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Message to our patients - update on the COVID-19 booster programme

The NHS and its partners are working extremely hard to roll out the COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to our communities.

All adults are eligible from Monday 13th December, and you will be able to book via the National Booking System from Wednesday 15th December.

Please do not contact the practice over any vaccination queries or try to book through the practice as this will stop patients with medical conditions being able to get through.

You can book your booster from 3 months from the date of second vaccines, and you can access the National Booking System too book the appointment from 2 months.

We are working at pace to increase the availability of our appointments so that there are plenty of options for people on the National Booking System.  Some local vaccination services will also contact patients directly.

New appointments are added every day across our vaccination services.  Further availability will come online from Wednesday 15th December.

We will be working will all our sites to take further steps to increase what they can offer again, including opening later and on more days.

All these appointments will be added to the National Booking System.  We encourage everyone who is aged 18 and over, is yet to have their booster and who is approaching 3 months from your second vaccine to use the National Booking System to arrange your appointment when you are able to do so.

In terms of any planned appointments with Ribbleton Medical Centre, there are no changes at the current time, and everyone should attend your planned appointments as normal.  If we need to make any changes, we will contact you directly.

Further information is available at:-

https://www.nhs.uk/book-coronavirus-vaccinationbooking

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Patient Information on Blood Tests

🩸 There is a global shortage of some equipment used for taking blood tests.

 

Anyone who needs a test for urgent health problems will still get one. But where it’s safe to do so, your appointment may be rescheduled.

 

️ Given the nature of the shortage, we cannot give an exact date for when the test will be rescheduled, but if your condition or symptoms require it, you will get a test.

 

️ If your condition or symptoms change or get worse, please contact the NHS as you would normally.

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Raising a concern

If you are a staff member:

Following the 'freedom to speak up review' by Sir Robert Francis, it was recommended that all NHS organisations foster a culture of safety and learning in which the staff feel safe when raising concerns.

Practice staff can raise any concerns via the CCGs' Freedom to Speak up Guardian, Paul Richardson, who is the CCGs ' Vice Chair and Lay Member for Governance.  Paul can be contacted by email to paul.richardson9@nhs.net.  You can find out more about this role via the CCG [https://www.nhs.uk/documents/our-policies/organisational-policies/329-hr-29-freedom-to-speak-up-policy-v7-0/file].

Staff can raise concerns anonymously via the Care Quality Commission.

If you are a member of the public:

If your concern is about the care you have received or that of a loved one, we recommend that you should always speak directly to the practice about this in the first instance.  However, if you feel that this is not possible or you do not wish to do so then you can raise a concern by contacting the CCGs' customer care team via email to csrccg.customercare@nhs.net or call 01772 214602 or 01772 214601 - Please note that calls to these numbers are recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

Alternatively, you can also contact the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator for all adult health and care services in England.

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Rescue Packs - updated 24th March 2020

We have been made aware of some inaccurate information circulating (especially on social media) regarding special rescue packs of antibiotics and oral steroids for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or even for those who do not have these conditions).
 
We would like to reassure you that patients who suffer with severe respiratory conditions already have these in place (along with the instructions how to use them). Oral steroids are powerful medicines and any decision to use them would need careful evaluation by a prescriber, usually a doctor or respiratory specialist nurse.
 
The current advice is please do not contact your GP practice for a rescue pack unless this is something that has been previously agreed and prescribed by your medical team. You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 before doing anything else.
 
We are aware of increasing requests for inhalers from patients who have not had them for a significant period of time. There is a risk of supply problems if inhalers are issued to people who do not currently need them. GP practices will need to review requests on an individual basis and will only prescribe where there is current clinical need for an inhaler. If your condition changes in future and your GP thinks you need an inhaler it will be prescribed for you at that point.
 
At the moment, inhaler prescriptions are also being limited to one of each type of inhaler in order to make sure that all patients who need one can get one.
 
You should continue to manage your conditions in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
or call 111 (online services should be used as a first choice) before doing anything else.

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