Grove Medical Centre information
See Covid home page
Happy New Year!
We have some good news to start the year off. We will be receiving our first batch of vaccine (Pfizer Biotech) next week and our first Covid vaccination clinics will be taking place on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th at The Digby Hall, by the library in Sherborne. These will be BY APPOINTMENT only.
We will be following the government recall process on prioritisation of the vaccinations. Our first cohort will be approximately 1000 patients over the age of 80 based on their age and clinical risk. Do not worry if you or your relative is over 80 and doesn’t get called this week, we will be calling the remainder as soon as we get confirmation of our next delivery which will hopefully be the following week.
Following on from this this we would hope to vaccinate a 1000 patients per week so that we can immunise as many people as possible in a short a time as possible.
We will also be going into our local care and residential homes to vaccinate residents and staff within the next few weeks as well.
This good news however is not a reason for complacency. COVID numbers are rising in the Sherborne area. We had 40 cases locally last week which is a 50% increase on the week before. Please adhere to social distancing rules and protect yourselves and others. The finish line is now in sight, so please stay safe until we get there.
Dr Rob Childs
PLEASE DO NOT CALL US TO BOOK YOUR VACCINATION. YOUR SURGERY WILL CONTACT YOU.
Please pass this message to anyone you know who might not see this message.
We are all excited to hear that there is real progress on a Covid vaccine and that this should improve the quality of life for all of us.
We know that you, like us, are struggling with the confines imposed upon us all due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Everyone is trying to make the best of the situation and, as a practice, we are committed to caring for you in the best possible way whilst keeping both you and our team safe.
To keep you as informed as possible, we will update these messages frequently as we become aware of more information from NHS England:
• Some hospitals have now received the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine. Nationally, supplies are very limited at the moment, so they will need to be strictly prioritised in line with national guidance.
• We are waiting to hear if there is going to be a vaccination site locally to us and how we are going to be involved.
• The 2 other Covid vaccines that are in development and have not yet been licensed to be used on patients in the UK – but we are expecting them to be licensed very soon.
• The expectation is still that the vaccinations will not start for most people until 2021 and it will take some time to vaccinate everyone who is eligible. Work is underway to prepare for the roll-out and good progress is being made.
• The Covid Vaccination Programme is moving very fast at the moment. As soon as we have some information that will affect us and our patients, we will announce it here and on our website.
Meanwhile, we all need to keep to the advice of hand-washing, face masks and social distancing but we all look forward to the time when we will return to life as normal.
Thank you for your patience
We have noticed a large increase over the last couple of weeks of patients not attending for their appointments. In the last week we have lost 24 nursing team appointments which equated to 7 hours and 20 minutes of clinical time. Our appointments are really stretched to the limit at the moment due to increased time needed due to extra precautions around Covid-19. Please can you let us know if you cannot attend your appointment within a reasonable time, so we can offer it to another patient who is waiting for one.
From Friday 24th July face coverings will become mandatory in all shops. Please see the letter on our website for details of exemptions and why we unfortunately cannot write exemption letters for our patients. Many thanks for your support in this matter.
We have been advised that as per guidance for hospitals we also ask anybody entering the building to wear a face covering, even if you are only collecting a prescription. This does not need to be a medical grade mask. Exceptions are children under 11, those with disabilities or breathing difficulties, or if you are accompanying someone who relies on lip reading. Thank you for your continued understanding.
From Monday 1st June 2020 the advice for ‘Shielding’ patients has now been updated to allow a little more freedom. However, remember that you are still classed as vulnerable so you should exercise caution:
1. You should strictly avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in their sense of taste or smell).
2. You may now spend some time outdoors with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household (ideally the same person each time) remembering to keep 2 metres apart.
3. Remember to stay alert when leaving home: washing your hands regularly, maintaining social distance and avoiding gatherings of any size.
4. You should not attend any gatherings, including gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example, parties, weddings and religious services. Nor should you enter other buildings, households, or enclosed spaces.
The Government is currently advising people to shield until 30 June 2020 and is regularly monitoring this position.
Patients have asked us whether they are required to wear a face mask when visiting The Grove Medical Centre in Sherborne.
The following is the official response from the Medical Centre:
“If you are just coming to collect a prescription and are going no further than the foyer then you do not need to wear a mask. If you are having an appointment face to face with a doctor or nurse then you will be asked to wear a face covering such as scarf or a mask during your consultation and whilst in the waiting rooms. This is because it is impossible to socially distance during a face to face consultation and hard to manage social distancing in our waiting rooms as they get busier. All clinical staff wear full PPE during consultations and clean the room down between each patient but when not seeing patients staff should not wear it around the building. Our non-clinical staff are not required to wear PPE. We ask please that if possible you bring your own face covering to help protect others and to protect the resources of the NHS. Getting PPE to protect our staff can still be a challenge. The cost of a standard medical grade mask has increased by over 120% since February. We also ask that you please don't drop your used masks around the surgery car park (or anywhere else). It is not pleasant for the staff to collect these up. Thank you for your help in keeping everyone safe during these times. Covid is still very much out there. Stay safe everyone”.
**Patient Notice** We have essential work taking place in our foyer for the rest of this week. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause but ask that if you are attending the surgery for an appointment could you please enter the building through the signposted side door. Many thanks for your assistance whilst this work takes place.
**REQUEST TO PATIENTS** Due to our limited supplies of face masks, if you have an appointment at the surgery and have your own mask or facial covering (doesn't need to be medical grade) we would really appreciate it if you could please wear it to save our supplies. We would also ask that if you are able, please attend the surgery on your own. Thank you so much!
The Grove Medical Centre, Sherborne has published the following messages:
In order to support our NHS colleagues, The Grove Medical Centre will be open Good Friday and Easter Monday 08:00 to 18:30 as a usual working day. Please call us if you need us.
‼Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – texts sent by the government to patients classed as “at risk”‼
**If you have received one of these texts and been asked to contact your GP practice please read the below information – our staff can give you no further information than what we have put down here**
We are aware of patients who have started receiving letters and/or texts advising them to self-isolate for the next 12 weeks. These letters/texts are being been sent to patients who are at “increased risk" of developing complications if they were to get Covid-19.
The information which has been released to GP practices by the Government is that the following patients are in the "increased risk" category and should be following the social distancing advice.
🔹aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
🔹under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
🔸chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
🔸chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
🔸chronic kidney disease
🔸chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
🔸chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
🔸problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
🔸a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
🔸being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
🔹those who are pregnant
Some patients in the above categories may find themselves being upgraded into the higher risk category for shielding (extremely vulnerable) however the guidance on how these patients will be identified, & who will be contacting them has not yet been released and we are expecting to receive this information within the next 14 days.
We have been advised that there are 3 phases to the letters/texts for shielding (extremely vulnerable) being sent out and they are half way through phase 2. This means not having a letter yet does not necessarily mean you won’t get one.
We are expecting all patients who will receive a letter to have had one within the next 3-4 weeks.
We are sorry we cannot be more specific at this time as we don’t have the information either. In the meantime if you are in the above at risk group please do continue to follow the government advice regarding social distancing and shielding.
Once we receive further information we will post an update.
30.03.20 - URGENT UPDATE
Updated information issued by The Grove Medical Centre regarding dispensary team and local pharmacists:
Our dispensary team, along with local pharmacies are currently inundated with medication requests. We now require 3 working days between the time you order your medication and the time in which it will be ready for collection. Please do NOT turn up before this time period unless your need is urgent (in which case please notify the dispenser when ordering).
Over the coming weeks we are expecting to have less staff in the building at any one time as we must protect our staff and patients in line with the Government advice, and we also predict staff to be self isolating at times. This may mean that telephone wait times are a little longer than usual. We trust you will be understanding of this. We are still here to help you when you need us, we just ask for your patience. Thank you.
31.03.20 - Child Vaccations
We have been made aware that a segment on Good Morning Britain last week shared some incorrect information suggesting that the immunisation programme was suspended. This is NOT correct, it’s very important to maintain good coverage of immunisations, particularly in the childhood programme.
If your child is due their vaccinations please ensure you keep the appointment. We have measures in place to ensure you and your child are kept safe. If you wish you can wait in your car until the nurse calls you in. Otherwise you can go straight into the blue waiting room (no need to check in). If you do need to cancel the appointment please ensure you rebook it as soon as possible 💉