Coronavirus Information

Covid-19 vaccines

Covid-19 vaccination information

Covid-19 vaccinations for our patients will be a mixture of appointments at Charing & Hamstreet surgeries. Home visits will be arranged for any housebound patients. Increasing numbers of mass vaccination sites are being set up with the latest opening in New Romney in February Kent Vaccination Centres. If you receive a letter inviting you to book a vaccination at a mass vaccination site, please let us know by emailing KMCCG.hamstreetsurgery@nhs.net so that we can take you off our list of patients to contact. This will save us a significant amount of administration time and allow us to offer the vaccine to other patients.

 

Covid-19 Vaccination Groups 

We are inviting patients based on the national priority list.

  • Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  • All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  • All those 75 years of age and over 
  • All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  • All those 65 years of age and over.
  • All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  • All those 60 years of age and over
  • All those 55 years of age and over
  • All those 50 years of age and over

Further information about which priority group you are in can be found in the latest JCVI guidance publication dated 30th December 2020. Clear definitions of risk groups are set out in the Green Book.

 

What Covid-19 priority group am I in if I have asthma? - We know there has been confusion about when people with asthma will get the Covid-19 vaccine and what priority group they will fall into. We have been urging the government for some months to provide clarity, as we know it's a worrying time for people with asthma, and now we have an update:

  • If you were sent a shielding letter, you will be in priority group 4
  • If you have ever had an emergency hospital admission for your asthma, or ever been prescribed three courses of steroid tablets in a three-month period, you will be priority group 6
  • If you do not fall into either of these groups and are under the age of 50, you will be vaccinated after the first nine priority groups.

We understand this is a worrying time for a lot of people, but we want to reassure you that the government intends to offer the vaccine to all adults, so even if you are not in a priority group you will get the vaccine later this year.

 

Vaccination Programme Update

Since our first vaccination clinic on the 18th December 2020 our PCN will have administered over 12,000 Covid vaccinations. We are pleased to announce that we have completed vaccinating the majority of patients in cohorts 1-6. As instructed the practice will be moving to invite patients in cohorts 7-9. If you are over 50 and have not received a first vaccination, please do let us know just in case we have not been able to contact you.  Please note the cohorts have been set nationally and our staff cannot influence this.

The easiest way for us to update patients is via text so please do let us know your mobile number if you don't think we have it on record or if it changes. You can email us at KMCCG.hamstreetsurgery@nhs.net to let us know any mobile information. The following website can give you more information about the Covid-19 vaccination and booking appointments: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/

We will be starting to call in patients for their 2nd dose who had their 1st vaccination in January. We will be working through on date order from when 1st doses were given so please be patient as we work through the lists. 2nd doses will be given at about 11 weeks after the 1st dose. If you have not heard from us by the 11th week, please let us know.

 

 

Thank you to all the patients that have sent messages of thanks for the vaccinations received so far. We are extremely proud to be part of this hugh vaccination programme. Delivering the Covid vaccination programme is on top of all the clinics and services we normally run so all our staff are working extra days and hours to make the clinics happen so your kind words are appreciated by everyone. A big thank you also to all those that have volunteered to support the clinics as we couldn't run them without you.

 

Our phone lines are very busy; please can we ask for your assistance by not calling to chase your vaccine appointment as this causes huge pressure on our already busy phone lines. Thank you for helping to keep lines open for people needing to make appointments for other health matters. 

If you have questions about the vaccine please go to the FAQ & General Advice information below. 

 

For the lastest Covid-19 vaccination information please click the following link:

Hamstreet Surgery Covid Vaccination Information 

Once you have had your first vaccination you will be contacted to have your second vaccination 10-12 weeks later.

The vaccination programme will take several months to work through everyone, so it could be some time before you are contacted.

Please help protect yourself, friends and loved ones by getting vaccinated when you are invited.

Find out more

For more information about the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Kent and Medway please visit www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/covid19vaccine

For national information about the vaccine visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/ 

FAQ & General Advice

If you need to find your NHS Number?

If you are invited to book a Covid vaccination appointment at a central vaccination hub you may need your NHS Number. You can use the following website to find your NHS Number if you don't know it: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/find-nhs-number/

Why is the vaccine not available from our own surgery?

Across the country GPs are working in groups of practices to provide the Covid-19 vaccine. We understand the people would like to get the vaccine from their own practice but unfortunately this is not always possible at this time. If this changes we will update this information. 

Should I come for a vaccine if I have symptoms of Covid-19?

No. If you or someone in your immediate household has symptoms of the virus it is essential that you self-isolate and book a test. Your vaccine can be re-arranged after your self-isolation. 

If I’ve had Covid-19 do I need the vaccines?

Yes, getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t. 

How soon after having Covid-19 can I have the vaccine?

It is recommended that people wait 4 weeks after recovering from Covid-19 or from being tested positive but not experiencing symptoms. We will rearrange invitations if you are in this situation when first invited to have the vaccine. 

When will the second dose be given?

From 30 December the national guidance changed and second doses will now be scheduled for 10-12 weeks after the first dose. 

Can I pay for the vaccines privately?

No, all Covid-19 vaccines are being provided free by the NHS. If you see any offers to get the vaccine privately it will be a scam and you must not contact them. 

Find out more: For more information about the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Kent and Medway please visit www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/covid19vaccine 

 

General information can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

Stay At Home advice can be found here. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/ Please use the online 111 service link if you need an isolation note for your employer https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

 Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

 Information remains subject to regular change and updates. More information can be found on the NHS website.

Face Coverings

Click here for information on when to wear one and how to make your own.

Local Support

If you need information and/or help with anything click the links below for more information:

NHS Health at Home Toolkit

Information for Hamstreet and Ashford Rural Area

Hamstreet Community.pdf

If you need help getting to a Covid vaccination appointment Ashford Voluntary Car Scheme could help: https://ashfordvc.org.uk/services or email transport@ashfordvc.org.uk or contact Owen on 01233 633219:

Click on the link below or a list of support oganisations in East Kent:

Organisations in East Kent.pdf

Dispensary FAQs- Related to COVID-19

General advice:

The dispensary is operating normally but subject to higher levels of enquiries due to the COVD-19 outbreak. Please, wherever possible, order your repeat medication online through the NHS App orPatient Access. Instructions on how to download and use the NHS app are here https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/the-nhs-app/

Please read the guidance below before ringing the dispensary.

  1. Q: Can I have an extra supply of medication?

A: Presently, the Department for Health has issued strict guidance to adhere to present prescribing terms. Changing prescribing amounts, although seemingly straightforward, leads to problems with supply, storage, prescribing and monitoring of medications. There are not presently any shortages of medicines. The supply chain is intact and working well and we would like to support it by avoiding additional unnecessary requests. If the situation changes we will update our policy.

  1. Q: Can I order my medication (repeats) over the phone?

A: Please see the guidance below:

  1. Q: Can I have my medication delivered?

A:.Patients in at risk groups requesting medication deliveries may be able to receive a delivery if they are unable to access neighbours, friends, families or community groups to pick up their medication. Please follow the guidance below.

  1. Q: Can I still call the dispensary for queries and information related to medication and deliveries?

A: The dispensary staff are working very hard under increased demand. In order that they have time to fill prescriptions safely and without interruption we are dedicating specific times for them to field enquiries. Please only call the dispensary between 10am and 1pm. Please avoid attempting to call outside of these times as your call will not be answered. The dispensary hatch will operate normally.

  1. Q: Is it safe to pick up medications if I am self-isolating or social-distancing?

A: If you are self-isolating you must follow the guidelines on self-isolation. You must not come to the surgery. Please ask those supporting you to pick up your medications.

If you are social-distancing, you should try to avoid coming to the surgery and ask those supporting you to collect and deliver your medications. All patients entering the surgery for any reason will be screened for symptoms and tested for fever. If you have symptoms or a fever you will be asked to return to your vehicle or home and call the surgery to speak to a doctor.

  1. Q:Can I have paracetamol prescribed to me because of the apparent shortage of over the counter availability?

A: If you are already taking paracetamol that is prescribed through the practice you will continue to receive paracetamol in your prescription. We will not be able to prescribe paracetamol otherwise unless you have a new medical condition diagnosed by the doctor or nurse that requires paracetamol.

Criteria for Ordering Repeat Medication Over the Phone

  1. If you are having difficulties ordering your repeat medications due to illness, self-isolation or social-distancing please consider trying the following:

-Ask your support network (family, friends, neighbours, parish counsellor or community group) for assistance by asking them to order medications for you (by the normal methods) or helping you order medication online.

-The following community support groups are/will be in operation:

Full list - https://www.ashford.gov.uk/your-community/emergency-planning/health-and-pandemics/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-help-for-the-community/coronavirus-voluntary-groups/

Coronavirus Community Care Facebook Group - 07946 345859

Age UK Ashford - 01233 668765

  1. If you are genuinely unable to access your support network and have no other recourse, please ring the dispensary during the allocated time (10am-1pm) to make an enquiry into ordering your repeat prescription. We will do our best to help you.

Criteria for Delivering Medications

  1. The surgery will not be able to accommodate a surge in medication deliveries. If you anticipate difficulties in obtaining your medications due to self-isolation or social distancing please consider trying the following:

 -Ask your support network (family, friends, neighbours or community group) for assistance by asking them to pick up medications for you.

-The following community support groups are or will be in operation:

Full list - https://www.ashford.gov.uk/your-community/emergency-planning/health-and-pandemics/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-help-for-the-community/coronavirus-voluntary-groups/

Coronavirus Community Care Facebook Group - 07946 345859

Age UK Ashford - 01233 668765

  1. If you are genuinely unable to access your support network and have no other recourse, please ring the dispensary during the allocated time (10am -1pm) to make an enquiry into whether we can deliver your prescription. We will do our best to help you. Please be advised that we are unable to urgently deliver medications.