If you have been asked to come to the surgery for an appointment please arrive wearing a mouth and nose covering.

In line with government guidance, face coverings should be worn in NHS settings including GP surgeries.  This is to protect yourself, other patients and staff at the GP practice from Covid19.  We would therefore request that all patients wear a mask when attending the practice unless unable to do so.

We understand that some people may not be able to wear a face covering and we, of course, respect this.  Reasons for this may include age; being unable to put on/wear/remove a mask because of physical or mental illness, impairment or disability and if putting on/wearing/removing a mask causes severe distress. There may be other reasons too.  

If you attend the practice and are not wearing a mask, you may be asked if you are able to wear one and, if you are, asked to put one on.  Please do not be upset if we ask.  We understand that some people may find wearing a mask difficult or impossible though others may be able to wear a mask for a short period of time, for example in the surgery.   We may also ask you to correct the way you are wearing your mask if you are not doing so properly.  As mentioned above, this is to keep us all as safe as we can be during the pandemic.

If you are unable to wear a mask due to age, health or disability reasons, you do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this and, at the practice, we are unable to provide letters about your reason for not wearing one.  This is in line with government guidance and is supported by the British Medical Association. If you choose to, you can carry an exemption card.

Please see the link below for more information about mask wearing and exemption cards.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Accessing Care during the Pandemic 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, GP surgeries are working hard to continue providing healthcare to our patients.  We would like to thank all of our patients for the help you have given us so far, but we also want to make sure you contact us if you think you are unwell or need help from a clinician.  We have had to adopt a new way of working, but we are still here to support you with your health needs. We are offering telephone and video consultations where you can discuss any concerns you may have.  If the doctor feels you need to have a physcial examination, further arrangements will be made for you to be seen.  To enable us to continue to offer our services, please do not attend the practice unless you have been specifically asked to come in.  This is to reduce the need for you to make unnecessary trips out of the house and to protect those who do have to attend the surgery (patients and staff). 

 

Online consultations 

You can access our 24/7 online consultation and symptom checker through doctorlink by clicking here.  You will be asked a series of questions to assess your health needs.  You will then either be given advice, or advised you need an appointment, at which point the surgery will be in contact to offer an appointment with in the recommended time frame. 

Opening Times 

We continue to offer appointments throughout our opening hours.  Reception is open from 08:00 to 18:30

Repeat Prescriptions 

Please request your prescription through the online portal, via email (swlccg.orchard@nhs.net) or your chemist instead of coming down to the surgery.  Your prescription will be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice.  If you would usually collect your prescription from the surgery, please let us know which pharmacy you would like to collect your medication from instead. 

Where can you find help in the community? 

There is a lot of information on how to get help from the local community on the Connected Kingston website.  You can also call Kingston Stronger Together on 020 8547 5000.

Nursing appointments

Our nurses are still seeing patients in the practice, however you will be contacted on the day of your appointment to confirm you do not have any coronavirus symptoms before you come in.

The nursing teams are carrying out injections, dressings and other clinically necessary appointments.  Please contact the surgery if you feel you need to see a nurse.  The reception team will be able to advise you. Chronic disease reviews are being carried out over the phone, unless a clinician has requested you attend the surgery for a booked appointment. 

    COVID Vaccination Update      

The practices across Kingston continue to vaccine our patients in line with NHS England guidance. 

We are now vaccinating patients in Group 10 - patients aged 45-years and over   

AGE COHORTS

Group 1 Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers 
Group 2 80-year-olds and over and frontline health and social care workers 
Group 3 75-year-olds and over
Group 4 70-year-olds and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
Group 5 65-year-olds and over
Group 6 16- to 64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions
60-year-olds and over
55-year-olds and over
50-year-olds and over
45-year-olds and over

I am in Groups 1-9 and have not yet had my vaccine

We have attempted to contact everyone in groups 1-9 by text message, telephone and/or letter.  If you have not yet had your vaccine please call us and we will book you in to the next available appointment.  If you have not heard from us, please ensure the contact details we hold for you are correct .  If you have any queries regarding the vaccine, please contact us via email or by telephoning the practice and one of the clincians will be happy to speak with you.

If you are in Groups 1-9 and have not had your vaccine, please contact us via email or telephone the practice and we will fit you in to the next available appointment. 

Which vaccine will I have?

We will receive Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccine.  It will not be possible to choose which vaccine you receive as we are not in control of the supplies we receive from NHS England.  If you are aged 18-29 you will not have an Astra Zeneca vaccine due to the change in guidance from the Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination  (JCVI).

Covid-19 vaccinations and blood clotting

The UK vaccination programme has been very successful, with over 30 million people vaccinated and 6,000 lives saved

There have been some reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots. Although extremely rare, there appears to be a higher risk in people shortly after the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine doses given.

This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination.

Although very rare, if you experience a severe headache, unexplained bruising, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination, seek medical advice urgently.

If you are over 30 or have an underlying health condition, the benefits of having the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccination far outweigh the risks and you should still get both the first and second doses, if not already.

If you are under 30 and have already had the first AstraZeneca dose without any serious side effects, you should still get the second.

You can read more about the covid-19 vaccination and blood clotting here: https://here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/977653/PHE_COVID-19_AZ_vaccination_guide.pdf 

How many doses do I need?

You require 2 doses of either Pfizer or Astra Zeneca.  NHS England and JCVI guidance is for both vaccines to be given between 8-12 weeks after the first vaccine.  You can read more about this and the vaccination programme in general here:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

What do I do if I am housebound?

We have been vaccinating our housebound patients since mid January.  If you are housebound and have not had your vaccine, please get in touch with the practice and we will ensure we come to you during our next vaccine visits.

What to do if you miss your appointment

If you miss your appointment or are unable to attend either of your doses please contact the practice as soon as possible to re-arrange.  The practice may not be able to give you a second appointment straight away, but will contact you once further appointments are available.   

Please visit the link below for further information about how the vaccine programme is being rolled out:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/948678/PHE_11920_Covid-19_why_do_I_have_to_wait_leaflet_v2.pdf

What about my second dose? 

We are guaranteed enough vaccine doses to give everyone their second appointment when they are due. At present we normally receive between 14-7days notification of a delivery of vaccines, and so as soon as we have a confirmed delivery date for the time your second dose is due we will contact you and make your appointment.  Please be assured this is the process for all patients vaccinated in our surgery, and no patients have been able to book in their 2nd vaccines at the same time as their first (as is the process for the mass vaccination centres). 

What to do if you have symptoms of Coronavirus

If you or someone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you will need to self-isolate.  The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  •  A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.  (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual.
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of the above symptoms.

The individual who has symptoms should stay at home for atleast 10 days from the day the symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.  This can be done through the NHS by clicking here.  Any one you live with should also isolate for 10 days, or for 10 days after displaying symptoms themselves, even if symptoms develop 10 days after the initial self-isolation period starts. 

You should continue to isolate after 10 days if you still have a temperature and seek advice through the coronavirus service (linked below).  You do not need to continue to isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of taste or smell.  These symptoms can last for several weeks after an infection has gone. 

You should also alert people who you do not live with and have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19. 

If you are worried about your symptoms or are not sure what to do, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

If you develop symptoms again after any period of isolation, you must start isolating again as soon as these symptoms start. 

Can I get a letter from the practice? 

If you are isolating and you cannot work from home, your employer might ask for an isolation note.  You can request one online through NHS 111 by clicking here

If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering, you should not routinely be asked to give any written evidence of this.  Therefore the practice will not process any requests for exemption letters. You can find template exemption cards by clicking here

What can I do if I’m struggling with my mental health?

The coronavirus outbreak has had a big impact on everyone’s lives.  During this period of social distancing and staying at home, you may start to feel low, worried, anxious and concerned about the health of yourself and your loved ones.  This can start to have an impact on your mental health, so it is very important to look after your mind as well as your physical health.

There’s lots of helpful advice on how to maintain your mental health on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19

 

If you feel you are struggling with your mental health, you can contact us to speak to a GP. Alternatively here is a list of NHS approved helplines here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

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