COVID-19 & National Lockdown (5th Jan 21)

The government has issued 'National Lockdown: Stay at Home' guidance. Further information is available here.

The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

Please rest assured that you can still consult the clinical team via telephone consultation. We are using technology such as video consultation and e-consult to help you during this period. The clinical team are working hard to ensure we continue to deliver high-quality care in the current circumstances.

Information is changing on a regular basis. To keep up-to-date with the most recent information, please click here

IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

If you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms or something else, please do not delay contacting the surgery. We are working differently, but have everything in place to be able to hold consultations via telephone and manage your problem, assisted by new technologies. If you are feeling unwell, do not delay making contact because of COVID-19. 

Please click here for the latest information on isolating at home, for those with suspected COVID-19.

ARRANGING A COVID-19 TEST

Eligible individuals can now APPLY for COVID-19 testing if you have symptoms. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, check if you are eligible for testing at a test centre or at home by clicking here.

COVID-19 VACCINATION

The Village and Freshfield Surgeries have joined with the other practices in Ainsdale and Birkdale to set up a Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination site. The project is being co-ordinated by Southport & Formby CCG on our behalf.  Please do not contact us with any questions about the vaccination programme at this stage as we are unlikely to have the answers - the NHS will get in touch when it's your turn to be vaccinated & a helpline will be set up soon.

Vaccination will take place at the Ainsdale Centre for Health & Wellbeing, 174, Sandbrook Road, Ainsdale. PR8 3RN.  There are car park facilities, & signs/marshalls will be available to help you navigate around the site.  Please arrive as close as possible to your appointment time & please wear a face covering.  If necessary, you may bring one other person with you as a chaperone.  Please do not attend if you are unwell on the day or following isolation rules.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation (JCVI) about who is most at risk from Coronavirus.  When each delivery of vaccine is received, it will be shared out fairly between practices in Ainsdale, Birkdale and Formby. You may be required to remain on-site for 15 minutes post-vaccination & a second dose of vaccine will be required; within 12 weeks.

The Village and Freshfield Surgeries & our staff are pleased to be taking part in this programme, which should finally help us to move on from the pandemic & return to normal life.  However, in order for us to prioritise the project & supply staff as vaccinators, some of our less urgent activity at the Surgery is likely to be postponed from time to time.  Thank you very much in anticipation of your support & understanding.

SHIELDING

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are 'clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19' is available here

Individuals who are 'extremely clinically vulnerable' are as below:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • those with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • those with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  • those on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • adults with Down’s syndrome
  • adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions

PLEASE NOTE: 'Extremely clinically vulnerable' differs from those recognised as 'clinically vulnerable'

Individuals who are 'clinically vulnerable':

If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You:

  • should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others

  • should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace

'Clinically Vulnerable' Individuals are:

  • aged 70 or over (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):

    • chronic (long-term) mild to moderate 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) or cerebral palsy
    • diabetes
    • a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
    • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
  • pregnant

The detailed government guidance is available here and here

Useful Links & Downloads (Sick Notes/Isolation Notes etc):

Please click here for guidance on requesting sick notes (for conditions other than self-isolation)

Please click here for a letter from the surgery, which can be printed out at home and given to your employer if you require it for your time in isolation. We do not issue sick notes for those isolating.

If you are required to isolate prior to a hospital admission, or you are having to isolate because a family member is required to isolate prior to hospital admission, you can obtain a copy of a letter here. this can be printed at home and sent to your employer.

Please click here to obtain a formal NHS 111 isolation note for your employer.

Please click here for Public Health information regarding isolating at home.

Please click here for information on emergency dental care.

Please click here for guidance on holiday cancellation due to COVID-19.

Information regarding anti-inflammatory medication and Coronavirus has been in circulation. For the NHS guidance, click here.

Face Mask Guidelines: 

Please see letter concerning the new guidelines here.

Face covering exemption cards are available from the relevant transport company websites. For example information from 'Arriva' can be found here

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a good reason not to. This includes:

  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
  • to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • to eat or drink, but only if you need to
  • to take medication
  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering

For further information please click here

General Advice-Surgery:

  • Freshfields surgery is temporarily "closed" during COVID-19. For further info, click here.
  • For details on how we will be operating during the outbreak please click here.

Mental Health Support & COVID-19:

For information regarding mental health support, click here

Vitamin B12 Injections & COVID-19:

In-line with current changes in practice as a result of COVID-19, The mainstay of B12 deficiency will be managed with oral supplementation. This is in-line with national guidance from the British Society for Haematology.

Information Sharing During COVID-19:

For information about information sharing during the NHS response to COVID-19, click here

Dementia Support During COVID-19:

For further information, click here