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An update on Covid 19 vaccination

We wanted to update everyone on how this is going and what some of the challenges have been so far.

We have received 2 deliveries of Pfizer vaccines- one before Christmas and one last week. Before Christmas regulations stipulated that this vaccine could only be given from one site locally.

Eynsham and Witney PCN (EWPCN) comprising the practices of Cogges, Eynsham, Nuffield and the Windrush are delivering this together and have chosen The Windrush Medical Centre as that site. In the first week of January we were allowed to move the vaccine, under strict conditions, to care homes. Doctors, pharmacists, nurses and an extensive administrative team from all practices have worked very hard and we have now completed vaccination of the first cohort, care home residents and their carers, and have also vaccinated a significant number in the second cohort - over 80’s and health care workers.

We receive another 1200 Pfizer vaccines today and have another mass clinic booked this week. In addition to this we have received 400 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and were given the go-ahead at the end of last week to move this off site, as well as instructions on how to vaccinate our housebound patients. We were initially asked to give a second dose at 3 weeks but guidance was then changed to give the second dose before 12 weeks and we were asked to prioritise giving the first dose to as many people as possible. This has caused a lot of disruption as we have had to cancel and rebook 1200 appointments for this week. We are trying to give the vaccine as fast as we can but there are a number of challenges along the way.

  •  We get very little warning of when vaccine will be delivered, leaving us with only a few days to book hundreds of appointments.
  •  Once the vaccine arrives on site it has to be given within 3.5 days. This can be over our busiest GP days leaving us struggling to find staff.
  •  Patients have to be monitored for 15 minutes after vaccination, this has to be done with social distancing in mind although updated guidance says that the AZ vaccine now does not require this

 

Despite this we are committed to delivering the vaccine as fast as we receive it! We are following guidelines on how to give it so will prioritise people dependant on the group they are in.

We may try a number of methods to contact you when it is your turn so please look out for text messages and listen out for phone calls.

Please do not call your surgery unless you are sure you are in a group that has been completed ( for now this is care home residents and their staff).

Please cancel your vaccination appointment if you have symptoms of Covid or have been in contact with someone who has Covid; it is important the virus does not spread during a mass vaccination clinic. Please remember that your GP surgery is open. Whilst we would encourage you to visit the NHS website and to self care, if safe to do so we do not want anyone with possible serious underlying health problems to delay in contacting us.

Finally, please follow government advice on staying at home, maintaining social distance, hand hygiene and covering your face. The new variant is highly transmissible.

COVID VACCINATION CLINICS

These will be planned for the end of December and will start with different cohorts of patients and care workers. You can find out more information about the vaccine programme here and we will start contacting eligible people in due course as the vaccines are delivered. The GP led site will be at the Windrush Surgery building and is a collaboration between all the GP practices in the Witney area. We are only able to vaccinate the groups set out in the link above initially so please do not contact the surgery if you are not yet eligible as we are unable to vaccinate outside of these groups.

If you are called in for a vaccine, you can find information about getting to the Windrush Surgery here.


If you have COVID symptoms or have recently tested positive for COVID and remain unwell you may be referred to one of our local CALM clinics (located in Headington and Bicester) or to our CALM visiting service if you are too unwell to travel or housebound. Please continue with masks, hand-washing and social distancing and stay safe!

Recovering from Covid 19?

Oxford Health have produced a useful guide for people.  They are also running a Post Covid clinic for those people who still have symptoms 6-8 weeks on.  Speak to your GP who can refer you if this is the case.  In the meantime here is the link for the information leaflet. Link to Post Covid Patient Information Leaflet

Do you suffer from Asthma?

With Winter coming closer it's important to make sure your asthma control is optimised. Find your inhaler and check if your technique is correct here. A lot of uncontrolled asthma symptoms are caused by sub-optimal inhaler technique and if you are having trouble using your inhaler correctly there are other options available.

Flu Vaccinations

If you are eligible for a flu vaccination please book your flu clinic appointment through the NHS app. We are currently booking online for anyone eligible. You can also phone the surgery to book but please be aware this is a very busy time for us so we kindly ask you to do this after 2pm.

Safe Haven

If you develop a mental health crisis at the weekend you can get support from Oxford Safe Haven. Click on the link or phone 01865 903037.

The Oxford Safe Haven is open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday from  6pm until 10pm.

Convalescent Plasma Programme

If you’ve had coronavirus or the symptoms, you can donate plasma for a trial which could save the lives of people who are still ill. Click here to offer to donate.

MMR Catch-Up

There have been outbreaks of both measles and mumps in the last couple of years and we are promoting booster vaccinations for those who may not have had both doses. 

Why do I need the MMR vaccine?

We will shortly be identifying patients who have missed one or both of the vaccinations and inviting them in to have these done.

Hydration and Covid-19 in Adults

Staying at home and self isolating is having a good effect in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. Taking some activity (walking, cycling, running) every day near your home while avoiding contact with other people, will help with feeling better physically and lift your mood. It is important to drink enough fluid at all times but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the attached Patient Information Leaflet for more information

Eye emergencies and Minor Eye Conditions

There is a new direct line for advice and referrals for patients suffering persistent eye symptoms such as worsening vision, flashes and floaters, pain, redness or watering. 

Call  the triage service on 01865 234567 Option 1 08:30 - 16:30 Mon-Fri 08:30 - 15:30 Sat/Sun/Bank Holidays

Mental health advice helpline

A 24/7 mental health helpline for the public, provided by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, is launching on Friday 10 April 2020.

• Adult helpline: 01865 904997

• Children and young people: 01865 904998

The helpline will offer advice on how to manage symptoms, when and where to get help and access to support from mental health professionals. Please see their website for more information.

https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/support-advice/what-to-do-in-an-emergency/ 

 

 

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