GP surgeries across the country have been asked to focus on delivering the Government’s target of offering a COVID-19 booster vaccine to everyone aged 18+ before the end of December.
This is due to the rapid rising in the number of infections of the new coronavirus variant called Omicron. As a result the UK has moved to COVID alert level 4 – which is the second highest level.
In order for the NHS to deliver the vaccination target, NHS England and Improvement has requested all practices stop routine and non-urgent care so that staff can support delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Practices are following guidance that was circulated by the Royal College of General Practitioners and British Medical Association earlier in the pandemic.
We understand this will cause considerable frustration to our patients, and we want to reassure you, that we are still open and here for you for your urgent healthcare needs.
All critical appointments relating to possible cancer, high risk or vulnerable people living with long term conditions or urgent and emergency care will be dealt with.
However, much like other practices across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, we will have to make some changes.
In order to support the booster vaccination programme we have made the difficult decision to temporarily stop our online consultations (e-Consult) function.
If you need a repeat prescription then please order as usual, but you will need to allow longer for the prescription to be processed.
Some routine appointments will be cancelled until January, however for the most part we will try to either reschedule or re-allocate your appointment where possible. If your symptoms have worsened and are now urgent, please contact the surgery by phone.
To help you see if your concern is urgent or non-urgent, we have put together the following guidance:
If you think you have a potential cancer symptom, then please call us. Symptoms include:
• Unexpected weight loss
• Blood in stool
• Blood in urine
• Breathlessness or coughing up blood
• Change in bowel habit to looser or more frequent stool
• Sudden worrying skin changes
Time critical emergencies cannot wait and if you have any of the following then please call 999 immediately:
• Severe chest pain or breathlessness
• Uncontrolled bleeding
• Symptoms of stroke – one sided weakness, speech or visual problems
• Mental health crisis with the risk of harm to self
• Severe new onset headaches
• Non-blanching rashes
• Severe abdominal pain
• Children with breathing difficulties
• Sudden changes in vision
We understand that sometimes it can be hard to define what is urgent. If you are worried please call the surgery and we will help you decide if you need to be seen or the best course of action. We are experiencing a high volume of calls so please be patient while we work hard to get to you as quickly as possible.
Dr Simon Sherwin, Dr Nicola Sheppard & Dr Andrew Hoyle