Covid-19 Vaccine – Update

This News Post will be kept up to date with all information we have for patients regarding the Covid-19 Vaccinations. Please do not telephone the surgery for information as this takes up valuable phone time and stops urgent calls from patients getting through.

The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

 

*17.05.2021 – Latest Update*

Over the weekend just passed there have been a few significant announcements regarding the vaccine program and General Practice services that you may have heard about on the news.

Our practice has been using telephone and online consultations for a number of years. This meant we were in a good position to respond when the pandemic started and we were able to safely implement a remote service for our patients and limit exposure to the virus. As we move in to the next phase of our response, we await national guidance about any changes we may need to implement going forward, however, anyone who needs to be seen face to face has always been able to be seen and this will continue.

The new guidance suggests that patients should aim to have their vaccine at 8 weeks or later now. Nexus PCN (Primary Care Network) and it’s practices will be starting to invite patients at this earlier date as capacity of both practice and vaccine deliveries allow. Please do not contact your practice unless you are overdue your second dose. Practices will be inviting all patients due their second vaccination at their practice once they have a vaccination clinic available to book patients into.

Please also check the last post below this one with information about booking first or second doses with the details of how and where this is happening too.

 

 

 

*10.05.2021*

It’s Mental Health Awareness week this week, this years theme is nature. To see how you can get involved or for online resources please visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

This past week in Devon we have now delivered over 1 million vaccination doses given, a huge milestone, thanks to the amazing volunteers and vaccine staff over the last 5 months.

Now the vaccination programme is entering phase 2, Mount Pleasant Health Centre (and other GP practices in Nexus Primary Care Network) are not continuing with cohorts 10-12 and so have now finished giving first doses. If you are in cohorts 1-9 and believe you have been missed please email d-ccg.devonvaccinationsupport@nhs.net or visit the NHS website to book your vaccine (you can also call 119 if you cannot get online).

If you had your first vaccine with Mount Pleasant Health Centre you will be invited for your second once it becomes due at 10-12 weeks after your first. We are mainly texting invites to patients to book these online through a unique link but are calling those we cannot text (and writing to those we cannot call). If you had your first vaccine with us and are expecting your second with us too, please check the date of your first vaccine and if it is after 10 weeks since, call us on 01392 255722 to see when we can book you in.

For patients aged 18-49, people can use the National Booking Service to book an appointment at locations including at the nearby large vaccination centre at Greendale Business Park or Lewis Pharmacy in Exmouth.

For those having first and second vaccinations at our local mass vaccination site, currently situated at Westpoint Exeter, you should have been made aware that they are moving the site from Westpoint to Greendale Business Park. Greendale is just over two miles from Westpoint, and clear signage will be in place to guide people. For more information please click here.

We’d like to thank all the volunteers and staff that continue to go above and beyond to deliver the vaccine program as well as normal primary care services (as government guidelines allow). For any other information about the vaccine programme please visit the NHS webiste.

 

 

 

*07.04.2021*

We are slowly working our way through those that are due second doses (10-12 weeks post first dose) depending on when vaccine deliveries are confirmed and when we plan clinics.

For our next second dose clinic we will be trialing the use of online booking for patients with a mobile number or email address. We will be sending these to a small number of patients that are due. If you do not receive one don’t panic, we will be contacting everyone who is due one way or another.

If you need to cancel an appointment you’ve made online please call the Health Centre to do this but know that we will not be able to offer an alternative date at this time.

For any other information regarding the Vaccination program please see the latest NHS information.

 

 

*28.03.2021*

We have for the most part now finished vaccinating our patients in cohorts 1-9 (see details of cohorts below) and are making our way through second doses due. If you are in one of these cohorts (over-50s, those with underlying health conditions, and health and care workers) and have not received your first vaccination then please book an appointment at a mass vaccination site now through the NHS National Booking Service.

If you are soon to be due your 2nd vaccination with us please keep an eye on this page for information, we will be contacting patients regarding these appointments. Patients are asked to please make sure you attend your appointment as vaccine deliveries are very short notice and we do not know when we will receive more, meaning your second dose might be delayed if you miss it.

We’d like to extend yet again our thanks to patients for their understanding and to both volunteers and our teams of staff for continuing to go above and beyond. If you’d like to get involved with volunteering at the Health Centre please fill out our online application form here and we’ll be in contact if needed. Alternatively for volunteering potentially with us but also for other NHS volunteering please vist https://www.goodsamapp.org/nhs.

It is still vital to follow the NHS advice around testing and vaccinating. A COVID-19 test usually involves taking a sample from the back of your throat (where your tonsils are) and from the nose, using a long cotton bud. There are lots of way to get a COVID-19 test in Devon, depending on whether or not you have any symptoms. You can find out more on the Devon County Council Website, including a map of where the various types of test sites are located.

For the latest information about Devon’s vaccination programme, visit the Together for Devon website (Devon’s health and social care system).

During the Easter school holidays, families of more than 15,000 primary, secondary and sixth form college pupils in Devon who currently receive free school meals will automatically be sent supermarket vouchers to help them buy food. Over the next week or so parents and carers of children currently receiving free school meals will be sent a letter or email from Devon County Council with information about how to access their vouchers. Please look out for it nearer the time and get in touch with the free school meals team if you were expecting to receive vouchers but didn’t. You can email them at freeschoolmeals@devon.gov.uk or call the education helpline on 0345 155 1019.

If your child does not currently receive free school meals but you think they qualify due to a change in your family circumstances, please apply online through the website as soon as possible in order to receive the vouchers for the Easter holiday. For more information please visit the Devon County Council Website.

For any other information regarding the Vaccination program please see the latest NHS information.

If you’d like to leave a review of Mount Pleasant or have any comments or suggestions please see the contact us tab in the menu bar at the top of the page on the different options to do this on.

 

 

*03.03.2021*

As the NHS works through cohorts 1-6 (ages 65 and up and clinically vulnerable patients aged 16-64) and mass vaccination sites start vaccinating cohort 7 (ages 60-64) we are happy to say that we are keeping to the national guidelines and locally (as Devon) we are doing very well vaccinating these priority groups.

If you are aged 65 or over you are able to book into a mass vaccination site. Please go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ to do this.

If you are aged 16-64 we will be in contact with you to book your vaccination, dependent on deliveries and our available clinics.

If you are a patient aged 65 and over and have not yet been contacted please phone the surgery to book in to the next vaccination clinic if available.

Please make sure your contact details are up to date so we can contact you when it is your turn for a vaccine. If you have recently updated your contact number and have not informed us please contact the surgery or fill out this online request form.

We remain committed to providing routine GP services and would encourage all who can, to complete an eConsult by clicking here, rather then calling the health centre unless it needs a same day response, as the phone lines are still very busy.

After a recent tragic fire in Exeter, the Devon and Somerset Fire Service have produced a booklet of fire safety information which includes a home safety checklist we would recommend all to check out. Remember you can ask for a free home safety check too by calling 0800 0502 999 – please see the booklet linked below for more information.

http://www.dsfire.gov.uk/YourSafety/SafetyInTheHome/documents/HomeSafetyBooklet.pdf

 

Throughout all our vaccination clinics we have heavily relied on volunteers and have been so thankful for the outpouring of support. As we seem to be continuing to run these and have more and more volunteers coming forwards we will soon be asking all to fill out an application form so we can more easily manage everyone. We will have this available on this news post as soon as it is available and are grateful for any that might consider helping out. More details around the type of support we are asking for will also follow.

For any other information regarding the Vaccination program please see the latest NHS information.

If you’d like to leave a review of Mount Pleasant or have any comments or suggestions please see the contact us tab in the menu bar at the top of the page on the different options to do this on.

 

 

*17.02.2021*

Your practice is delighted to be undertaking the largest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS. We are balancing this programme with continuing to be open and managing your other clinical needs. Please do be reassured that if you need medical attention, your practice is here for you and will determine how to best support you, based on your symptoms.

Please be assured that everyone who needs the vaccine will be offered it. The NHS will be in touch with you when it is your turn to be vaccinated. Please don’t call us before you are invited. In the meantime, you can get information about the COVID-19 Vaccination online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination.

If you are in cohort 5 (aged 65-70 years old) you can now book directly into a mass vaccination site for you covid-19 vaccination. Please follow this link to find out how: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ patients within this cohort should start receiving letters from NHS England inviting them to book in to a mass vaccination site soon.

In the mean time primary care services are beginning to invite cohort 6 as well as prioritizing anyone that hasn’t had it, that falls into cohorts 1-4. If you fall into the groups listed below rest assured we are starting to call patients in to book them in as and when we have vaccine available – this is going to take time, potentially weeks or months and completely dependent on when we receive vaccines. Please do not call us before we contact you as this clogs up the phone lines for patients that need to speak to the doctors for other problems and remember you can always complete an eConsult for non-urgent problems.

  • people who are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • people who are at moderate risk from coronavirus (clinically vulnerable)
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health and social care workers

For any other information regarding the Vaccination program please see the latest NHS information.

We are collating feedback on our vaccination clinics and will be sending out texts to patients that have had a vaccination appointment with us a link to some short questions we’d like to ask. The questionnaire is available here if you have not yet received this and would like to leave feedback.

If you’d like to leave a review of Mount Pleasant or have any comments or suggestions please see the contact us tab in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Also, did you know? Patients in England can now access the NHS App from their browser: https://www.nhsapp.service.nhs.uk/login

 

 

*04.02.2021*

We as Nexus PCN are well on the way to deliver the Coronavirus vaccine to eligible patients in priority groups 1,2,3 and 4 by mid February as per the national guidance. This is thanks to, and has only been possible due to, the amazing staff and volunteers that have stepped up massively to support this vaccine rollout. We’d like to take this opportunity again to thank all patients whilst they bear with us during this difficult time and please know that we are with you every step of the way. We will get through this.

Remember we are still supposedly open, “business as usual” so do not feel that you cannot contact your GP. The easiest way to get help on any problem (at least to begin) is by completing an eConsult.

 

There are six main ways the coronavirus vaccine is being delivered to local people in eligible groups:

1. All four of the county’s main hospitals – in Plymouth, Exeter, Torquay and Barnstaple – are giving the vaccination to priority groups in line with national guidance

2. GP practices are working together in groups to set up local vaccination centres. Across the county, 20 centres are now in operation, serving all 123 of Devon’s GP practices

3. GP-led facilities are delivering the vaccine to residents and staff in care homes

4. Additional mobile teams are bringing running vaccination facilities closer to people in more rural parts of the county

5. Large-scale vaccination centres in Exeter and Plymouth are delivering the vaccine to local people

6. Three community pharmacies recently began vaccinating people, with more sites to follow

A list of all the sites is available on the Together for Devon website. It is updated regularly.

 

A new service is now live to help find people find their NHS number. This service is for anyone living in England who has forgotten or does not know their NHS number. This service can also be used on behalf of someone else where the name, date of birth and registered home postcode is known. You can opt for the number to be sent to you by text, email or letter.

 

The vaccination of unpaid carers will take place in line with the JCVI guidance – cohort 6. We are not yet vaccinating cohorts 5 and 6.

Work is underway to establish a process for the delivery of the vaccine to unpaid carers in Devon and will be communicated in due course.

Until then, carers are being asked to wait until they are contacted by the NHS.

 

This week is also Children’s Mental Health Week! (1st-7th February 2021)

With everything going on currently it’s more important than ever that we raise awareness of looking after children’s mental health, which is why we’re proud to support Children’s Mental Health Week.

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge recorded a video message marking the start of the week, and this year’s theme is Express Yourself, with many activities for children to get involved in.

Children’s mental health charity Place2Be is encouraging children to express themselves by doing something fun. From painting, writing or music, it’s all about doing something to help your kids feel good. Their free resources will help children and young people to explore what it means to Express Yourself. All of the ideas can be adapted for use in school, for home-schooling, online lessons or independent learning.

If you’re concerned about the mental health of a young person aged 11 to 25 years old, why not check out Kooth? It’s an online mental wellbeing community that offers free and confidential mental health support to young people in Devon. Kooth has unveiled its “Don’t Do It Alone” campaign, designed to encourage open conversations around mental health so children and young people know they are not alone with their struggles.

 

 

*29.01.2021*

It was an historic moment when two landmark venues in Devon opened as NHS Vaccination Centres yesterday, ready to vaccinate tens of thousands of local people in coming weeks.

The Mayflower Grandstand at Plymouth Argyle Football Club’s Home Park Stadium, and exhibition and event venue Westpoint Exeter have started offering their first booked appointments to people in priority groups.

The Home Park and Westpoint Exeter sites mean thousands more vaccinations will be given every week in Devon and provide local people have a wider choice of options when they receive their invitation for an appointment.

Anyone who cannot or does not want to travel to one of the sites can eventually be vaccinated by their local GP service.

Every time someone in Devon is vaccinated, it brings us a small step closer to the end of the pandemic. These two new sites will deliver thousands of vaccinations each week, initially bringing reassurance, safety and peace of mind for those receiving the jab, and in time, when restrictions are lifted, the confidence and safety to get back to normal life.

Mass vaccination centres will be staffed by specially trained vaccinators and support staff, with help from dozens of volunteers, with more being sought to help out in coming weeks.

You can only use this service if you have received a letter inviting you to book your vaccination appointments. The vaccination is currently being offered in the following order to:

  • people aged 80 or over
  • people aged 70 or over
  • people who are high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • Letters are being sent out every week – you might not get your letter straight away.

The details on how to book these will be in the letter sent to you. For more information please click here.

It’s important you are registered with a GP practice to make sure the NHS know to contact you when you are eligible. If you are not registered and would like to register with us (Mount Pleasant Health Centre) please click here to find out how.

 

Public Health England has produced a COVID-19 vaccination easy read leaflet for people with a learning disability and their families and carers.

Free and downloadable easy read FAQ’s have also been produced by Keep Safe UK, about the vaccine to support people to make an informed choice. The information includes audio versions. This information has been developed through working with experts by experience and self advocacy groups nationally. You can access them here.

 

Local practices and trusts have reported patients being contacted about booking a vaccination appointment and then asked to provide financial details. It is important that both patients and staff are aware that:

  • You don’t need to apply for it.
  • You don’t have to pay to receive it.
  • You don’t need to share bank details to confirm your identity.

A useful link explaining how you will be contacted regarding the vaccination can be found here. Mount Pleasant Health Centre are ringing all of their patients directly to book covid-19 vaccination appointments.

 

People registered with us or one of the Nexus PCN GP Surgeries (Including; The Heavitree Practice, The South Lawn Medical Practice, Isca Medical Practice, Hill Barton Surgery and ourselves) that are in the JCVI Priority Cohorts (see the 07.12.20 update image below) 1, 2, 3 and 4 are likely to have received their first dose by mid February 2021 and we are all working hard to make sure we vaccinate them as soon as possible in line with the national guidance.

Please remember to not ring your GP surgery regarding Covid Vaccinations. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

Thank you to all our patients for their continued understanding and patience whilst we work through this together.

 

*18.01.2021*

Now that more doses of Covid-19 vaccines are available, the NHS is able to open more vaccination services, including the first larger regional Vaccination Centres. This is great news as it provides more options for getting vaccinated.

People who are eligible and who live near these new vaccination services will receive letters from the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service, telling them how they can book their appointment.

You may receive a letter from the national NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service inviting you to book an appointment at a regional Vaccination Centre, the closest of which is at Taunton so far.

If you receive the letter from the national service and can travel to the Vaccination Centre safely, we recommend that you book using the details the letter provides. You have a choice of talking up the offer to attend the mass vaccination site, or wait for your GP to give it to you more locally.

We have started vaccinating patients over the age of 80 years of age and are inviting people in according to the criteria and prioritisation set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), and will contact you when it’s your turn.

Like the rest of the NHS we are working to offer vaccines to everyone in the top priority groups by the middle of February.

Please do not contact us if you haven’t received an invite yet. We are very busy at the moment and doing so could prevent a patient who needs our help from getting through. You have not been taken off any lists and we will contact you when it is the right time for you to book your appointment.

Click here for more information on the Covid-19 Vaccination rollout.

*15.01.2021*

Due to new advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers, we have written to all patients that had a second Covid-19 vaccination appointment booked in, informing them that we need to reschedule them. The new medical advice is that the second dose of the vaccine remains effective when given up to 12 weeks after the first dose, and should be given towards the end of this 12-week period. We will contact patients closer to the end of their 12 weeks to book their second Covid-19 vaccination appointments.

While you will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best long-term protection from the virus, you will still have a high level of protection at 22 days after you received the first dose. The new guidance will also help ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the first dose of the vaccine as soon as possible. We have been reassured that there are no safety concerns in the new guidance, and it will not impact on how effective the vaccination is in protecting you from Covid-19 once the course is complete.

We hope our patients across our PCN (the five GP surgeries that form Nexus Primary Care Network) can appreciate the efforts, the additional work and extra hours that all our teams have put in to ensure we were in a position to offer the Covid-19 vaccine to patients and also understand that the decision to postpone the second dose was taken by the Chief Medical Officer for NHS England and is completely out of our control. We have done our utmost to ensure our patients have had access to the Covid Vaccination Programme whilst continuing to also offer our normal services according to NHS guidance. Please read the statement made by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer below.

It is important to note that even when you have received a vaccine, you must continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and wearing a mask, as well as the additional measures in place in your area.

If you’ve already attended a covid-19 vaccination clinic based at Mount Pleasant Health Centre and would like to leave feed back please click here.

If you’d like to leave a more general review of Mount Pleasant Health Centre feel free to contact the practice (using any of the options from the contact us drop down at the top of the website) or you can leave a google review here.

 

The evidence clearly shows vaccinated individuals get almost complete protection after the first dose. Simply put, every time we vaccinate someone a second time, we are not vaccinating someone else for the first time. It means we are missing an opportunity to greatly reduce the chances of the most vulnerable people getting severely ill from Covid-19. If a family has two elderly grandparents and there are two Pfizer vaccines available, it is better to give both 89 percent than to give one 95 percent protection with two quick doses and the other grandparent no protection at all. Our ambition is to have offered vaccines to the most vulnerable 13 million people by the middle of February. Therefore, as a key part of the national effort to protect as many people in at-risk groups as quickly as possible, booster doses will now be delivered within 12 weeks of the first dose.’

– Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van Tam

 

For more information on the vaccine, please visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination

 

*07.01.2021*

Mount Pleasant Health Centre along with the other four practices in the NEXUS PCN are starting their second pre booked covid-19 vaccination clinic today. Patients that are eligible have been called and booked in for an appointment for this clinic.

Each clinic runs over two days and takes a lot of organisation, planning and time from each practice. Rest assured plans continue to be in place as we run these to keep as much normal primary care activity as possible but we thank you for your understanding that there will be some disruption.

There have been reports of a new scam where a person receives a text saying they need to book a vaccination appointment and it takes them to a fake NHS form, which then asks for their bank details to prove their identity.

The NHS will never ask for peoples banking information. 

 

*16.12.2020*

As some GP practices in wave 1 and 2 begin their rollout of the vaccine to priority 1 groups (see below image) it’s important to remember that patients will be contacted when it is their turn.

Mount Pleasant Health Centre and the other practices in our network (Nexus PCN) do not currently have a wave assigned so we do not know when we will begin our covid-19 vaccine clinics. We are hoping to be a part of the rollout as soon as possible..

Thank you to our patients for their continued understanding.

 

*07.12.2020*

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

At this time, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals to:

-Some people aged 80 and over who already have a hospital appointment in the next few weeks
-People who work in care homes
-Health care workers at high risk
-The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK 

For more information:

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

JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK