service for your needs as GPs are now managing extra pressures from the vaccine programme. Consider self-care for minor illnesses and injuries; pharmacists for illnesses like diarrhoea, earache, painful cough, sticky eye, teething and rashes; and local minor injury services. You will still get a face-to-face appointment at your local practice if your GP thinks you need one.
2. Attend all appointments, whether it is for a vaccine, to see your GP or at hospital, unless they are personally contacted by your provider and told otherwise.
3.. Follow Government rules – the vaccines are a wonderful development, but we are not out of the woods yet. Remember, ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ and ‘Hands Face Space’. Act as if you have COVID, even after you've been vaccinated
Warning about vaccination text scam
There have been reports of a new scam where a person receives a text saying they need to book a vaccination appointment and it takes them to a fake NHS form, which then asks for their bank details to prove their identity.
The NHS will never ask for peoples banking information.
There is an information leaflet available to download here.
Prescriptions during Lockdown Jan 2021
Now we are entering lockdown, if you are shielding please ask a family member, friend, neighbour or carer to collect your medication. If you have no one to collect for you, please contact NHS Responders 0808 196 3646 or visit https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/services
Please ensure your prescription is ready to collect before you contact NHS Responders, this can be done by providing us with your up to date mobile number, we will then send you a text when your prescription is ready. Due to the volume of calls we are receiving, please do not call the Health Centre to check if it is ready.
Although SCOF is currently unable to provide the patient transport service it is proposing to provide a limited prescription delivery service for vulnerable patients who are unable to arrange for collection. The service will commence either on Monday 25th January. Anyone requiring this service please contact Start Circle of Friends on 01548 581181 between 10am and 12 noon Monday to Friday. This service could cover same day delivery in an emergency.
NHS recruiting coronavirus vaccinators
People with experience of vaccinating others, or are willing to be trained, are being invited to help the local NHS deliver the coronavirus vaccine.
This includes people who are not currently actively working in health and social care, retired, on a career break, or work in the private sector, are being encouraged to come forward.
The vaccine, which is likely to be available soon, will be the best defence against the COVID-19 – alongside social distancing, wearing a mask, and hand hygiene. additional staff are being recruited to vaccinate local people, ensuring the NHS can continue to provide other vital services.
A wider group of people can now undertake training to deliver vaccines, including allied health professionals, pharmacy and dental professionals, healthcare scientists, and individuals with first aid qualifications.
A range of paid roles – including non-clinical support - will be available on a flexible basis, including outside of usual working hours to fit with other responsibilities.
Individuals may work in a variety of local settings, including hospitals, GP practices and community services.
Training, supervision and personal protective equipment will be provided to help keep staff, volunteers and patients safe.
For more information, visit NHS England’s website http://devonccg.newsweaver.com/1ra3ysdib0/13kbycl0g1p18jv5dthgy3?email=true&lang=en&a=2&p=6482977&t=2635070 or contact the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust who are co-ordinating staffing on behalf of the local NHS.
Contacting 111 first will get you the right treatment more quickly
A new national campaign to help people get the right healthcare quickly and safely launched this week.
Think 111 First encourages people to contact 111 by phone or online if they have an urgent – but not serious or life-threatening – injury or illness.
In some cases, people will be able to book direct appointments or get a referral for a time slot into a service that is right for them, including A&E .
Arrangements will not change for serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries - people should continue to dial 999.
Those who attend an A&E without contacting 111 first will not be turned away and will be prioritised depending on clinical need, as is the current practice.
Chillington GP, Dr Alison Harvey, provides advice on what to do if you have a common condition and where you can get more information and guidance
You spend very little time with your clinicians and the rest of the time you are managing on your own.
Get an eConsult response
within 24 hours
Medical Care when we are closed
NON-EMERGENCY: Have a look at out "Get health information" page. Alternatively, call 111 for non-urgent medical advice.
MINOR INJURIES: We do not provide a minor injuries service. You should attend A&E or a local minor iunjuries unit. The LIVE WAITING times for these services are listed here.
EMERGENCY: Dial 999 or go to your nearest A&E Department (you must not dial 999 for anything other than an emergency)
If you do need to attend the emergency department at Torbay Hospital please read this leaflet.