FOR CURRENT ADVICE ON COVID-19 PLEASE REFER TO THE GOV.UK SITE.
NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme
There have been reports of an extremely rare adverse event of blood clots following vaccination with the first dose of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The JCVI has weighed the relative balance of benefits and risks and advise that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease. The JCVI Currently advises that it is preferable for adults aged under 30 years without underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative COVID-19 vaccine, if available.
click here to see the government’s statement following updated advice from the UK’s medicines regulator
GP practices in Northumberland are closely following the JCVI groups to plan the order in which vaccine is delivered. To try to be fair to everyone, people will be invited in order of age within each group. Otherwise, our practices are purely dependent on the amount of vaccine received.
We are currently working through Groups 7-8
You may receive an NHS invitation letter to attend a mass vaccination site such as The Centre for Life. Please make every effort to attend there. If you are not able to attend The Centre For Life, or another mass vaccination site, you will be invited to attend locally but we are not able to give a time frame for this. Please rest assured that you will be invited as soon as possible.
The following link may be helpful:
Beware of COVID VACCINATION SCAMS
We are aware that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.
Coronavirus vaccines are only available on the NHS. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.
The NHS will never ask you for your
Bank account or card details.
Your PIN or banking password.
The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101
Practice update 07/12/20
We appreciate these are unprecedented and challenging times for all of us. The pandemic has affected so many aspects of our lives which can be worrying and upsetting.
We want to assure you that we continue working and aim to provide as many routine services as is possible. If you need us, please do get in contact, we are here for you.
- All contact should continue to be by telephone or online through e Consult.
- GP consultations are all by telephone initially. Following a telephone consult, if there is a clinical need, GP’s will arrange a face to face appointment with you.
- All nursing appointments are by appointment only.
- Our COVID hot site continues to run from the Bellingham surgery site.
- For the foreseeable future we shall continue to ask patients to collect prescriptions from our dispensary at Wark, if this causes difficulty please speak to a dispenser as we may be able to arrange an alternative such as shop drop off or home delivery. We shall text you when your prescription is ready to collect, please wear a face covering and follow the entry instructions on the door.
- Please do not attend a surgery unless asked to do so by a doctor or a nurse or to collect a pre ordered prescription from Wark.
- We are soon to get a porta cabin which shall provide additional clinical space at Humshaugh, which you may be asked to attend.
- Any patient suspected of having COVID-19 and requiring a face to face consultation, will be asked to attend Bellingham where we now have a dedicated area, within Bellingham Practice grounds, but separate to the Practice. This to protect patients and staff as best we can, keeping suspect COVID patients entirely separate from non COVID patients.
We are aware there are concerns as to why Humshaugh surgery is not open for walk in access.
This is so we can maintain services while ensuring staff work safely. Both of our sites are small and in order to have all staff able to carry out their role while maintaining social distancing , we have had to set up desks in the waiting room, this is in addition to at least 2 members of staff working remotely from home each day. Without these administrative staff doing their role the practice and the services we offer would cease to function. GPs and nursing staff are here and able to bring patients in to Humshaugh surgery and can also dispense some immediate medications such as antibiotics and analgesia after the consultation.
Like you, we have to react and adapt to both Coronavirus and the consequences of this, this does mean that at times we may have to review or reduce our services, sometimes with little warning, for example in the event of our staff becoming unwell or having to self-isolate due to COVID. We shall aim to update you via the practice website and telephone message of any unforeseen changes, but your patience is appreciated.
Change in rules regarding face coverings
The Government have announced that from July 24th 2020 everyone is required to wear a face covering when entering a shop or business.
This is in addition to wearing one on Public Transport which has been mandatory for some time now.
If you feel you are unable to wear a mask for auditory/sensory/breathing reasons, please click here to download an exemption card to show if asked why you are not wearing one.
Please note, it is NOT the responsibility or the role of the Surgery to issue anyone with an exemption letter or certificate. Please follow the link above for more information.
It is a requirement for patients to wear a face covering when entering the surgery. If you come to collect a prescription or have an appointment we would be grateful if you could come with your face covering on – covering your nose, mouth and chin. This can be in the form of a mask, scarf or handkerchief of any sort of fabric.
Dr Mark Dornan, Chair of Newcastle Gateshead CCG has recorded a helpful video as a North East GP, outlining how to get healthcare during the coronavirus outbreak
To reduce your chances of catching COVID-19 and reduce pressure on GP services during this busy time, appointments are being carried out over the phone. If there is a clinical need for you to come into the practice you will be offered a GP appointment at either Humshaugh or Wark. This will help minimise risk while continuing to ensure people get the care and advice they need.
We are very grateful for everyone’s support in the fight against Coronavirus. However we do encourage you to make contact with us if you have immediate or persistent health conditions. Please do not delay seeking medical attention under the assumption we are too busy or due to your concerns regarding exposure to COVID-19. The reasoning behind setting up the COVID site at Humshaugh is so that we can maintain Wark as a ‘Cold site’, where if required, after telephone triage with a GP, you can be seen face to face.
Collecting your medication
Due to current pressures caused by Coronavirus our dispensary is working under significant pressure and we are experiencing delays to our wholesaler orders.
As such all repeat requests are taking 3-4 days to process. If you require home delivery this shall be a week after ordering. If you are in an at risk group avoid collecting your prescription yourself. Ask a relative or a neighbour to collect for you and try to avoid multiple trips. We ask that if you do come in to collect your medication, please respect our staff and observe the social distancing measures put in place.
Please note we are not accepting early repeat requests, orders for more than 28 days supply or requests for just in case medication. These actions may put a strain on the supply chain and exacerbate any potential shortages. We are adhering guidelines given to all practices by government.
If you have online access, please order your prescription through this system.
WARK IS OPEN FOR PRESCRIPTION COLLECTIONS 8AM-6PM Monday, Wednesday and Friday And 8AM-5.30PM Tuesday and Thursday.
If you are not able to get to Wark, please contact us.
Returning to School
As many children across the UK are set to go back to school, A number of resources have been put together online, which focus on supporting the well-being and understanding of staff, children and young people as they return to school and a ‘new normal’.
Referral for further care
click here : referral info for patients to read a message from Dr Graham Syers, Clinical Chair Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group explaining what you can expect if you require a referral to hospital in the coming weeks
or view the video below
These are not currently being carried out. If you have concerns please arrange a routine telephone consultation with Dr Wright.
Antenatal and INR clinics
You will be called prior to your appointment to confirm where your appointment will take place.
Health Visitor Drop-in Clinic
This has been cancelled until further notice. Please contact your Health Visitor Team by phone if needed on 01434 220651
We appreciate your patience during this difficult time.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.
You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Household members should self isolate and stay at home for 14 days from the 1st day your symptoms started.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Call the Practice to speak to a GP or use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help using the online coronavirus service
Stay At Home advice can be found here
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.
- Stop all non-essential contact with others and stop all unnecessary travel
- Start working from home where you possibly can
More information can be found on the NHS website here
Access to patient records – To help the NHS to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHSX and NHS Digital are improving access to medical records and patient information. This will help them to more safely treat and advise patients who are not attending their usual GP practice, who have called NHS 111, or who are receiving care in another setting.
There are reports in the French press that ibuprofen may increase risks with coronavirus. PHE says there is no published evidence that ibuprofen increases the risk of catching COVID-19 or of getting worse complications. However, if you have a temperature/fever you should treat this with Paracetamol as a fist line treatment. If you take Ibuprofen for a long term condition you should continue to do so.
ACEi or ARBs
There has been some speculation that ACE inhibitors/ARBs may further increase the risk of serious illness/death from COVID-19
The Council on Hypertension strongly recommend that physicians and patients should continue treatment with their usual anti-hypertensive therapy because there is no clinical or scientific evidence to suggest that treatment with ACEi or ARBs should be discontinued because of the COVID-19 infection.
NHS.UK INFORMATION LINKS
General NHS advice
For expert information and advice on how COVID-19 impacts specific palliative or long-term conditions and how to manage your condition during the pandemic.
HIV and AIDS
Sickle cell disease
Chronic kidney disease
Motor neurone disease
End of life care
End of life care – Changes in the last hours and days
Other Patient information links
Pituitary/ adrenal insufficiency (including steroid sick day rules)
Underlying lung disease (British Lung Foundation)
People with Asthma
People with Diabetes
People affected by Stroke
Children/young people T1 diabetes
People with Heart/circulatory disease
Young people with anxiety
Adults with anxiety
People with Rheumatoid Arthritis
People with cancer
People with inflammatory bowel disease
People with Parkinson’s disease
People with Multiple Sclerosis
People with liver disease and liver transplant
People with kidney disease including dialysis
People with epilepsy