In line with current Government guidance patients are required to continue to wear a face covering in all healthcare settings.
Face coverings primarily protect others, so doing so – unless exempt – is key to preventing spread of infection.
If you have symptoms you must get at PCR test as soon as possible & before visiting your GP. Rapid lateral flow tests should not be used to confirm infection.
It’s vital that you and anyone in your household isolate until you receive your test result, and for 10 days thereafter if the result is positive.
Planning is well underway for our 2021-2022 flu vaccination programme. The flu vaccination clinics will be run as drop in clinics on number of Saturdays for those who are eligible with no appointment necessary. We will post the clinic dates on our website & social media as soon as we are in receipt of our vaccines and will write to all eligible patients with further instructions on how to access the clinics. As such, please ensure your personal details are up to date – this can be done through our generic email address or a change of contact details form at reception.
All GP practices are affected by the current national shortage of blood tubes and are taking urgent steps alongside our hospitals to prioritise their use for people with the greatest clinical need. This includes testing for serious conditions such as cancer.
We are following national guidance which has been issued in response to the shortage. As a result, we may need to cancel and delay a number of patient appointments for blood tests deemed routine or non-urgent. If you have a routine blood test appointment your GP surgery will be in touch directly if they need to cancel your appointment, this will be by phone or by text message.
Please be assured that appointments will be rescheduled once the situation has improved, and in line with national guidance. There are a few things you can do if you are affected by this change:
The changes are likely to be in place for at least four weeks. We will keep you updated as the national situation changes. We fully understand the frustration this is likely to cause and apologise for the inconvenience.
The past 18 months have been difficult for us all and we want to thank you for your understanding and patience. At Wells City Practice, we would like to reassure patients that we are open and here for you.
As we now emerge from lockdown, the NHS must deal with a huge backlog of work. This backlog combined with us having several GPs away over the summer due to sickness, maternity leave and annual leave, means that for the foreseeable future, we need to make some changes to the way we operate. This will help us continue to protect patients and staff and will mean we can continue to provide care for our patients.
What will this mean for patients?
We again thank you for your patience and understanding during this most difficult time for us all when it might take a little longer to get through on the phone or to book in an appointment. #BePatient. #BeKind.
Throughout the pandemic we have strived to make the surgery as safe as possible for all our patients and staff. We will continue to do so going forward.
From the 19th July nothing will change at the surgery - patients will still be asked to wear a mask, socially distance and use hand sanitiser in the surgery and staff will continue to wear PPE. We will also continue to operate the intercom system when the waiting room is at capacity. We do understand that it can be frustrating but we know that when people come to us they are sick and vulnerable so we feel it would be wrong to not take these small precautions that can protect people.
In terms of opening up, as many of you know, we have never been shut and in fact have consulted with much higher numbers of patients than we did pre-Covid (face to face, by phone, by e consult and by video), not counting administering 40,000 vaccinations in the Primary Care Network in the last 6 months.
The Wells Community has come so far in trying to minimise the impact of Covid and we are sure you understand that we need to keep the surgery as safe for ALL patients as we can.
A new service from NHS Digital is being put into place which will more efficiently collect primary care data and make it available for better planning of healthcare services and for use in medical research.
NHS Digital has been collecting data from GPs to meet bespoke data requests for these purposes for over ten years, through its trusted General Practice Extraction Service (GPES). This system is now being replaced with their new General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service, a broader general-purpose collection which will enable faster access to pseudonymised patient data for planners and researchers who may be organisations outside of the NHS. You can read more about this here: Improved collection of GP data launched - NHS Digital
There are two types of opt out available to you:
*I am content for my information to be used within the NHS as it has been previously but I do not want it shared with a third party*
If you are content for your information to continue to be sent to NHS Digital to help with future planning for the NHS, but you do not want your information to be shared with other third parties, such as universities, charities and pharmaceutical companies, then you need to complete the National Data Opt Out form.
*I do not want my information shared with anyone outside of my own Practice, except in relation to my own care*
This is not a new opt out and has always been an option for patients upon registration.
Many of our patients already have a Type 1 opt out in place and this will not need to be renewed as it will remain as you have previously requested.
However, if you did not request this opt out initially, but want to change now, then we are happy to do this for you.
If you are unsure if you have a Type 1 opt out but want one, please do not contact us to check, we do not have the staff available to answer calls such as this and want to keep our phone lines open for those in clinical need.
Instead, please follow the instructions below:
If you do not want your identifiable data to be shared outside your own Practice, except for your own care, you can opt out at any time by requesting that we record your preference, this is called a Type 1 opt out and you can do this by collecting a form from reception or contacting us via email by clicking firstname.lastname@example.org and heading your email ‘Type 1 Opt Out’
If you are only doing a Type 1 opt out and not the National Data Opt Out above, then you will need to do this by 23rd June 2021 if you wish to avoid your information to be sent to NHS Digital for their first extraction with new parameters, which begins on 1st July 2021.
As a way of highlighting the increase in our workload we would like to share some information that came through from James Rimmer who is the Chief Executive of Somerset CCG:
"Over the past few weeks, there has been a significant increase in demand across all areas of our healthcare system and in particular, acknowledge that General Practice is now busier than the pre-pandemic period. During the period Dec 19 - Feb 20 (the last full month before restrictions were in place) the activity in total was 611,748 with a monthly average of 203,916 appointments. The latest three month position (January 2021 to March 2021) shows a total of 837,357 appointments carried out across Somerset primary care with a monthly average of 279,119 appointments across our 65 practices. 47% of these were carried out as face to face appointments."
We are working very hard to keep up with this extra demand so that we can continue to provide you with the best possible care whilst also keeping our patients and staff safe.
We temporarily reinstated the option to order prescriptions over the phone due to the pandemic and the need for people to stay at home. This will be stopped again as from 17th May 2021 in line with the governments next steps in the covid recovery plan. From this date you will no longer be able to request prescriptions over the telephone. This decision has been made by the GPs in the interest of patient safety.
Due to the increasing demand we are also extending our turnaround time to 5 working days.
For more information please go to our prescriptions advice page.
Don't worry if you haven't heard from us yet, we will be in touch directly to arrange your vaccination appointment when the time is right.
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
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In response to the announcement that public health England will be supplying many extremely vulnerable people with Vitamin D tablets to reduce the risk of deficiency over the winter, the Prescribers at surgeries in West Mendip Primary Care Network would like to share the following advice:
If you are currently prescribed Calcium and Vitamin D tablets, or vitamin D tablets, continue to take these. You do not need to take any additional supplements supplied by Public health England, as long as your tablets contain at least 400units (10mcg Vitamin D)- all prescribed ones should contain these levels.
If you buy vitamin D over the counter, you can continue to take these, or take the nationally supplied ones, as long as the ones you have are at least 400units (10mcg).
You are safe to take vitamin D tablets with most prescribed medication- however if you are taking Digoxin you may need extra monitoring- please contact your GP.
If you develop any unusual symptoms after starting Vitamin D and are taking other medication, please contact your prescriber, though we expect this to be very rare.
If you accidentally take both prescribed vitamin D and public health England supplied vitamin D, there are likely to be no ill effects, however you can discuss this with your community pharmacy and they can check the amounts you have taken.
We were sorry to hear that your hospital appointment has been delayed. Covid restrictions mean that most people are having to wait longer for their outpatient appointments, tests and operations. All our referrals are graded by the relevant consultant team. We have no say about when the consultants allocate their appointments which is based on their judgement of the urgency of the clinical need.
Many patients are contacting us asking for letters to be sent to help speed up their appointment. You will see that this is something we are unable to do for the reasons explained above.
However, if you think your symptoms have changed and your need is now urgent, do please write a letter or email detailing why you think so which we can forward to the relevant specialist team. The more detail you include the better.
If you are very concerned then do please get in touch with us for an appointment which, under current NHS regulations, will be a phone call or other remote consultation in the first instance but which can be face-to-face if needs be.
The community of Wells has come together to support those who are facing difficulties due to the current emergency. If you need help with the following:
It's safe to visit your GP Practice, but please call us first or go online.
The Surgeries of Glastonbury, Street and Wells will be jointly providing improved access to our combined list of 52,000 patients.
Each Surgery will be providing:
The appointments available will be a mixture of GP, Nurse Practitioner and Practice Nurse. Some routine procedures, currently undertaken during the week, will also be moved to Saturday mornings.Improved Access
Health Connections Mendip is a new health and wellbeing service available to patients. Patients can talk to a health connector at the surgery to find out about local activities, support and services Health Connections Mendip available, and can also arrange one-to-one appointments to speak to a Connector. During these appointments a Health Connector will listen to your health story and assist you with setting health-related goals which are meaningful to you. Health Connectors also support you to make positive changes that last. You can also access the service by telephone on 01373 468 368, email at email@example.com or visit us at: www.healthconnectionsmendip.org.
Health Connections Mendip page
Mendip Directory of Services
Do you want to talk to someone about domestic abuse?
Contact the Somerset Domestic Abuse Support helpline: 0800 69 49 999
Further information can be found on the Somerset Survivors website.
Local services and information to help you choose the right care and support. Visit the Somerset Choices website.
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Use Patient Access to book an appointment, order repeat prescriptions and view your medical record.
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