Coronavirus Information

Covid-19 Vaccination Information

 

Covid Booster Vaccinations

As a surgery we have provided over 6500 covid vaccines to our patients whilst still managing to provide a large percentage of our core services. This effort has obviously put an enormous amount of stress on our staff and as a practice we are very keen to resume our usual service as soon as possible. With this in mind we have taken the decision to not continue with the covid booster vaccination service and our final clinic will be on the 21st December 2021. This means that Hamstreet patients who are eligible for a booster will have to book in at one of the national vaccine booking centres (once the patient has received their government text or letter) by calling 119. Please do not contact the surgery to book a covid booster appointment after this date. If you have any further questions about the covid booster programme please call 119.

We will be offering covid booster vaccinations to eligible patients from the week commencing the 18th October 2021.

Initially, patients aged 80 years of age or older will be invited by the surgery to book their vaccination.

PLEASE NOTE:

·         You must have had your 2nd dose more than 182 days ago

·         All vaccinations will be Pfizer - unless contra indicated last time or a patient is anaphylactic

Once we have offered the vaccination to all patients aged over 80 years, we will offer the booster to the next cohort of patients. Eligible patients will receive a text message or a phone call directly from the surgery to book the appointment once we have confirmed vaccine delivery dates.

We are grateful for your patience and request that you do not telephone or visit the surgery to ask about Covid boosters – we will contact you.

If patients have already have their covid booster booked at another location we would encourage them to please keep that appointment.

The easiest way for us to update patients is via text so please do let us know your mobile number if you do not think we have it on record or if it changes. You can email us at KMCCG.hamstreetsurgery@nhs.net to update your contact information. Our phone lines are extremely busy at the moment so we would ask you to keep our lines clear for patients needing to make medical appointments.

 

Vaccination Program Updates

As part of Ashford Rural Primary Care Network, the surgery will not be delivering the vaccine to patients under the age of 50 (cohorts 10-12). Cohorts 10-12 will be invited by the NHS to book for their covid vaccination at a Mass Vaccination Centre. If you still need the vaccine please use the national booking service online or by calling 119. There will be options for large vaccination centres and pharmacy-run services. The surgery will be focusing on resuming normal services for its patients.

 

To find your nearest walk-in clinic please click here.

Covid-19 Vaccination Groups 

Please note the cohorts have been set nationally and our staff cannot influence this. The NHS 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.

 

Covid Vaccination Status

The practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status. Please do not contact the practice about your COVID-19 vaccination status unless you have been advised to by the 119 service.

How to access your Covid 19 vaccination certificate

From the 17th 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 through the NHS COVID Pass service from:

  • the NHS App which you can download from app stores.
  • the NHS Website
  • 119 - by requesting a paper letter 

You will need to register to use the online services, if you have not already. It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified. 

If you cannot access the online services, and you have had both doses of the vaccine, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel outside the UK in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take up to 7 working days for the letter to arrive.

When you're planning your travel, you should check the latest information on demonstrating your covid-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is enough time to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status before you are due to travel. 

Using the NHS App

To use the NHS App, you must be:

If you’re aged 13 to 15, you’ll need to contact your GP surgery to request access to GP online services before you can use the app.

Find out more about the NHS App

 

Thank You!

To everyone who has been involved in helping to deliver the covid vaccination programme across our Primary Care Network, which includes Charing, Ivy Court & Woodchurch surgeries - THANK YOU!

From the core vaccine teams to the practice support staff who have supported the vaccine teams by doing the daily work of general practice, all of who have at times worked long days, 7 days a week for the last I don't know how many weeks and often in the freezing cold. 

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 huge 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. To the locals who have put up with the additional traffic and to the friends and neighbours who brought frail people to be vaccinated - a huge THANK YOU TO EVRYONE!

 

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

Where do I find my 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 my 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. 

Do I need the vaccine if I've had Covid-19?

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

The dispensary is operating normally. Subject to higher levels of enquiries, due to the COVD-19 outbreak, wherever possible please order your repeat medication online through the NHS App or Patient 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:

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.

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

A: Please see the guidance below.

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.

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.

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. If you have symptoms you will be asked to return to your vehicle or home and call the surgery to speak to a doctor.

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:

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

2. 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:

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

2. 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 and have dedicated delivery days for certain areas.