Category Archive News

Byhowbeck

April is Stress Awareness Month

A bit of stress is normal and can help push you to do something new or challenging, but too much stress can take its toll.

Lots of things in life can cause stress such as work, relationships, money and sometimes these kinds of stresses can affect how you feel, think and behave. It can have an effect on your sleep, your mood and even your general health.

This weeks aim is to encourage us all to take stock of how we feel and make changes to our lifestyle to help reduce stress levels. For many, self-help will vastly reduce our stresses, but others may need professional help.

Below are several self-help tips you can try to combat stress:

Get Active – Being physically active releases feelgood hormones called endorphins which can help you sleep and feel better.

Talk – Spend some time with friends and family and relax. You might even want to tell them how you’re feeling, and they may offer some practical advice.

Take Control – Try and find a solution to the problem.

Challenge Yourself – Set yourself a new challenge or goal such as walking 10,000 steps a day or learning something new.

Take some time for yourself – Put some time aside to do the things that make you feel good, whether its going for a walk or simply having a relaxing bath.

Write it down – Try writing down your worries. This process can help clear your mind and ease your tension.

You can find more information on coping with stress on the One You website or for information and advice about mental health concerns you can visit Mind.

If self-help isn’t working for you and you find that stress is interfering with your daily life, then talk to your GP.

Byhowbeck

National Covid Vaccination Programme

Alrewas surgery is participating in the national Covid Vaccination programme. 

Covid vaccination appointments are by invitation ONLY and patients will get their invitation either via NHS letter sent directly to you or via contact from the surgery (text message with link or a call from a member of the surgery team). 

You can use either method.  If you get a letter or a text, please do not wait and act on it as soon as possible. This is because vaccines deliveries are allocated nationally and timescales for deliveries vary. All vaccinations have to be given to patients following the strict guidance from the government. The priority order can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-care-home-and-healthcare-settings-posters/covid-19-vaccination-first-phase-priority-groups

The surgery link is for bookings at Pirelli Stadium or Uttoxeter Racecourse.  We are not able to book appointments at Whitemoor Lakes or any of the other centres.

If you are listed as housebound on our records, the surgery will contact you to book your vaccination at your home. If we have given you your first vaccination, we will invite you to your second within 12 weeks.  If you have had your first vaccination elsewhere, you should have your second at the same location unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. you have moved a significant distance or have become housebound during the 12 weeks)

Patients can also book online via the NHS Covid vaccination site if they are eligible. Book here.

Please do not call to ask surgery staff to book you for a Covid appointment nor ask when you are likely to be invited.  We will contact you when it is your turn. Many Thanks.

Byhowbeck

Patients recovering from Covid-19 required for plasma donation to save lives!

NHS Blood and Transplant are leading an urgent programme to enable a UK trial that could produce vital treatment for Covid-19 and help save more lives.

This treatment requires plasma donations from patients who have had COVID-19 and are now recovering. NHS Blood and Transplant need to collect high titre plasma from willing donors to see if this might benefit when used early on in a patient’s illness, before hospitalisation and are in particular need of recovering male patients aged 18 – 65 years to take part.

To take part in this vital programme, you can call: 0300 123 2323 or visit https://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/covid-19-research/plasma-donors/who-can-donate-plasma/.

Byhowbeck

Supporting your recovery after COVID-19

As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind.

These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help.

Your COVID Recovery helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery. Find out more information at www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk 

Byhowbeck

Shielding changes – What has changed?

What has changed? Government guidance:

1. Is it really safe to stop shielding?

We have been clear that each step towards relaxing the shielding guidance should be taken carefully. People classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are still at risk of severe illness if they catch Coronavirus and should continue to take precautions, but the risk of catching Coronavirus is now sufficiently low, the Government believe that the time is now right to further relax the advice. The latest epidemiological data from the ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey shows that the chances of encountering Coronavirus in the community have continued to decline. Four weeks ago, on average only one person in 500 had the virus. Last week it was less than one in 1700. In addition, a test and trace system is now in place, including within schools, and there are robust measures in place to manage potential areas of higher risk.

2. Can I keep shielding if I want to?

The guidance for those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable continues to be advisory, and we have no plans to enforce it, so you can continue shielding if you want to. However, centrally provided food boxes and the Medicines Delivery Service will only be available while the advice is to shield, which is currently until the end of July.

Beyond July, NHS Volunteer Responders can continue to help with collecting food shopping and medicines deliveries. Simply call NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646 (8 am to 8pm) to access this support.

3. Can I go to all my hospital appointments now?

The NHS is preparing to gradually increase some important face-to-face services, but only where this can be done safely. Hospitals and other health facilities have been asked to put extra planning and protection in place for people who are at highest risk from Covid-19. These measures should be discussed with you in advance.

Where possible, appointments will be offered using remote services such as a video or phone consultation. If you do need to attend hospital for planned (non-emergency) care, you will be asked to take some steps to ensure you can get the care you need in an environment that keeps you safe, as well as staff and other patients.

• Admissions (including day surgery): if you are being admitted to hospital, you and any members of your household will be asked to isolate at home for 14 days prior. Where possible, you may be asked to complete a test within 72 hours before going to hospital. If you are unable to isolate effectively or be tested before coming to hospital, your admission may be rescheduled. This will be determined by your care team using clinical judgement and in consultation with you. Admissions teams will give you all the information you need when booking you.

• Outpatient appointments: you should only attend your outpatient appointment if you have no symptoms of Coronavirus. While at the hospital/health facility, it is important that you comply with normal social distancing requirements.

4. Can I return to work?

Until the end of July, if you have been able to work at home, you should continue to do so. At this time, we do not advise clinically extremely vulnerable individuals to attend their place of work (workplace/’onsite’) if this requires them to leave their home. This guidance remains advisory.

From 1 August the Government is planning to further relax advice to those shielding, bringing it in line with the advice to the clinically vulnerable group. This means that if they are unable to work from home but can work on site, they should do so, provided the business is COVID-safe.

5. What if I don’t want to return to work?

You should look to come to an agreement with your employer and understand their specific policies around health and safety and workplace attendance, especially in relation to COVID-19.

If you have concerns about your health and safety at work, you can raise them with any union safety representatives, or ultimately with the organisation responsibility for enforcement in your workplace, either the Health and Safety Executive or your local authority.

You can get advice on your specific situation and your employment rights by visiting the Acas website https://www.acas.org.uk/contact or calling the Acas helpline, 0300 123 1100.

6. I still need help with my food shopping?

Those in receipt of centrally provided food boxes, who continue to need help, will receive this support while they are advised to shield, until the end of July. This will give those shielding the time to adapt to advice that visiting shops, including supermarkets, is likely to be as safe as when they stopped these usual daily activities, provided they follow social distancing advice.

Beyond July, NHS Volunteer Responders can continue to help with collecting food shopping. Simply call NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646 (8 am to 8pm) to access this support.

The Government also continues to support the use of priority delivery slots to help the clinically most vulnerable where possible. Priority delivery slots are at the discretion of supermarkets, but we can confirm that seven supermarkets have given access to priority supermarket delivery slots that will continue beyond the end of July for those already signed up for support.

7. Can my children go back to school?

From 1 August the Government is planning to further relax advice to those shielding, bringing it in line with the advice to the clinically vulnerable group. This means that children can return to school/nursey. Where possible children should maintain social distancing and try and practise good, frequent hand washing. The latest advice can be found on GOV.UK.

8. When might you bring shielding back?

The latest scientific evidence shows that the chances of encountering Coronavirus in the community have continued to decline. The Government regularly monitors this position and if the rates of infection in the community rise, then it may be necessary to advise that more restrictive measures should be taken.

9. What is the guidance for the clinically vulnerable?

Public safety throughout this period is the Government’s top priority – this includes keeping safe society’s most vulnerable. We advise those who are clinically vulnerable to follow the Staying Alert and Safe social distancing guidance available on the gov.uk website. The advice is to stay at home as much as possible and, if you do go out, take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble. By this we mean always staying 2m apart from others outside your household or support bubble, avoiding crowds, and keeping your hands and face as clean as possible.

10. Is the letter I’ve received real, telling me that I don’t need to shield anymore?

The letter you have received is from Government, signed by Matt Hancock and Robert Jenrick. This letter will have arrived between 24 and 26 June. You can find a copy of the letter online at gov.uk.

11. Where can I find accessible or alternative formats of my shielding letter?

Translated, BSL and easy read versions of the letter can soon be found at gov.uk. If a patient is blind or partially sighted they can access audio or braille formats by calling the RNIB helpline at 0303 123 9999.

Byhowbeck

Face covering advised for all patients in the surgery

In line with government guidance and as we start to see more patients in surgery, we are asking all patients who come for an appointment to wear a face covering. This does not need to be a surgical mask but a general face covering. Thank you

Here’s a link to help make your own: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52609777 

Byhowbeck

SUSPICIOUS EMAILS UPDATE

We have been advised today of another attempt to send phishing emails from our surgery email account. This has been reported to NHS Digital which runs our email account and our data protection officer. Our security has been checked again and remains up to date. If you receive a suspicious email, please delete it immediately from your inbox and email bin. Do not click on any links. We can again advise there is no evidence that patient data has been accessed.

We understand the anxiety this may cause our patients and would like to reassure everyone that we have escalated this with the appropriate NHS digital IT providers.

Thank you to our patients who made us aware of suspicious email activity from our surgery email account on the evening of Saturday 30 May. This activity was immediately reported to NHS Digital, our local IT Team, Information Governance Team and the Information Commissioner.

If your email address was involved in the incident, you may be contacted by NHS Digital by end of 12 June 2020 directly, but we can advise we have taken all steps to prevent this from happening again.

We would like to reassure all patients that your medical records were not accessed. It seems that some email addresses with the subject line of an email received into the account were used to contact some patients. We understand the anxiety that this incident has caused and sincerely apologise for this.

Our IT department has confirmed that our security software was up to date at the time of the incident and remains so. Our surgery email is managed by national NHS systems and we have requested they undertake further investigation into the direct cause.

Alrewas Surgery takes the protection of your data very seriously and applies a range of methods to try to prevent incidents like this happening. Our staff are all trained to the highest of standards and the surgery has made a satisfactory submission to the Data Security and Protection Toolkit which is the national standard for all health and social care organisations to demonstrate the way in which we handle, process and share personal data.

The following may help all our patients to identify whether an email is suspicious:

  • We do not send emails from the surgery account over the weekend, they will never just include a link for you to click without an explanation of why from a member of surgery staff and will never ask you to input personal details.
  • If you receive an email from the surgery email account that looks suspicious e.g. any of the above reasons or it is misspelled, please report it to us as soon as possible and delete it from your inbox and your email bin.
  • It is also good practice to change your password and check your own computer/tablet/smartphone virus security.
Byhowbeck

How to get an isolation note for your employer

This service, at nhs.uk, is for those who have been told to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer.

This service is only for people who:

  • have symptoms of coronavirus and have used the 111 online coronavirus service
  • have been told by a healthcare professional they have symptoms of coronavirus
  • live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus

If you are not sure if you need to stay at home, get the latest NHS advice on coronavirus.

If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.

You can also use this service for someone else.

Get an isolation note.

Byhowbeck

“Talk before you walk” – Access to surgery and appointments

Following Coronavirus guidance, and to protect ALL our patients and staff, we are suspending all appointments for pre-booking until further notice.

However, we are still working and continuing to deal with all enquiries as usual via telephone, online services and email.

ALL appointments will be on the day only and will be telephone calls.  A doctor or nurse will call you to assess if you need to be seen.

Please do not queue outside the surgery at 8:15am, but call the surgery for appointments instead. We will arrange for a clinician to call you back.

If you have an appointment booked in the future, we will contact you if we feel your appointment does not require face to face contact.

We are also asking patients to ring the doorbell if they have an appointment. Prescription requests and letters can be put in our letterbox. This is to help manage the number of people coming in and out of the surgery and to support our infection control measures.

If you have or develop a new persistent cough or a high temperature DO NOT come to the surgery and stay at home for 7 days. Members of your household should isolate for 14 days. PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE GP SURGERY IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS.

Updates will be on this website. Thank you for your patience and assistance.