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Important Notice

 

Please click on Covid Vaccination tab on the right hand side of this page for more information - latest update 16th July 2021

 

We are here for you when you need us – how to access services

If you need the help of a GP, practice nurse or other health professional that works in our surgery, we are here for you.

GP practices are busier than they have ever been and we want you to know how to get the help you need from us.

As you will know, we have been open throughout the pandemic, offering you telephone and online appointments, with face to face consultations available for those who need them. We have continued to help many thousands of patients each week, alongside planning and delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

There are some things that patients can do to help make sure we can see everyone who needs us, as quickly as possible. Please continue to contact us by phone or online as this helps us to manage people entering our practice building; it is much better if you don’t come to the practice unless you have an appointment. We need to keep social distancing in our practice building to keep everyone safe, we also ask that you always wear a mask while in the surgery. Please remember that appointments are a set amount of time so it is only safe to discuss one or two health issues. If you have more to discuss please mention this when you speak to reception staff.

Our busiest times of the day on the phones are between 8am and 10am so if you can, we would suggest that you call outside of this time.

During the pandemic the use of our online system “eConsult” increased. It is a great way to get clinical advice for your condition, however, it is worth remembering that each consultation takes a significant of time to review and there are lots of other ways to get advice. Also you will not get an instant response to these so if it is urgent please call the practice or contact 111.]

On our website we have links to key NHS information and advice. Please also go to www.nhs.uk which is a as a source of trusted health advice about your or your child’s condition. Your local pharmacist is also there for you as an expert in medicines. They can offer advice for certain ailments. They will also know when you need to contact a GP or another more urgent service. Many pharmacies are open in the evening and at weekends, you can find them on the CCG website: https://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/pharmacies

Remember if the situation is urgent you can contact NHS 111 by visiting www.111.nhs.uk or by calling 111. They can also support with a mental health crisis if you select option 2.

You don’t need to see a GP to refer yourself for some mental health services. Find out more at https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/services/community-services/wellbeing-service/ If you are worried about your mental health and any harm you may cause yourself please contact your practice.

Remember to always dial 999 straight away when it is a real emergency, for example if you think someone is having a heart attack or a stroke.

Please continue to use general practice when you need to, we are open and there for you.

Thank you for your support.

COVID VACCINATIONS

Update 16.7.21 from NHS England

The Government has announced that everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules after Monday 19 July

NHS England » NHS Patients, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings in healthcare settings

Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines remain in place for all staff and visitors.

That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services, including GP practices, to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, mask and other personal protection equipment.

Update 20.5.21 from NHS England:

From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. Vaccine status will be available from the NHS App which you can download from app stores.  When signing up for the app, it may take a few days for your identity to be checked and verified so you can use this service. If you cannot access the NHS app, and you have had both doses of your vaccine, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel abroad in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take 7 working days for the letter to arrive. GP practices cannot provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status. When you're planning your travel, check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is time to get proof of your vaccination status before you leave.

Update 13.5.21 – Covid Vaccinations under 50s

This GP practice is not offering 1st dose COVID vaccines for healthy under 50s. Book a 1st dose once you’re eligible at: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119. New slots are added frequently so check back if you can’t initially see a convenient time/place. If the practice are due to give your 2nd dose, we will be in touch before the 11th week.

Update 22.04.21

Vaccination update for our patients

The NHS vaccination programme continues to make strong progress.  Vaccinations have now been offered to everyone aged 50 and over, as well as health and social care workers, unpaid carers and people at a higher clinical risk.

Five out of every six people who have been offered the vaccine have already been vaccinated. The offer of a vaccine remains on the table for anyone who is eligible who has yet to book.

As the COVID-19 vaccination programme continues, our practice will in future only vaccinate:

· patients in the priority groups 1 to 9 who haven’t yet had their vaccine

· second doses to our patients when they are due.

If you are 50 or over, or you are an unpaid carer, or are clinically at risk, or are living with someone who has a suppressed immune system) you can get your vaccination by:

· ringing 119 · booking online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/.

There is enough vaccine for everyone in a priority group who needs it. If you have questions or concerns about your vaccination, have a look at the advice, information and frequently asked questions on this local NHS website: https://covid.healthierfuture.org.uk

If you are in a newly eligible age group (currently people aged 45-49) please arrange a vaccination appointment through the national booking service website or by calling 119.  This will allow you to book an appointment at a local vaccination centre or pharmacy site. 

If you are pregnant, it is now advised that you take up the offer of a vaccination if you are eligible to do so -for example, you are a health or social care worker, or you live with someone who is immunosuppressed. Contact our GP practice so that we can help to arrange this at a suitable vaccination centre.  

We would like to extend our thanks to all of the staff and volunteers for their invaluable help in supporting our vaccination effort. 

Update 19.3.21

COVID vaccine supplies

You may have seen news coverage about vaccine supplies over the coming weeks. 

From now until 29 March, our GP-run vaccination centre at Bishops Stortford Football Club will still be delivering vaccinations to people in the top priority cohorts. This includes everyone aged 50 or over, eligible carers and those in vulnerable groups. 

If you are one of these patients, you can also choose to book a vaccination online at on the National Booking System: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/ or by calling 119.  

Everyone who is due to have a second dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine between 29 March and the end of April will receive their second dose. If you had your first dose at our GP-run vaccination centre then we will contact you when it is time for your next appointment. There is no need for you to phone us.

If you booked your first appointment at a pharmacy or large vaccination centre through the National Booking System website or by calling 119, you should already have a second dose appointment in your diary. You should attend this appointment as planned.

Any first dose vaccinations already booked to take place in April via the National Booking System will also still go ahead.

Up to date information about COVID vaccinations can be found at https://covid.healthierfuture.org.uk/ 

Update - 8.3.21

For practice websites: Stort Valley & Villages Update on COVID Vaccinations

We continue to work hard to vaccinate everyone in the priority groups and so far we have vaccinated 14,671 people.

At the moment our focus is on people aged under 65 with specific health conditions which put them at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID as well as those people who we know are Carers who are eligible to be vaccinated. We are inviting people as quickly as we can, based on the vaccine supplies available to us. If you fall into one of these categories, we will be contacting you over the next fortnight once we have been allocated our vaccine stocks. We have also started to invite our more elderly patients in for their second dose.

There are some weeks when we are not receiving as much supply of the vaccine as we would like, due to national supply constraints. We know this has led to some longer waits than we would like to see for our patients.  If you or someone you care for is eligible for a vaccination and is very concerned about waiting to be called, you can try to book online at  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus- vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/  or dial 119 to see if an alternative vaccination centre has any appointments.

 

There is currently a high demand for appointments through this route which may mean that you have to travel further to get an appointment until national vaccine supplies increase. There are vaccination centres at the following locations in east and north Hertfordshire:

  • Robertson House, Stevenage
  • Chells Manor Community Centre, Stevenage
  • Avanti Meadows Primary School, Bishop’s Stortford
  • The Priory, Ware
  • Roche Pharmaceuticals, Welwyn Garden City

If these options do not appear for you, this means that all their appointments are currently booked up. More appointment slots do get added so check back regularly. There are also vaccination sites in west Hertfordshire, Essex and Bedfordshire that may be closer to where you live.   

Letters are now being sent from NHS England to people aged over 55, inviting them to arrange an appointment online using the national booking website. If you are aged over 55 and receive one of the national letters but don’t want to book online and would prefer to receive your vaccination with us at our GP hub at Bishops Stortford Football Club you will need to be patient and wait for us to call you. Like all local vaccination services provided by GPs, our hub is not on the national booking site; it is managed by practice staff who will either call you or send you a text message.  As soon as we have vaccinated everyone in the earlier priority groups and we have enough vaccine to move on to the next group, we will be in contact with over 55s.  

We are expecting our vaccine supplies to GP hubs to increase considerably from the middle of March so we hope to be able to call in many more people after that – for their first and second doses, in line with national guidance about priority groups and the recommended interval between doses. Please be assured that nobody who is due a second dose will have to wait longer than 12 weeks for it.

Update  - 2nd February 2021

To date Stort Valley and Villages Primary Care Network (PCN) have vaccinated over 9,000 patients, with another 1170 booked into clinics running next week.  We are currently working hard to meet the government’s deadline of offering a vaccine to all those in cohorts 1 - 4 by 15th February (everyone over 70, care home residents and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable). 

This week we have:

Run clinics for over 3000 patients at the football club.

Started contacting all our housebound patients and they are being given a time slot and a date for their vaccine, we have teams going out twice a day and they are working incredibly hard to get round everyone as quickly as possible.

Become aware that some patients will be getting two invites one from their own GP surgery (for a clinic run by the PCN at the Bishops Stortford football club) and another via the national booking service (where you can choose from options including Harlow, Stevenage and the newly opened clinic at the Avanti Meadows School in Bishops Stortford which we are not involved in delivering).  Unfortunately, we have no control over this so bear with us if you have already been called.

It is entirely up to the individual which clinic they would rather attend but to be clear the PCN clinic (at Bishops Stortford Football Club) invites people as follows:

1) Via Text (identifying your GP surgery) asking you to book via a system called Accurbook.

2) Via a phone call from one of our surgery team (who will identify them as such).

3) Via letter with full instructions about the date / time of the clinic.

As a PCN we request that if you do not want an appointment at the football club vaccination site you let us know ASAP, this allows us to judge the numbers and open appointments for others to be vaccinated.  

NB: Please can we request that patients book at one or the other site not both as we will not be able to judge how best to distribute the vaccine if people double book.

22.12.20 - GPs in the Stort Valley and Villages PCN begin administering Covid-19 vaccinations

A centre has been set up at Bishop’s Stortford Football Club to start vaccinating our patients. The vaccinations will be arranged in strict order of eligibility, and we will begin with patients over 80 year’s old. 

If you have not yet been invited to attend, please don’t worry, but do not call your GP Practice. We will contact you as soon as we have a vaccine and an appointment slot available.

There is plenty of information about the vaccine available:

Adult leaflet https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943117/PHE_11843_Covid-19_guide_for_adults.pdf

For enquiring patients (who are not yet being vaccinated): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-why-you-are-being-asked-to-wait/why-you-have-to-wait-for-your-covid-19-vaccine

Dr Sian Stanley, Clinical Director of the Stort Valley and Villages PCN says:  “General Practices across Sawbridgeworth, Bishops Stortford and The Hadhams have come together to work collaboratively to offer a community-focussed Covid vaccination service. It has taken a huge team effort to prepare the programme and get it up and running at the football club – the site used for our flu vaccination programme earlier this year. It’s a very emotional moment for us.

GP practices will be inviting patients to receive their vaccine, following a strict eligibility list, starting with our oldest patients first. Together, our teams bring years of experience and knowledge of delivering vaccination programmes. Please be patient and wait until you are contacted with further details on how to book in with us.”

Shan Toms, General Manager of Bishop’s Stortford Football Club said: “We are proud to be part of this vaccination programme to help the community get back to normal, and to be part of history. I am hoping this is the light at the end of the tunnel that will get us all back to a near normal life.”

Use this link for the latest Patient Information Leaflet

https://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/information-adults-about-covid-19-vaccination-programme

COVID-19 Information

Covid-19 Vaccination programme for Stort Valley and Villages PCN – updated 7.12.20

We’ve had a terrific response to our appeal for clinicians to help deliver the Covid-19 vaccine to patients. Not only have our own staff volunteered to work overtime, but retired nurses/doctors are volunteering to help out too.

Our target is to vaccinate all our eligible patients over a 3-4 month period, and to give first dose of vaccinations to 15,000 patients within the first weeks of rollout in January.

It is a big undertaking, as between us we care for 63,000 patients across the 5 practices in Stort Valley and Villages Primary Care Network (PCN).

We will deliver the programme from Bishop’s Stortford Football Club, which was a great success with flu vaccinations this year. It will be tough, but we are keen to get started and it’s great to know that we can count on your understanding and support in the months to come.

It is not our intention to start a debate about vaccinations. Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice which everyone is free to make for themselves.

Frequently asked Q & As

Why is this programme different to the annual seasonal flu campaign?

Whilst we don’t have all the detail about the requirements of these new vaccines, we do know that they won’t initially be delivered to us in single, pre-filled doses, as is the case with flu vaccines. Each vaccine has to be reconstituted and individually drawn up – which slows the process down. Every patient will have 2 doses, 21 to 28 days apart.

Clinics will be held on a socially distanced basis, and patients who drive themselves to their appointment will need to wait 15 minutes post vaccination before they can leave the site. So logistically – a bit of a challenge!

Why work as a PCN; why not as individual surgeries?

The reason for this, is that the first vaccine to be delivered requires ultra-low temperatures, and once defrosted, needs to be administered within 5 days. Furthermore, it comes in vials that contain 5 doses, and once diluted, the vaccine must be used within 6 hours.

So, if we get a big batch delivered, it is unlikely a single practice would have sufficient numbers or clinical capacity to deliver this within the required timeframe. In addition, the vials cannot be divided at practice level and shared with other practices due to the regulations related to the distribution of medications.

At this stage, we do not know if we will have any control or choice over our delivery schedule.

The vaccine will be in short supply and we must try and keep wastage to a minimum.

As the programme progresses and more vaccine becomes available, we may be able to adjust how we deliver the programme.

Which patients will be prioritised for vaccination?

This has not been confirmed, but will depend on the characteristics of the vaccines being administered. It is unlikely that surgeries will have any control over this part of the programme

We will do our best to keep you informed; this programme is bound to be subject to many changes.

Central Surgery

Church St Surgery

Much Hadham Surgery

Parsonage Surgery

South St Surgery

 

For further information about Coronavirus from the Government website, please see the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Volunteers

If you would like to volunteer to help at the vaccination clinics, please email svv.ea@nhs.net

We would appreciate volunteers from the local community with supporting our on site clinic, such as assisting with car parking and giving directions to patients attending.

Staffing

If you are a clinician and would be interested in working at the COVID-19 vaccination clinics, please emai svv.ea@nhs.net with your contact details. We will contact you with further information.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Statement from the Stort Valley and Villages Primary Care Network
23rd November 2020

Covid-19 Vaccination programme

I am sure you have all heard the news that some Covid-19 vaccinations will soon be available.

We are not circulating this information to start a debate about vaccinations, having a vaccination is a personal choice which everyone is free to make for themselves.

We do not yet have a lot of specific information. All we know is that we have to be ready to potentially start vaccinating from December 1st.

We have to work as a Primary Care Network (PCN) to deliver this programme. Central Surgery, Church Street Partnership, Much Hadham Health Centre, Parsonage Surgery and South Street Surgery, will all be working together to achieve this. Between our 5 surgeries we look after 63,000 patients, so it’s a big undertaking.

Our PCN is working hard on coming up with the best solution for delivering this service to our patients. We hope to deliver the bulk of the programme from Bishop’s Stortford Football Club, as this was used successfully to deliver the flu vaccination to our population. However, we are also looking at other locations to complement our work and give us the ability to deliver the service more widely. Our PCN have an excellent working relationship and I am sure we will be successful in delivering this programme.

We have access to some limited, additional funding to hopefully recruit extra, short term clinical and support staff to help us with this huge undertaking. However, we will still have to divert our own GPs, nurses, healthcare assistants, pharmacists, paramedics and physician associates to support delivery.

It will be tough, but we are keen to get started, and know that we can count on your understanding and support in the months to come.

Why is this programme different to the annual seasonal flu campaign?

While we still have no specifics about the characteristics of these new vaccinations, we do know that they won’t initially be delivered to us in single, pre-filled doses, as they do for flu vaccinations. Each vaccination has to be reconstituted and individually drawn up – which slows the process down. Each patient will have to have 2 doses, 21 to 28 days apart.

Clinics will still have to be held on a socially distanced basis, and patients who are driving themselves to their appointment will have to wait 15 minutes post vaccination before they can leave the vaccination site. So logistically – a bit of a nightmare!

Why work as a PCN – why not as individual surgeries?

The reasoning behind this is that the first vaccine (Pfizer) comes frozen and needs to be administered within 5 days. Furthermore it comes in vials that each containing 5 doses. This will come with a diluent and the required needles and syringes. Once diluted the vaccine must be used within 6 hours.

So, if we get a big batch delivered (they are suggesting 975 vaccines per week) it is unlikely a single practice would have sufficient numbers or clinical capacity to deliver this individually. In addition, the vials cannot be divided at practice level and shared with other practices due to the regulations related to the distribution of medications.

At this stage, we do not know if we will have any control or choice over our delivery schedule.

The vaccine will be in short supply and we must try and keep wastage to a minimum.

As the programme progresses, and more vaccine becomes available, we may be able to adjust how we deliver the programme.

Which patients will be prioritised for vaccination?

This is still not fully clear and has not been confirmed yet. This will depend on the characteristics of the vaccines being administered. It is unlikely that surgeries will have any control over this part of the programme

We will do our best to keep you informed – this programme is bound to be subject to many changes…

In order to keep you up to date – all further details and relevant information will be found on our Website. You can also visit your surgery website for further details.

 



 
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