Our response to the Omicron Variant

 

Our response to the COVID Omicron variant

The covid-19 pandemic continues, and research is now showing that the Omicron variant appears to be much more transmissible than previous strains. The vaccination programme remains our best line of defence and boosters have been shown to increase protection against getting the infection and the risk of hospitalisation.

Therefore, we are working hard to assist in the accelerated rollout of the CoVID Booster programme.  Initially, we will be working with other NHS agencies to ensure our most vulnerable patients, those in care homes or housebound patients are offered a vaccination within the next couple of weeks.

Secondly, we will be offering sessions at the surgery to enhance the availability of vaccine in the local area via the National Booking Service online or via 119.

In order to do this, it has been necessary to adapt our services. Therefore, for the next few weeks we will be offering a same-day urgent service only.   This means we will not have any pre-bookable appointments until the New Year.  It may also be the case that we have less appointments to offer as we have been asked to re-deploy staff from their standard duties enabling extended vaccine availability.  We are also experiencing continued shortages through both staff absence and recruitment gaps. Whilst we will do everything we can, to ensure those routine appointments already booked go ahead as planned, some cancellations may be unavoidable.

As a result, our clinicians will need to prioritise urgent problems and serious health concerns. Please can we ask that if your concern can wait, you postpone contacting us until the New Year. We would also urge you to consider alternative health care services such as local pharmacies, NHS 111 or self- care advice available via the NHS website.

Infection Control measures at the surgery

We ask that you adhere to the following in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect other vulnerable patients who may be attending the surgery:

  • If you have a face-to-face consultation, please wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing measures.
  • You should not attend the surgery if you have covid-19 related symptoms unless you have been asked to attend after telephone triage.
  • All patients attending the surgery with any cold/cough symptoms will be asked to ensure they have a negative lateral flow or PCR COVID test before any face-to-face appointment.
  • We will of course continue to see patients face to face where necessary.
  • If you are COVID positive or are unable to do a COVID test we would ask that remain in your car, phone reception to say that you have arrived and the clinician will come outside to assess you in your vehicle.

Booking COVID vaccinations.

Please DO NOT CALL US regarding your vaccine if you are unable to find a convenient appointment.  All bookings are being handled by the national booking service online or by calling 119.  Appointments are available at the local mass vaccination sites; walk in clinics and through other local providers as well as the surgery.

Thank you for your continued support at this most challenging of times. Demand for our services has continued to increase and our team have been and will continue to work above and beyond to ensure our patients and the local community are protected