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Update from government Coronavirus website

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

In England, temporary measures have been put in place to respond to the Omicron variant to slow its arrival and spread.

This means that:

At midday 26 November

  • South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia were added to the red list of countries.

At 4am 28 November

  • Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola were added to the red list of countries.

From 4am Tuesday 30 November

  • International arrivals from non-red list countries who are fully vaccinated will need to isolate at home and take a PCR test on or before day 2 following your arrival. You are only permitted to leave isolation if this test result is negative. If your test result is positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days. This is the law.
  • Face coverings are a legal requirement in shops and on public transport. This is the law.
  • Those who have come into contact with an individual who may have been infected with the Omicron variant will need to self-isolate. This will apply even if you are fully-vaccinated or aged 18 or under. This is the law.

COVID-19 remains a risk

It is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should arrange to take a PCR test as soon as possible, even if you’ve had one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Those who have come into contact with an individual who may have been infected with the Omicron variant will need to self-isolate. This will apply even if you are fully-vaccinated or aged 18 or under. NHS Test and Trace will contact you if this is the case.

COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.

All of us can play our part by understanding the situations where risks of COVID-19 infection and transmission are likely to be higher, and taking action to reduce these risks.

Understanding the risks of COVID-19

The risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 can be higher in certain places and when doing certain activities. COVID-19 is spread by airborne transmission, close contact via droplets, and via surfaces. Airborne transmission is a very significant way that the virus circulates. It is possible to be infected by someone you don’t have close contact with, especially if you’re in a crowded and/or poorly ventilated space.

Close contact with an infected person is also a significant way COVID-19 is spread. When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles containing the virus that causes COVID-19. The particles can come into contact with the eyes, nose or mouth or can be breathed in by another person. The particles can also land on surfaces and be passed from person to person via touch.

In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher in crowded and enclosed spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious and limited fresh air.

In situations where there is a higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19, you should be particularly careful to follow the guidance on keeping yourself and others safe as we return to normality. Every little action helps to keep us all safer.

Keeping yourself and others safe

There are still cases of COVID-19 in England and there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even once you are fully vaccinated. This means it is important that you understand and consider the risks of catching or spreading COVID-19 in all situations.

While no situation is risk free, there are easy and effective actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us.

If you are worried about going back to a more ‘normal’ life, there is information from the NHS on how to cope with anxiety about lockdown lifting.

https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/coronavirus/tips-to-cope-with-anxiety-lockdown-lifting/

Get vaccinated

All adults in England have now been offered at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective. Getting fully vaccinated is the best way of protecting you and others against COVID-19.

If you have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, you should get vaccinated. Evidence indicates that 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provide very effective protection against hospitalisation. It usually takes around 2 to 3 weeks for your body to develop its protective response. To maintain this high level of protection through the coming winter, you should also get a booster vaccine for COVID-19 when offered. Winter is a difficult time when our immunity is weaker. Getting the booster vaccine is an essential part of ensuring immune defence this season.

However, even if you have been fully vaccinated, you could still get COVID-19 and pass it on to others. Whilst the vaccines provide a high level of protection against severe disease, hospitalisation and death, a recent PHE report shows that around 1 in 5 people who have had both doses are still vulnerable to getting infected with the Delta variant and showing symptoms. You can also still spread COVID-19 to others. We all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to protect others and to reduce the risk of new variants developing and spreading.

Following the advice in this guidance will help you to protect your friends, family, and communities, including those who have been vaccinated.

Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer

Wear a face covering

Get tested and self-isolate if required

If you have symptoms or test positive

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild. This is because many people experience mild symptoms from COVID-19, but may still pass on the virus to others.

The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

Take tests if you do not have symptoms to help manage your risk

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms. This means they could be spreading the virus without knowing it. Testing regularly increases the chances of detecting COVID-19 when you are infectious but are not displaying symptoms, helping to make sure you do not spread COVID-19 by staying at home and self-isolating immediately.

Rapid lateral flow testing continues to be available free of charge. You can get tests from pharmacies or online. Find out more about how to get rapid lateral flow tests.

Try to stay at home if you’re feeling unwell

Wash your hands regularly and cover coughs and sneezes

Use the NHS COVID-19 app

Using the NHS COVID-19 app helps stop the spread of the virus by informing you that you have been in close contact with someone who has since tested positive for COVID-19, even if you do not know each other. You can also use it to check in to venues with an NHS QR code and receive advice if there has been an outbreak. The app is free and easy to use and doing so can help you protect your loved ones and others.

The app also allows people to report symptoms and order coronavirus tests. To help protect yourself and others, download and use the latest version of the NHS COVID-19 app.

Limit close contact with other people

[posted 30.11.21]


Thursday 2nd December is Booster Day

A mass media campaign is planned to encourage the uptake of vaccines ahead of the festive season and the importance of boosting your immunity this winter.

Dec 2nd Booster Day

Winter flu and COVID-19 booster jabs

If you’re eligible, don’t delay getting yours – act now

As we head towards the winter months, it’s more important than ever this year to take the necessary steps to protect the health of ourselves and those around us. If you’re eligible and haven’t yet taken up the offer of a winter flu or COVID-19 booster jab, you need to act now.

[posted 29.11.21]


Booster doses for 40-49 year olds


On Monday 15 November, the JCVI recommended that booster jabs are extended to those aged 40-49. The NHS will contact people in this age group directly to let them know when it is their turn to get their booster vaccine, and plans to open the National Booking Service (NBS) to enable bookings is expected from Monday 22 November. 


COVID-19 booster jabs

Check your eligibility for a COVID-19 booster jab on the NHS website, or call 119.

Remember – is must be at least 182 days since your 2nd dose before you can have your booster

If you’re eligible, don’t wait, book your appointment as soon as you can;

– Book online using the National Booking Service

– Call 119

– Attend a walk-in clinic:

[posted 29.11.21]


Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Please find attached two leaflets which explain how GP practices are operating via triage and face-to-face appointments, the role of receptionists and the need to be kind and respectful to staff.

Why are GP practices still working differently

Helping your GP team to help you

[posted 12.11.21]


Patient Access Emails

There have been reports from both Patient Access users and people who have never registered for the online service, that they have received Covid passport emails purporting to be from Patient Access

We would like to share the following guidance from Patient Access for your information

We advise users of Patient Access to check the name and email address of the sender, all emails from Patient Access will come via an email address that ends in @patientaccess.com.

We advise users never to click on any log in links that you receive via email but to visit the site via the address bar of your browser instead so that you know you are on the genuine Patient Access log in page. You can find more information and guidance on our information security page here: https://www.patientaccess.com/security  

We strongly advise users to set up their Memorable Word security feature, as well as using biometrics (fingerprint ID) if they use the app.  

Email addresses used to register for Patient Access account are secure. We do not share any data and no data is ever saved or stored on any device you use to access Patient Access.

[posted 09.11.21]


If you have an administration query regarding Covid vaccines please use the email below

Occg.primarycarecovid@nhs.net

Please note this email should not be used for clinical vaccine queries.

[posted 29.10.21]


Covid booster vaccination

 

As many of you will be aware, the NHS are recommending a booster dose of Covid vaccination for all those aged 50y + and for people with medical conditions/medications that make them more likely to become significantly unwell with Covid infection. We are delighted that so many of our patients took up the offer of the 1st two vaccinations and protected themselves and their loved ones from serious Covid illness. There is more virus now circulating and some of our immunity is wearing off, as you probably know. Those who are double vaccinated are sometimes still catching Covid BUT are having far milder illness than when patients caught it last year, before anyone was vaccinated.

The Hightown team therefore strongly recommend all our eligible patients to have a booster dose.  All our staff are having them.

Over 70 years old and Clinically Extremely vulnerable.

Currently Hightown Surgery are offering boosters to our most clinically vulnerable: those who are 70y + and those with medication or long-term illness that puts them at most significant risk. You will mostly know who you are from previous invites. You are eligible for a booster when it is at least 6 months since your second Covid jab. We will invite you all by text (where mobile numbers are available – please update on here if necessary. It can be a relative’s mobile, as long as you state that on the contact). Those who have no mobile, or cannot manage a text, will be phoned by our team in due course. 

50 - 69 years old

If you are aged 50 – 69 with no long-term health conditions or are not classified as clinically vulnerable you will be able to book your covid booster through the Covid-19 vaccination booking service. 

Click on the link below to book or manage your Covid-19 booster vaccine.

Book or manage your Covid-19 booster vaccine.

You’ll only be able to book an appointment for a booster dose if it’s been at least 6 months (180 days) since your 2nd dose of the vaccine.

You don’t need to get in touch with us about your booster jab. You will be contacted by the NHS when it’s your turn.

 

Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get?

Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This follows data which indicates the Pfizer vaccine is well tolerated as a third dose and provides a strong booster response.

This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your 1st and 2nd doses.

Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

 

[updated 04.10.21]


Flu vaccination programmes 2021

We recommend that you also have your annual flu vaccination, if you are in the same over 50s and medical conditions groups. Invites for this are being sent out now. It is fine to have both vaccinations within a few days or weeks of each other. They work equally well together or apart. We have chosen to administer them in separate clinics to avoid delaying either vaccination while awaiting supplies of the other. The flu clinics will be at the Hightown Surgery. The Covid clinics will be at Grimsbury Community Centre as before, to allow space for the more complicated administration. 

We thank you for helping us to make our initial Covid vaccination campaign such a success and for attending both Covid booster and flu clinics again this autumn. The more people who choose to protect themselves from both infections, the more other services we will be able to resume or continue and the sooner we can all return to a more normal life in our community.

If you receive a text inviting you to book your flu vaccination this is the wording that you will see.

This is to invite you for your flu vaccination. We are keen to get you protected early this year. We are also starting Covid boosters very soon. Please see www.hightownsurgery.co.uk for further information. Please book your flu jab online ASAP. You will be texted shortly to also book your Covid booster if you are in a priority group (Over 70y or clinically very vulnerable). You can have both vaccinations within a short time; they do not affect each other. If you cannot book online, or wish to decline, please text us back. We will phone those who cannot contact us.

You can book your appointment online if you have previously registered for patient access https://www.patientaccess.com/ or via the NHS APP.

[updated 24.09.21]

For further information there are separate sections covering flu and covid at the bottom of this page.


Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Primary Care - Working for You

Primary Care - Working for You Help us help you Don't ignore these symptoms #BeKind

[updated 09.09.21]



                   

IMPORTANT: COVID TESTING

There is widespread confusion amongst our patients about home lateral flow tests versus laboratory PCR tests for covid19.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 such as a new cough or fever,  you MUST book a PCR test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, or by calling 119 (not 111). Results are usually provided to you within about 24 hours, and are also recorded automatically onto your GP notes.  

LATERAL FLOW TESTS are only useful to screen for possible COVID-19 CARRIERS who have NO SYMPTOMS.
If you have a positive home lateral flow test, you must book a more accurate lab PCR test to confirm or refute that result.
The PCR test is the most accurate ‘Gold standard’ test.


In adults and older children with potential Covid symptoms we will (usually) require you to have had a negative Covid PCR before it is safe to book a face to face examination in the surgery. A negative home lateral flow test is not good enough if you have symptoms.


This is in order to safeguard other patients and staff with the building, your own close contacts, and the population as a whole.


This is likely to be the case until the majority of the population have had their two Covid vaccinations, even if you have had yours already.


Healthwatch would like to hear from you if you have used an interpreter for an appointment.

Please click on the posters below for more details or use the links to their social media posts.

Using interpreters poster - English

Using interpreters poster - Arabic

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HealthwatchOxfordshire/posts/4323494924369537

Twitter - https://twitter.com/HealthwatchOxon/status/1410194396050513929


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For the latest advice from the NHS Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group regarding what to do if you are bitten, please, Click Here

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