We have completed a risk assessment regarding the wearing of face masks at the surgery and are updating our policy from 20th March 2023.
From Monday 20th March, patients without respiratory symptoms or who are Covid-19 negative no longer need to wear facemasks when coming in to the surgery, unless this is their personal preference.
In addition, our staff are now not required to wear facemasks, unless it is their personal preference.
Patients who do have any respiratory symptoms (coughs, wheezing, etc.) should continue to wear facemasks / face coverings, if tolerated, for the safety of our other patients, our staff and our community.
If you are Covid-19 positive please do not come into the building, unless specifically invited in by a clinician.
Coronavirus in Numbers at Wells City Practice
Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Surgery has remained open and provided additional capacity to our patients through new digital consulting solutions.
We also opened over the Bank Holiday weekends.
We are now starting to reflect on the last 5 months and wanted to share some of the data from our patients.
Data was gathered between April 1st to August 31st 2020 for 7,900 patients registered with Wells City Practice.
See our Coronavirus in Numbers poster for further details.
For the latest information and guidance from the NHS relating to coronavirus please visit the NHS.uk Coronavirus (COVID-19) information website or the GOV.uk - Coronavirus (COVID-19) information website.
Germ Defence - Advice to help protect your home from COVID-19
A research study with 20,000 people found:
People who read the advice in Germ Defence are less likely to catch viruses
If they do become ill, the illness is likely to be less severe
It only takes 10 minutes to complete, please click the link below.
Somerset's Local Authorities
Coronavirus support helpline
0300 790 6275
Available 8am to 6pm, seven days a week
A single number is now available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus
related support from Somerset's Local Authorities. Anyone who can't find help
within their community can use the helpline to get help and advice surrounding;
- Emotional support if you 're feeling worried or anxious
- Financial support
- Personal care and support including food and delivery of prescriptions
- Housing and support for the homeless
- Transport needs
- Waste collection and disposal
Community Support Information from Health Connections Mendip
Please see the Community Support Information from the Health Connections Mendip website for further details.
Emotional support helpline for Coronavirus
01823 277 892
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Update
We know that everyone is eager to find out when they will get their Covid vaccination and that this is an anxious time. The NHS is working very hard to invite people who are eligible to have their vaccination, as quickly as possible. If you are aged over 50 you can now book your vaccination through the surgery or the National Booking Service, online, or by calling 119.
Please support us by ensuring your contact details are up to date, so we can contact you quickly when it is time to have your vaccination. We are contacting eligible people by phone, letter or text message – if you have already booked an appointment at a large vaccination centre, please tell us so we can update our records.
As soon as you are invited – please confirm your appointment date and time. You must attend all booked appointments to ensure that precious vaccines are not wasted and we can invite everyone as quickly as possible.
** If you already have an appointment over the coming weeks, whether for your first or second dose, this remains in place and it’s really important that you attend it as planned
You can get your COVID vaccination if:
- You are aged 50 or over
- you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
- you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- you have a learning disability
- you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
**Oxford Astrazeneca update**
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK’s independent regulator. Their role is to ensure medicines, devices and vaccines work effectively and are safe for use.
Every single vaccine authorised for use in the UK has been authorised by the MHRA and the three parts of authorisation are a safety assessment, an effectiveness assessment and a manufacturing quality assessment. Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are safe and effective against the COVID-19 variants currently dominant in the UK and have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy.
The MHRA has released a statement, following recent media coverage that some countries have temporarily suspended the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
UK regulator confirms that people should continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca. Following suspensions by some countries of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca over suspected blood clots, the MHRA confirms that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 far outweigh the risks. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.
For more information please visit the Gov.uk website.
Frequently Asked Questions about the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service
Q: Which members of the public are being offered the Covid-19 vaccine at the moment?
The NHS is currently in the process of offering the vaccine to people by priority groups, those who live or work in care home, and frontline health and social care staff. When everyone in these groups has had the chance to get their first dose of the vaccine the programme will expand to other people that are at risk either due to their age group or medical condition in line with the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations.
Remember you can only get the Covid-19 vaccine from the NHS and it is always free.
Q: What are the different ways members of the public might be contacted to get their vaccination?
Local hospital services – you might be contacted either to have the vaccine as an inpatient or at an outpatient appointment.
Local GP services – practices in your area are working together to contact and offer the vaccine to as many people as possible. This may be at a different surgery than you usually go to, or at a venue we have set up specially to deliver vaccines.
Through your care home – GPs and their teams are also arranging to vaccinate care home residents directly, in their homes.
A letter from the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service to book online or by phone. Booking through this service will give you the option of having the vaccine at a special Vaccination Centre, or potentially a community pharmacy depending on whether these are available locally.
Wells City Practice has started to send out SMS text messages inviting patients to book a vaccination appointment at West Mendip Hospital directly through a link in a SMS text message. Please be reassured that these messages are genuine & we encourage you to book via this service.
Q: I’ve already had my first jab, how do I get my second?
If you have had your first jab already through a hospital or GP services, the local NHS will contact you about getting your second.
If you have received a letter from the national booking service and you have already had your first dose of the vaccination, please ignore the letter. This service will require you to book appointments for both doses of the vaccination at the same time.
Q: I’ve contacted the national booking service but I can’t travel to one of the locations that are available, what should I do?
More locations will become available in the coming weeks so you could try again later.
Alternatively, you can choose to wait until your local GP service invites you for the vaccine.
If you are housebound and unable to leave the house to travel to any appointment, and cannot arrange for someone to help you, your local NHS services will be in contact with you.
Q: I have received a letter but I have already booked or attended an appointment at a local GP service. What should I do?
If you already have a vaccination booked through your GP please ignore the letter – there is nothing you need to do.
Q: I have the letter but don’t understand how I book my appointment?
If you have received a letter from the national booking centre inviting you to book your Covid-19 vaccination you can do this online or on the phone using the details on the first page of the letter.
You will need your name, date of birth and NHS number to book.
At the time of booking you will be asked to book your first vaccination and your follow up vaccination for 11 to 12 weeks’ time.
Q: I have received a letter about booking my appointment. Can I contact my GP to do this?
No, please do not contact your GP surgery. We cannot help you to book into the Vaccination Centre.
Please use the details in the letter to book your appointment directly.
Q: I have received invites to get vaccinated from both a local GP service and the national system, but haven’t booked with either yet. Can I choose where to go?
Q: Will people who have had their vaccination through a hospital, GP or care home still receive a letter to book through nhs.uk or by ringing 119?
This may happen in a small number of cases.
If people have had their first vaccination through a hospital or GP service, of if they are in a care home, this information will flow through to the national NHS system.
If this is recorded on the national system before the national booking letter is printed then it will flag not to send that person the national booking letter. There are likely to be cases where the letter is printed to be sent and then person subsequently has their vaccination recorded and therefore is sent the national booking letter. The booking letter explains this and says that if people have already had their first dose to not book through nhs.uk or 119.
Q: My neighbours / friends have received a letter from the national vaccination centre to book their jab. Why haven’t I received mine?
The NHS is inviting people for vaccinations based on expert advice on who would benefit most. This has been set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). At the moment we are focusing on people aged 80 and over, people who live or work in care homes, and health and social care staff.
If you are in one of these groups you will be invited to book your vaccine soon.
A vaccination programme of this size and scale will still take some time to roll out in full. Please be assured that everyone who needs the vaccine will be offered it.
The NHS will be in touch with you when it is your turn to be vaccinated. Please don’t call us before you are invited.
Q: What will the opening hours of vaccination centres be?
Standard opening times for vaccination centres will be 8am – 8pm, seven days a week.
Q: What are the operating hours of the telephone booking system?
The telephone booking service will be open 16 hours a day (from 7am until 11pm), seven days a week. People will also be able to book online 24/7.
Q: What if I can’t get to the Vaccination Centre?
People who are housebound will be contacted by their GP services about alternative ways to get vaccinated. People can also wait until more locations closer to where they live become available. The NHS will follow up with people that haven’t booked their appointment, as a reminder.
Q: What staff and volunteers will be working in Vaccination Centres?
The centres will be staffed by vaccinators and clinical supervisors, as well as administrative staff and stewards to ensure the effective and safe operation of the service.
These will largely be new and existing paid NHS staff, but volunteers – including from St John Ambulance or the NHS Volunteer Responder programme - will also play an important role.
Q: Are Vaccination Centres safe?
Yes. Staff at these sites will wear appropriate PPE and there will be social distancing and cleaning measures in place to keep everyone safe.
Q: I’ve received a letter but someone I live who is the same age hasn’t yet. Can we get vaccinated together?
The NHS is inviting eligible people in a phased basis as supplies of the vaccine allow. It is important that you wait for your letter from the NHS, and you will not be able to book without one.
If you have received a letter and live with someone who is also eligible but has not received a letter, it is likely that theirs will follow shortly. If you like you can wait and book at the same time.
Q: What should people do if they can’t get through to the phone line straight away?
At times, due to high demand, the phone line will get very busy, which may mean waiting on the line for a while or calling back later. You can alternatively book online.
If you need help to do this, please ask someone in your support bubble.
Q: Does this service work for people who don’t understand English well or are deaf?
The phone line will have interpreters and a BSL facility available on request to help you book your appointments.
Covid Vaccine Status for travel
Please do not contact the surgery enquiring about a COVID vaccination certification. We are unable to issue this certificate at the practice.
Please see this gov.uk page on demonstrating your covid 19 vaccination status when travelling abroad for further information.
Proof of your vaccination status will be available on the NHS App, which is also valuable for accessing your health records and ordering repeat prescriptions.
Alternatively you can call the NHS helpline on 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine, the letter may to take up to 5 days to reach you.
Please do not contact us to get an appointment. Information on the vaccine is available on the NHS.UK website.