COVID-19 has affected the lives of everybody within the UK and the rest of the world. Finding safe and effective treatments has been the drive of researchers at the University of Oxford and right now, you have an opportunity to help. PRINCIPLE is a national priority trial to find treatments for COVID-19. We are looking for volunteers aged 65 or over, OR aged between 50 and 64 with an underlying health condition.
To be eligible to take part, you must be unwell with Covid-19 symptoms, and have had them for less than 14 days. No face to face visits are needed.
Please help us fight COVID-19 by visiting our website www.principletrial.org
Here is an extract from a letter by Winsford GP Jonathan Griffiths ……..
General Practice has been open and seeing patients throughout the pandemic. GPs have done this with little or no additional resource despite significant changes to their working model of healthcare delivery. They have seen patients both with covid and non-covid symptoms, have struggled to obtain adequate PPE, some have caught covid-19, and some have died.
From the very outset of the pandemic, GPs adjusted their ways of working and have developed a totally different model of healthcare provision. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for GPs in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic provides guidance for practices and has been regularly updated . The SOP encourages all practices to adopt a total triage system whereby patients have a phone, video or electronic consultation before any face to face encounter. Face to Face encounters have been discouraged unless necessary in order to comply with other national guidance about social distancing and to reduce footfall through our estates, none of which were designed or built with a coronavirus pandemic in mind. Following remote consultation, GPs have been seeing patients face to face where required, wearing appropriate PPE, and have been doing this continually since March. At no point have practices been ‘shut’.
Taking one 10,000 patient practice as an example, since 1st April their clinicians have undertaken over 11,500 phone calls and over 2,300 people have been seen face to face either in the surgery or as a home visit. Comparing these numbers with the previous year, overall there have been more patient consultations in 2020 than 2019 during the same time period.
GPs have been open during these hours since March. They have continued with Childhood Immunisation, 6-week mother and baby checks, have restarted cervical cytology (smears) and have restarted much routine work. They have been guided with regard to what services to provide by NHSE, RCGP and the BMA. They have followed this guidance and seen patients when needed.
I would like to thank all GPs for the hard work that they have undertaken during this pandemic, and also acknowledge that current demand for GP services has increased significantly.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the Practice’s Flu Vaccination Campaign so far this season…
Please note, if you are in the 50-64-year old age group you will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccine. No appointments will be offered for this age group until then.
This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first. If you are 50-64 and you are in one of the other groups which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you will be invited earlier.
None of us would in our wildest dreams ever have thought that a virus, or as we now know it, Covid-19, would have such a significant impact within the UK and across the world. It has truly touched us all. The NHS has been at the forefront of keeping the UK safe during these uncertain times and this has been challenging for each and everyone of us.
At this time, we do not have a vaccination for Coronavirus. But, patients who are in the priority groups are being contacted by letter or text to invite them to book a seasonal flu vaccination.
By having the vaccination at our surgery, patients will protect themselves over the winter months and also support the Practice in being able to deliver this critically important national campaign.
This years Flu Vaccination Campaign will be delivered differently, as you would expect, and we will be observing strictly guidelines to keep you safe, including social distancing and infection control. Further information is included in this letter.
This years Flu Vaccination Campaign is by appointment only. We will be providing appointments on weekdays, including some early and late appointment and on a number of Saturday mornings.
Important Information regarding the Flu Vaccination Campaign 2020
If you would be interested in the NHS contacting you about taking part in coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine studies in the UK, then go to: https://www.nhs.uk/sign-up-to-be-contacted-for-research
This does not automatically sign you up to take part in a specific study but just lets researchers know you’re happy to be contacted if they think you might be suitable to take part in their studies.