FLU CLINIC FOR HARSTON SURGERY PATIENTS
ON FRIDAY 10th & Friday 17th DECEMBER WE HAVE A FLU CLINIC OPEN TO ALL OUR PATIENTS THAT FALL INTO THE CATEGORIES LISTED BELOW. PLEASE CALL THE SURGERY TO BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT ON 01223 870250
IF YOU ARE AGED 65 AND OVER, OR ARE IN ONE OF THE CATEGORIES LISTED BELOW,
The eligible groups for the 2021 service are:
all people aged 65 years and over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2022);
- people on the NHS Shielded Patient List for Covid-19
- people aged from 18 to less than 65 years of age with one or more of the following medical conditions:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis;
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure;
- chronic kidney disease at stage 3, 4 or 5
- chronic liver disease;
- chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability;
- immunosuppression, a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment);
- asplenia or splenic dysfunction;
- pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season);
- a household contact of someone on the NHS Shielded Patient List
- the main carer of an older or disabled person
- household contacts of immunocompromised individuals who are aged 18 or over.
- a frontline health or social care worker
- children aged 2 or 3 years old on 31st August 2021 (please ring the surgery to book an appointment)
- nearly all school aged children will be offered a vaccination at school
- Aged 50 to 64 years, vaccination to be offered at a later date.
(Newmarket Road P&R info)
The (free) smartphone and/or desktop NHS app enables you to
1) see your covid vaccination details
2) order repeat medication from us or send us a 'free text' medication request
3) use this without needing access codes from us (usually)
4) choose/confirm your data sharing preferences
5) book appointments online when we are able to resume this access
This way of requesting medication needs an access code from reception. The NHS App is simpler!
Is the practice closed? Are GPs shut?
Why do papers write that GPs are shut?
Who knows. Poor journalism, lazy research, push from poorly advised politicians would be our main answer.
Right now we have daily as many or more appointments as on any day prior to the pandemic. All local colleagues describe 30-50% higher demand. The main difference to prior to the pandemic is that ALL appointments start out with a phone call from the doctor. Around 1:2 become a face to face appointment. The rest can be done safely over the phone. And while there is a pandemic we will do on the phone what can be done safely on the phone. For your sake as much as for our staff's sake. We must not have an overcrowded waiting room, with vulnerable patients at risk of acquiring CoviD from attending.
But - we also have a massive problem in secondary care (hospitals, or other services we refer to) - in essence CoviD has destroyed the capacity of secondary care to provide a timely service - or even any previous kind of service.
A simple xray - prior to the pandemic done by a same day appointment and a report returned to us the same day, now takes days to get organised and weeks to come back to us.
Referrals to secondary care, if no cancer is involved may likely take months - we have been told some musculoskeletal waiting lists are now a year and more.
Even cancer referrals are taking more time to get processed.
Now, the vast majority of our daily patients do not need any hospital tests, referrals and fortunately have no cancer either. So that aspect of care runs as usual (bar the initial phone call and triage) - but those who need investigating or referring are often in a less good place.
As doctors we find this very upsetting, impossible to do anything about and quite worrying.
Our secondary care colleagues work hard, very hard. And many are badly burned out by what the pandemic has done to them and the services they lead. And others are paralysed because the resources they need are inaccessible to them - operating theatres closed, slowed down or otherwise unstaffed.
We do not know what can be done about all that - but we do know what none of us need - economy with the truth by politicians, abuse from lazy journalists or those who have listened too much of either.
If you are affected then please write to your elected MP. Without any concerns arriving in their mailbox they will continue in the belief that whatever is happening is safe and adequate. Sadly we know that this is not the case. The content of the recent 'Rescue package' for primary care is frankly insulting.
To us the NHS seems broken. With little cohesive plan for a swift resolution.
Rest assured we wil do our utmost to look after you as usual. But please understand that some things are beyond our control and whilst we are used to dealing with variable demand for medical problems, recently this has been at a sustained level above anything we could have planned for. We are working on some answers, but unfortunately there are no simple solutions.
COVID JABS - third doses or boosters...
These are now available at the local nationally run sites and you should be contacted by the NHS (text or letter) to advise how to book. You need to do this via 119 or online to book with the national service. We are unable to provide this at our Royston site as earlier in the year.
If you are/were immunosuppressed (or may have been on steroids) whilst either of the initial 2 doses were given then you are eligible for a 3rd dose of Covid immunisation - you should receive a letter from the NHS nationally, the CCG, or perhaps Addenbrookes. Sometimes more than one. The search to identify these patients has been broadened and patients on low doses of steroids that we would not consider immunosuppressive may well be included in this group. We'd advise going along with the 3rd jab if this applies to you. Booking for this group may not always be feasible online, so attending a walk in vaccination centre with your letter is the advised method of getting the vaccine if this is the case.
Boosters are offered at least 6 months after the last dose of your primary course (ie your 2nd jab, or third if you are immunosuppressed). The NHS booking system will only permit bookings after this time has elapsed; feel free to try and book yourself if you know 6 months has elapsed and no letter or text has arrived; clearly with covid rates increasing again, getting boosters as soon as avaiable is a sensible plan.
It is entirely safe to have the flu jab at the same time or at any interval before or after the covid jab; this is a welcome change from previous guidance suggesting an interval of at least 7 days.
Our admin email has become an unreliable way of contacting us as the NHS spam filters are blocking more and more mail due to NHS cybersecurity concerns.
Coronavirus remains a concern given the new variants. Incomplete population vaccination still leaves a reservoir of patients vulnerable to infection (death or long covid are both undesirable) or to facilitate further spread.
Whilst we'd love to offer open access for face to face GP consultations, we cannot yet safely do this. People attending the surgery are more likely to be vulnerable or unwell than those happy to go out and about to shops or leisure activities.
They may even have coronavirus - the number of patients who have consulted for a cough or temperature who are sure 'it couldn't be covid' yet have not thought to get a test means we really must remain cautious. Lateral flow tests are NOT adequate to reassure in this scenario.
The physical size of our waiting room and clinical areas limits the number of patients we can safely allow inside and remain Covid Safe.
At the same time we are very keen to see patients in person when a face to face appointment is clearly clinically necessary.
We have done so since the start of the pandemic and will continue to do so.
Dispensary 09:30-13:00, 14:00-17:45
Doors 08:30-13:00, 14:00-17:45
Phones 08:30-13:00, 14:00-18:00
ALL GP appointments are by phone triage initially.
DO NOT come to the surgery building if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.
BLOOD TESTS - there is now an excellent Drive-thru phlebotomy service open to all patients at the Newmarket Road Park and Ride site in Cambridge. Monday to Friday, 9:30-4:30, no appointment needed.
If the blood test has been electronically requested by Addenbrookes, no form is needed. Blood tests that we request need you to take our request form.
If you could get your blood tests done there, this would free up the waiting room for other patients to attend safely; please ring and ask reception if you need our request form.
***UPDATED Nov 2021***
For those needing a first or 2nd dose vaccination - all new bookings are now via the National Covid Booking Centre or by calling 119 if you have no online access.
The vaccination programme is now being offered by mass vaccination centres and pharmacies, rather than GP teams.
BOOSTERS or 3rd doses - see above
Feel free to contact the CCG if you know you are eligible for a vaccine but are unable to book. To be fair, they are doing an excellent job trying to manage patient expectations against an IT recall and booking system that is lagging behind Press and Government announcements as to who is eligible. (Especially in the 12-15 age groups, for whatever indication the vaccine is being offered).
Please read these links before attending for your vaccine.
Information for adults about the vaccine
Why do I have to wait for vaccination?
What to expect after the vaccination
Covid vaccine priority groups
SCAM phone calls and texts
are already happening. The covid vaccine is free, and the NHS will never charge for this; you CERTAINLY will NOT be required to give credit card details. It is NOT available outside the NHS. Be careful!
ALL appointments are by phone triage initially.
DO NOT come to the surgery building if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.
Our dispensers are still working evenings and weekends to try and keep up with a huge increase in requests yet stay safe at work. Please be patient and only request NECESSARY medication. If there is a queue to collect medication then you must (please!) stay 2m apart and well away from anyone who needs to access the surgery for medical care.
Do please use the 'Contact us' button for any queries - administrative, prescriptions, or non urgent medical advice and we will do our best to respond. Pictures can say 1000 words... (file sizes around 1Mb are ideal). The more and clearer the information you provide, the easier it is to respond quickly. Make sure you confirm your name and date of birth and give a mobile number if possible.
Coronavirus medication remote delivery update
Mental Health concerns?
2021 not quite shaping up how you'd like? Not much of a surprise after 2020, but if things are difficult they merit help!
Do you have concerns about stress, anxiety (general, social, health), panic, depression or low mood, phobias, OCD, PTSD?
By all means discuss things with your GP, but if you are over 17 feel free to self refer to this service for psychological support as it is the same one that we will direct you to and self referral is expected!
If you are acutely struggling and in crisis then 111 option 2 is a direct line to mental health support available 24 hours a day.
Lifecraft is a user-led organisation for adults in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who experience mental health difficulties. They offer a range of free mental health services to help and support individuals in their wellbeing and recovery
Emotional & Wellbeing Support for Children & Young People
More information can be found on these websites, including how to self refer: Chums has now ended and the new YOUnited service details are here. Schools and Colleges should be the first port of call to make referrals.
Centre 33 is free and available to anyone under 25. It exists to help every young person in Cambridgeshire fulfil their potential and overcome problems through a range of free and confidential services - including housing, sexual health, family problems, and bullying.
For drug and alcohol problems there is CASUS (up to age 17) and CGL (over 17)
Other resources for this age group include Keep your head, and Kooth.
Coronavirus testing is not done at the surgery; click here for self referral information
IF YOU’RE COMING INTO THE SURGERY, FOR WHATEVER REASON, A FACE COVERING MUST BE WORN. A FACE COVERING CAN BE A MASK, A SCARF OR EVEN A HIGH NECK JUMPER PULLED UP TO COVER THE MOUTH AND NOSE.
PLEASE NOTE ONLINE ACCESS TO APPOINTMENT BOOKING HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DUE TO THE CURRENT CORONAVIRUS SITUATION
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause - you can still order your repeat medication and access your coded record.
The proprietors of the Queen's Head pub have kindly agreed that patients may use their car park when visiting the surgery before 12:00 midday and 3:00 to 5.30pm. Busier surgery consultation periods fit nicely around their needs for customers to be able to park for lunch and in the evenings.
Please make sure you don’t leave cars in the pub car park at lunch time (12-3pm).
We appreciate their offer and understand it would have been even more convenient for patients if staff had been able to park in the pub - but leaving staff cars there all day would not work for the pub!
For those on regular medication there are 13 x 28 day periods in a year, making it cheaper to purchase a pre-payment certificate than pay per item each month. A prepayment certificate covers any other medications you might need and we would encourage patients to use this wherever possible (unless entitled to maternity or other medical exemption)
Patient Access lets you use the online services of your local practice. These include, repeat medication, arranging appointments and updating your details. We are working towards the government mandated target of enabling most patients who wish it to have secure access to view their coded medical summary online.
If you wish to use Patient Access you will need to ask for a registration letter from reception. Please note we will require some valid photo ID in order to provide this. The Patient Access website can be found by clicking HERE.
Minor eye condition service
This is a free NHS service available from specially trained Optometrists in the Cambridge area. This is available for patients over 16 years of age with the following conditions:
* Red eyes, red lids
* Dry, gritty, uncomfortable eyes
* Irritated, inflamed eyes
* Sticky discharge, watering eyes
* Ingrown eyelashes
* Foreign bodies in the eye
* Some types of flashes/ floaters
* Recent and sudden loss of vision.
During the pandemic it is important to have discussed the problem with your GP and got agreement this is an appropriate service to use.
Where can I go?
* A & I Lask - 42 Chesterton Road, Cambridge, CB4 1EN 01223357303
* Anglia Ruskin University Eye Clinic - East Rd, Cambridge, CB1 1PT 01223698070
* Boots Opticians - 20-21 Lion Yd, Cambridge, CB2 3NA 01223360006
* D Murphy Optometrists, 34 Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8DT 01223351819
* Specsavers, 13-15 Fitzroy Street, Cambridge, CB1 1ER 01223305241
* Specsavers, 30 Lion Yd, Cambridge, CB2 3NA - 01223366805
If you require immediate onward referral for a serious eye condition this can be arranged DIRECTLY from the clinic without needing a GP referral.
It has been pointed out to us that a company called Pharmacy 2u have been writing to our patients offering their dispensing services. You certainly have the choice of which provider you choose to dispense your prescriptions, but we are concerned that the letter seems to implicate that this company it is part of the NHS. It is not, it’s a private company that seeks to make money for profit.
One of the ways in which our practice can maintain income to sustain your services, is by supplying medication to our patients. Doing this helps make the practice financially sustainable during these very uncertain times of GP closures and amalgamations. Using other services will threaten this.
We really appreciate your support. Thank you.
Not sure where to start? Worried about looking out of place? Got some medical issues that might hold you back?
The Active and Healthy 4 Life exercise referral scheme is a personalised 12 week fitness programme drawn up and supervised by qualified instructors, making it easy for you to take up regular exercise. Funding from the council helps keep costs low for participants.
It is for anyone with an existing condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, depression or anxiety, and some types of arthritis, who would gain health benefits from a more active lifestyle.
Ask at your GP or Practice Nurse appointment if you think you might benefit and they haven't suggested it first. If you brought along a copy of the referral form with your details already completed that would make things easier!
Are you a carer? Could you in fact be a carer and not
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE OUR 'FAMILY AND FRIENDS TEST' PLEASE CLICK ON THE PATIENT SURVEY BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
(Site updated 23/11/2021)