We have now been advised that we can vaccinate ALL patients aged 50 and over. This is an extension of the annual flu vaccination programme due to the pandemic and aims to relieve pressure on the NHS during the winter months.
Flu typically starts to circulate more widely from the end of December through to March. So in order to vaccinate everyone that is eligible and wishes to be vaccinated, we will be holding a vaccination weekend on Saturday 12th December and Sunday 13th December.
If you wish to be vaccinated please make an appointment on one of those days. You can book online if you have login details for our Appointments Online system (where you may already order your prescriptions). If booking online please select "Flu Vaccination 1, 2, or 3" as the Clinician and "Any Date". You will then see a range of appointment slots over the two days. The timing of the slots will look odd because they are booked at very short intervals.
It is essential that everyone who attends the clinics has a booked appointment in their own name.
Alternatively you can book by phoning 01434 603627 Mon-Fri but please avoid early mornings when the phones are busiest.
The vaccine for the clinics is on order. We fully expect it to be delivered on time but if there are any problems we will send you a text message in advance of the clinic. Please ensure when booking online or by phone that we have your up to date contact details.
We will also be contacting eligible patients by text, phone or letter over the coming days.
Please make every effort to book and attend your appointment if you want a flu vaccination this year. Our team will be here all weekend and we ask that you spare just a few minutes of your time. By vaccinating over the weekend we can preserve our appointments during the week.
However, if you have symptoms of covid-19, are living with someone who has symptoms or if you have been advised by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, please DO NOT attend. A flu vaccination is not a good reason to leave the house. We will vaccinate you at a later date once your self-isolation period has ended.
Over 65s and At-risk patients
We have now vaccinated 90% of our patients aged 65 and over which already far exceeds the national target of 75%.
Vaccine uptake in clinically at-risk patients aged under 65 and children aged 2-3 years old is very high but there are still some patients who have not responded to text messages, letters or phone calls. Please do book an appointment if you wish to be vaccinated. Small children should be booked outside of the mass vaccination clinic weekend.
You may have seen in the news that there are several vaccines that are reported to provide high levels of protection against covid-19. This is wonderful news and we look forward to supporting the vaccination campaign and helping to return life back to normality as soon as possible.
A programme of mass vaccination is being developed with a combination of local and regional vaccination centres. Due to the storage requirements of some of the vaccines it won't be possible for individual GP Practices to administer the vaccines. That might change over the coming months as different vaccines become available that can be stored in a vaccine fridge.
Local arrangements for vaccination are being worked on. Once the vaccination venue, staffing and other logistics have been arranged and we know when the vaccine will be available, alongside the eligibility criteria, patients will be called for vaccination. What we do know is that most if not all of the potential covid-19 vaccines require two doses several weeks apart and the majority of the vaccine won't be delivered until 2021.
We will update our website once we have more information.
Unfortunately the second wave of covid-19 infections is affecting Hexham more than the first wave. We would urge everyone to follow the national messaging to reduce the chance of you catching or passing on covid-19. This is a serious disease for many people and our priority is to protect the most vulnerable.
If you have covid-19 symptoms you should stay home and arrange a test. If you cannot use the website then you should call 119.
If you have been told to self-isolate then it is important that you do so.
The Practice is maintaining our safeguards to ensure that we are a safe place for patients to come in line with guidance from NHS England.
This means continuing to offer a telephone service for the majority of GP consultations which then reduces the number of people coming into the building and our waiting room. Where a video consultation or face to face consultation are required the GP or Practice Nurse will make the necessary arrangements.
We continue to offer a range of appointments that must be done face to face such as for taking blood, giving injections or undertaking ECG tests.
What we know about covid is that a number of people with the virus have no symptoms at all, so for every face to face consultation our team have to take extra precautions in the form of PPE and cleaning the room. This all takes time which reduces the number of face to face appointments we can offer.
The key messages therefore are:
Please be understanding when requesting an appointment. Our reception team are handling up to 700 phone calls a day. If they cannot meet your needs it is not acceptable to take out your frustration on them.
We are open and we do want to hear from you if you are concerned about your health, but please consider whether self-care is an option before you phone us.
Do not enter the building if you have symptoms of covid-19 or are meant to be self-isolating.
Thank you from the team at Burn Brae Medical Group.