Information for patients - update - as at 9 April
Concern re safety of Astra-Zeneca vaccine and blood clots
Any patient who attends the practice or one of the mass clinics for their vaccination will be given the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. We are aware that there may be concern amongst patients in light of recent news reports. We have been advised of the following:
Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. More than 11 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine have been given in the UK; the number of bloods clots that have been reported after vaccination are not more than would have been normally expected in that time frame.
The UK medicines regulatory authority (MHRA) is carefully scrutinising the reports of blood clots in the UK as well as the international data. The view of the MHRA experts is that the available evidence does not suggest the vaccine is the cause. Some countries have taken a highly precautionary approach and have temporarily suspended the use of the vaccine whilst they investigate.
Any suspension of vaccine has to be balanced against the know risks of Covid which is a serious disease, can be fatal, and itself can cause blood clots.
Therefore the MHRA experts recommend that people should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.
For more information, please see the MHRA guidance on precautionary temporary suspension of Astra-Zeneca vaccine.
Patients who have concerns about symptoms after vaccine should access healthcare in the usual way
Patients under 30 who will be attending the mass clinic for their vaccination will be offered an alternative to the Astra-Zeneca vaccine if possible.
Continuation of lockdown
Please could we remind all patients that we are still in full lockdown in Scotland. We continue to follow Scottish Government guidance and restricted access to the practice will continue into the foreseeable future until we are advised that it is safe to start lifting restrictions. At this point we will advise patients of how our services will start to be re-introduced. We envisage this to be on a phased basis.
Patients have continued access to doctors and nurses via telephone and if you are unwell and it is deemed necessary, by your clinician, to have a face to face appointment they will arrange this for you.
We fully appreciate that people are frustrated with lockdown and have differing views on it but we would ask that you are not abusive to reception staff who are and have been carrying out their duties on behalf of patients all through the pandemic.
Unpaid carers to self-regiser for COVID-19 vaccine
From Monday 15 March, unpaid carers will be able to self-register for the COVID-19 vaccine either online or through the vaccination helpline.
Please click the link below for further information
COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Programme
We continue to receive many calls from categories of patients who will be vaccinated via the mass vaccination programme. We would politely ask you to avoid calling the practice for these purposes as all the information on vaccines, invitations and appointment and leaflets can be found on NHS Inform https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine We need to keep our phone lines free for patients who are unwell and needing medical care.
For patients who will be vaccinated by the mass clinics you will be contacted directly by NHS Scotland. The practice cannot answer any questions about your appointment and we have no influence over appointments as we are not involved in this part of the programme.
If you think you should have received a letter by this date or you have lost your appointment letter please see https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/missing-appointment-details
If you need to re-arrange your appointment, have received an appointment and are housebound so cannot attend it or you would like to opt out of receiving a vaccination please see https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/rearrange-or-opt-out-of-your-coronavirus-vaccination-appointment
If you have a general query about the COVID-19 vaccine, please look on the NHS Inform website http://www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine or call the national helpline on 0800 030 8013. This is open from 8.00am to 8.00pm, 7 days a week.
Practice Vaccination Programme
We are currently in the process of undertaking covid vaccination clinics for 2nd doses for all patients who we provided a first dose in the practice. You will receive a telephone call to invite you to an appointment.
As previously, the Community Vaccination Team will visit those patients who are housebound to deliver their vaccination. We have been advised this will be on one of the following days - Wednesday 14 April, Thursday 15 April or Friday 16 April - but we cannot give you a specific day for you.
We thank you for your patience.
Handicabs are delighted to share that they will be offering FREE transport for people with mobility challenges to get their vaccine.
You do not need to be already registered with HcL already.
Any person who has challenges with getting out and about due to age, disability, heath issues (short-term or long-term), additional support needs or geographic remoteness is eligible to use the service.
Bookings are subject to availability so call the relevant office as soon as you have your appointment and they will do their very best to help get you to your appointment and home safely.
Please note you will need to register to use this service but it is quick and free.
West Lothian - 01506 633953
Edinburgh / Midlothian / East Lothian - 0131 447 9949
Following the announcement on 04/01/2021 by the Scottish Government, we can confirm that Dial-A-Ride is operational and can take you to Hospital and other medical appointments, to shops and to funerals, if required.
Just give either office above a call to book.
If you have or think you have coronavirus symptoms
Please see the NHS Inform website for the most up to date guidance CORONAVIRUS ADVICE
If you have developed symptoms (however mild), stay at home for 10 days from the start of your symptoms and arrange to be tested. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.
You should remain at home until you get the result of the test, and then follow the advice you will be given based on the result.
Read the NHS Inform stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.
When to get help
Only phone 111 if:
your symptoms worsen during home isolation, especially if you’re in a high or extremely high-risk group
breathlessness develops or worsens, particularly if you’re in a high or extremely high-risk group
your symptoms haven’t improved in 10 days
If you have a medical emergency, phone 999 and tell them you have coronavirus symptoms.
RIGHT CARE, RIGHT PLACE - GETTING THE BEST HELP
The way patients access urgent care has changed due to coronavirus and if you use the NHS wisely this winter you can get help quickly, safely and as close to home as possible.
To protect yourselves and the NHS, it's important you know how to get the right care, in the right place.
For full information please see the NHS Inform website Right Care, Right Place
Phone NHS 24 first on 111
If you think you need to visit an Emergency Department (A&E), but it's not life threatening, or you think you need to visit a Minor Injury Unit call NHS 24 on 111 first, day or night.
In an emergency always call 999 or go to your local A&E.
NHS 24 will direct you to the right care in the right place. This might include self-care, local pharmacy, GP or dental practice, optician or a minor injuries video consultation with Call MIA.
If you need A&E or a Minor Injury service you may be given a telephone or video appointment or a suitable time to attend hospital safely in person.
You can also continue to access healthcare information and resources on the NHS inform website, access advice at your local pharmacy through Pharmacy First and contact your local GP practice during normal opening hours for urgent and routine care.
These new measures will help to keep everyone safe and well and to follow coronavirus guidelines.
Accessing care services
Everyone is now being asked to:
- Visit NHS inform for advice on common symptoms, guidance for self-help and where to go if further medical care is needed;
- Contact your local GP practice during the day for an appointment or over the phone advice;
- Contact your local pharmacy for advice through Pharmacy First;
- Call 111 day or night when they think they need A&E, but it is not life-threatening;
- Call 111 to arrange a consultation with Call MIA, our video call service for minor injuries including sprains, cuts, burns and suspected broken bones or arms and legs or for an appointment at a Minor Injury Unit;
- Call 111 and select the Mental Health Hub to access mental health advice and guidance or call the Breathing Space telephone helpline on 0800 83 85 87;
- Call 111 or use NHS inform out of hours when they are too ill to wait for their GP practice to open, or for worsening symptoms of COVID-19
- Always dial 999 or attend A&E in a life-threatening emergency
Accessibility and More information
If you use a textphone you can phone NHS 24's 111 services (18001 111).
If you are deaf but want to use the phone service you can use the ContactSCOTLAND-BSL interpreting video relay service
KEEPING MENTALLY HEALTHY
NHS inform has a lot of resources to help with your mental health, whether you're looking for advice, information, local support, or ideas for improving your wellbeing.
Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
NHS Inform - You Matter, We Care
Tips for mental wellbeing whilst staying at home Mental wellbeing tips
Help with anxiety videos and resources Anxiety videos and resources
Mind UK Help with your wellbeing whilst at home Wellbeing whilst you are at home
Young minds - how to talk to children about coronavirus for parents Tips for talking to children about coronavirus
Podcast from British GP, Dr Chatterjee, about coronavirus related anxiety and tips for managing this https://drchatterjee.com/coronavirus-special-how-to-manage-anxiety-in-the-face-of-a-global-pandemic/
COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES - UPDATE
If you are wondering how health services are different as a result of coronavirus or which service is right for you please see NHS Inform - Community Health
(Site updated 10/04/2021)