Shielding for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
The UK Government has set out a roadmap for the clinically extremely vulnerable on the future of the shielding programme.
For now, the guidance remains the same – stay at home and only go outside to exercise or to spend time outdoors with a member of your household, or with one other person from another household if you live alone – but the guidance will change on 6 July and again on 1 August , based on clinical evidence.
Shielding and other advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been and remains advisory.
What are the changes?
Recently, the UK Government advised that you can spend time outdoors, if you wish, with your own household, or if you live alone with another household. Following this, and alongside current scientific and medical advice the UK Government is planning to relax shielding guidance in stages.
From 6 July, the guidance will change so you can meet in groups of up to six people from outside your household – outdoors with social distancing. For example, you might want to enjoy a summer BBQ outside at a friend’s house, but remember it is still important to maintain social distancing and you should not share items such as cups and plates. If you live alone (or are a lone adult with dependent children under 18), you will be able to form a support bubble with another household.
From 1 August, you will no longer need to shield, and the advice will be that you can visit shops and places of worship, but you should continue maintaining rigorous social distancing.
Why is the guidance changing now?
The roadmap has been developed in line with the latest scientific and medical advice and with the safety and welfare of those who are shielding in mind. Current statistics show that the rate of catching coronavirus in the community continues to decrease. On average less than 1 in 1,700 in our communities are estimated to have the virus, down from 1 in 500 four weeks ago.
Unless advised otherwise by your clinician, you are still in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category and should continue to follow the advice for that category, which can be found here.
We will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spread too much, we may need to advise you to shield again.
SCAM WARNING - CERVICAL SCREENING
Public Health England (PHE) has advised of a potential scam involving a text message being sent to some women claiming to be from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme “Call and Recall” service.
The text message advises that the recipient is overdue for their cervical screening test (smear test) and to call a mobile number to book an appointment and provide personal details.
These text messages are NOT from the NHS cervical screening programme, please DO NOT disclose any personal information should you receive this message.
This has been reported to the Action Fraud Line.
For more information on cervical screening, please visit the NHS website.
A new diabetes helpline has been set up for anyone with insulin-treated diabetes to help and concerns during this difficult time
NHS Diabetes Advice Helpline
What it is and who is it for?
NHS Diabetes Advice is provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement in response to disruption to normal services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
The service is for adults living with diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition and require immediate advice from a team of clinical advisors.
Whether they or a member of their household have caught the virus, or routine care has been disrupted, the helpline can provide clinical advice to help them understand how to effectively manage their diabetes.
How do patients access it?
The helpline is accessible via Diabetes UK’s support line on 0345 123 2399. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm.
What clinical advice will the helpline provide?
NHS Diabetes Advice supports adults living with either type of diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition, and who require clinical advice on topics such as: Hyperglycaemia, Hypoglycaemia, Sick day rules and Missed injections.
However, the service is not intended to replace routine care, support paediatric patients or support pregnant patients. These patients are advised to contact their own doctor or care team.
Who are the clinical advisors?
NHS Diabetes Advice clinical advisors are volunteers. They are all health professionals with expertise in diabetes. All the advisors providing advice are clinically trained and competent.
Video Consultations now available with your GP!
At Three Villages Medical Practice we are always looking for ways to improve our patient's access to services. From 16th March 2020 we are now able to do video consultations. Video consultations can be done as an alternative to an appointment at the practice at the GP's discretion.
If you have booked for a video consultation you can find instructions on how to prepare your device for the appointment below:
How it works:
- Your practice will let you know that they would like you to do a video consultation
- Your clinician will then send you a text message with a link to load video consultation, that looks something like this:
What you need to do:
- Once you receive the message click on the link
- It will then open your internet browser (e.g. Safari, Chrome)
- It may show you a screen where you need to click "Request permissions" to enable your camera and your microphone
- Then you need to click "Join Meeting"
- You should then be able to see your GP:
What do I need for it to work?
- A smartphone, either with working Wifi/3G/4G connection
- Your Internet Browser needs to have your phone's microphone and camera enabled (you can see how to alter this in your phone settings here)
- iPhones running older software that has not been updated (iOS 12 and earlier) will need to download the Whereby app to join the consultation)
To see more a video of how it works and find out more please visit:
Coronavirus COVID19 - Guidance 13th March 2020
Updated Information: Covid-19
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ This page is under review by NHS.
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
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.
Read our advice about staying at home.
Urgent advice: 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
Use the 111 coronavirus service
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Treatment for coronavirus
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.
Government response and action plan
Coronavirus Primary Care Briefing – 18 February 2020
Do not go to a GP surgery, community pharmacy or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.
Further information is available on www.nhs.uk
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan or Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
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.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at Further information is available on www.nhs.uk
News: January 2020 – Chain SMS
We are now using Chain SMS to message patients
For this to work for you, it is essential that if you change your mobile number you tell us
Chain SMS is a system which allows us to easily send text messages to individual patients. You won’t be able to reply to them.
Some examples of how we might use it:
"Your prescription is ready"
"You need to book an appointment"
"Please call us back"
Please read this article to understand how a GP surgery works:-
Nov 2019 : Pressures in General Practice - BMA article
News: March 2019 – Smear Campaign
Cervical screening, or the “smear test”, is a routine health check that identifies potentially harmful cells and changes on the cervix. Cervical screening is not a test for cancer but catching any changes early can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer. Cervical cancer kills two women every day. Regular screenings can help reduce that number, which is why it’s so important you attend your screening when invited.
Our nurses are trained to do all they can to put you at ease during your appointment and are on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have. However, whether you attend your screening or not, is ultimately your choice.
Don’t forget we are able to carry out the screening on some weekends.
If you’re due to have a cervical screening, you’ll receive an invite letter in the post. Don’t ignore it, book your cervical screening today.
If you missed your previous appointment or are unsure if you are due a screening, please contact on 01384 322500 and we will book you an appointment if you’re due.
News: January 2019 – Group Consultations
Three Villages Medical Practice are excited to announce that the practice will be holding group sessions from 9th January 2019. These sessions create an opportunity for patients to be seen in groups to discuss prevention of long term conditions and long term condition management. The consultation will allow patients to support each other and share experiences. They are held by a facilitator and a lead clinician from the practice. You will receive an invite from the practice to attend a session if you are eligible.
News: April 2019 – Long Term Condition Reviews
Three Villages Medical Practice operates a Birth Month Recall System. If you have a long term condition, your annual review will take place in the month of your birthday. Our staff aim to remind you one month prior to the month you are due for review and can book you an appointment in advance.
If your review requires blood monitoring, you will need to collect a blood form and have your bloods taken at least one week before your review.
NHS Choose Well - A&E
Have you ever been to A&E because you can't get off a fake nail? Taken your poorly pet to A&E instead of the vet?
It might sound far-fetched but the star of this video, Dee, does both of these in a humorous but informative Choose Well animation, which is based on real-life examples of A&E misuse.
Dee is advised by our singing doctor on the correct times to use A&E and about the available health services to use when things aren't an emergency!
Beware of 'Scams'!
A patient at a Practice in Dudley has reported being contacted by telephone by a company claiming to be the NHS before requesting personal information about health and prescriptions over the phone. This is a national scam and patients elsewhere in the country were also told they needed to change their medication and they would be charged for that before asking them to hand over credit card details. In some circumstances the company may ask for details about medication with a view to attempting to make an appointment to visit the patients’ home and assess them for a long term condition.
We are asking patients who get called in these circumstances to double check with the practice before making any appointments or giving out any payment details. We recommend that no one takes any medication sold to them over the phone or the internet as you do not know that the medication is legitimate and safe. It is important that you always get your prescriptions from the doctors treating you and that you buy any non-prescription medications from a reputable pharmacist or shop.
All patients (including children) have a named GP who will have overall responsibility for the care and support we provide for you. This will normally be the same as your 'usual G.P'. This does not prevent you from seeing any GP in the Practice if you so wish (as is currently the case anyway). If you have not yet been notified and wish to know who your named GP is, please contact the surgery or ask a receptionist at your next appointment.
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