Category Archives: Ticker Tape

Enhance access at GP practice

Your local NHS is seeking your views about the best times and locations for GP (doctor) and nurse appointments in the evenings and weekends.

Nationally the NHS has asked local practices to review the times to provide appointments at evenings and weekends. We want to capture information to support decision-making and make sure we are providing times, and locations that meet the needs of local people.

Our short survey will take no more than two minutes and your answers will help us to provide the best possible times and locations for our evening and weekend GP services.

Please complete our survey https://forms.office.com/r/Z5g9sxW1wf

(GP and nurse appointments are already available in the evening and at the weekend and can be booked by calling your GP practice or 111).

Q&A

Why are you asking people about this?

Nationally the NHS has asked groups of GP Practices (Primary Care Networks) to develop a plan for providing appointments at evenings and weekends. To inform these plans we want to make sure we are also providing times, and locations that meet the needs of local people.

What changes are you planning to make?

At this stage we really don’t know – we currently provide weekend and evening appointments from 6:30pm to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 8pm on the weekends in each borough. Provided by local GPs. We want to know if these times are still right for patients?

What are the proposed national changes?

Local GPs currently offer appointments seven days of the week; the new guidance does mean that appointments don’t have to be provided on a Sunday. We are not proposing we don’t offer a service on a Sunday, but we do want to understand what local people need.

I just want to be able to see a doctor, face-to-face not on the phone?

All GP practices provide telephone and face-to-face appointments. This means we can see as many patients as possible each day. If you need to be seen face-to-face you will be invited into the surgery for a face-to-face appointment.

When will the changes happen?

Nationally the new changes to the way GP networks provide evening and weekend services will come into place in October.

Will my feedback really make a difference?

Yes, we want to ensure we are providing service times that work for local people.

Online GP consultations – patient survey

Healthwatch have launched a survey to find out how local people in North West London have found contacting their GP practice online.

Online GP consultations have become more common since the COVID-19 pandemic, when many GP practices were physically closed to patients. Some online systems have now been expanded, with patients able to see their GP online for anything from a routine consultation to non-urgent medical advice, or support with a long-term condition.

An online consultation is now one of the ways you can contact your GP surgery when you need support.

To help improve this service in North West London, Healthwatch Hillingdon are inviting local people from the boroughs of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, and Hounslow to complete their survey. The survey, which will take around 10 minutes to complete, asks about your experiences contacting your GP practice online.

Do you have an experience of accessing your GP practice online you’d like to share?

To complete the survey, click here: https://healthwatchhillingdon.org.uk/OC

Blood tests – routine blood tests postponed. PLEASE READ

A supplier to the NHS has advised us of 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 your clinician feels that it is appropriate to do so, then you may be asked to come back for a test at a later date, or 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 please be assured that if your condition or symptoms require it, then you will get a test, and we will be re-booking your test when supplies become more easily available.

 

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

 

NHS data collection is changing

 

Please see the link below about new data collection

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research

If you want like to to opt out  for Type 1 data; Type 2 opt-out became the National Data Opt Out in 2019  then please check the link and register by 23rd June.

https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/manage-your-choice/

Covid vaccines

COVID-19 vaccination – benefits outweigh risks

 

 

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization have all reiterated that the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the prevention of COVID-19 far outweigh any possible risk of blood clots amongst those groups currently eligible to receive their first vaccination, as well as all of those due their 2nd dose.

Offering further reassurance, the EMA said that these extremely isolated cases “should be listed as very rare side effects”. 

In those aged 18-29, an alternative vaccine will be offered when the time is right for vaccinating this group, and GPs will ensure the appropriate vaccine is offered, and any questions are answered.  The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has stated that this change in course has been made – not because there is a high risk to the under 30s from this vaccine, but due to them having taken an approach of the utmost caution – which should provide great reassurance, and is quite normal in the rollout of a global vaccination program.

 

More information can be found here:

COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Text copied on following pages.

 

 

 

COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting

 

The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with more than 30 million people vaccinated and more than 6,000 lives already saved.

What is the concern?

Recently there have been reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear.

Although this condition remains extremely rare there appears to be a higher risk in people who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given.

This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination.

Benefits and risks of the vaccination

Age Risk from COVID-19 Benefit of vaccination Risk of vaccination
Over 50 years of age or having underlying medical conditions Low – catching infection, passing on infection 1 dose – more than 80% reduction: deaths, hospitalisation, intensive care Uncommon – sore arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches, flu like symptoms
  Moderate – Long COVID 2 doses – more than 95% reduction: deaths Extremely rare – clotting problems
  Very high – hospitalisation, intensive care admission, death    
30 to 49 years of age Low – hospitalisation, intensive care admission, death 1 dose – between 60% and 70% reduction: catching infection, passing on infection Common – sore arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches, flu like symptoms
  Moderate – Long COVID 2 doses – more than 85% reduction: catching and passing on infection Extremely rare – clotting problems
  High – catching mild infection, passing on infection    
18 to 29 years of age Very low – hospitalisation, intensive care admission, death 1 dose – between 60% and 70% reduction: catching infection, passing on infection Very common – sore arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches, flu like symptoms
  Moderate – Long COVID 2 doses – more than 85% reduction: catching and passing on infection Extremely rare – clotting problems
  Very high – catching mild infection, passing on infection    

This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. An increased risk has not yet been seen after other COVID-19 vaccines but is being carefully monitored.

What to look out for after vaccination

Although serious side effects are very rare, if you experience any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination you should seek medical advice urgently:

  • a new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over
  • an unusual headache that may be accompanied by:
    • blurred vision, nausea and vomiting
    • difficulty with your speech
    • weakness, drowsiness or seizures
  • new, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain

What you should do next

Over 50 years of age or with underlying medical conditions

All older adults (including health and social care workers over 50 years of age), care home residents, health and social care workers (includes unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed) and adults with certain medical conditions were prioritised in the first phase of the programme because they were at high risk of the complications of COVID-19.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that you should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose.

If your first dose was with AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should have the second dose on time as you may still be at high risk of the complications of COVID-19. Having the second dose will give you higher and longer lasting protection.

If you are a healthy person over 30 to 50 years of age

The MHRA and the JCVI advises that all adults in this age group (including health and social care workers) should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines.

The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose.

If you are a healthy younger person aged 18 to 39

The MHRA and the JCVI advises that all adults in this age group (including health and social care workers) should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose.

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

About the second dose

If you have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should complete the course. This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed. It is expected that the first dose of the vaccine will have given you some protection, particularly against severe disease.

Further information can be found at NHS.UK.

GP earnings

 

All GP practices are required to declare mean earnings (ie average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.

 

The average pay for GPs working in the practice of Covent Garden Medical Centre in the last financial year was £2,020 before tax and National Insurance.

 

This is for 3 part time GPs and 1 locum GP who worked in the practice for more than six months.