CORONAVIRUS

As at 28 June.  This page contains dedicated information for patients on looking after yourself during the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.   

Please stay safe and respect all the guidance given to you by the government and the practice.  We are trying to keep all our patients and staff as safe as possible.  Thank you for your patience and co-operation.

 

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE OR MIGHT BE AT RISK OF CORONAVIRUS 

If you are concerned you may have symptoms of COVID19 (Fever, New Persistent Cough, Shortness of Breath or Loss of Taste or Smell), please DO NOT call or come to the practice.  Please book a test via https://www.nhsinform.scot/   

If you have booked a test or are waiting on a result you should remain at home until you get the result of the test then follow the advice you are given based on the result.  Attending the practice puts other patients and our staff at risk.

When to get medical help

Phone NHS24 on 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.

ONLINE PORTAL OPENS FOR REGISTRATION FOR COVID VACCINATION

On Monday 28 June a new online portal has launched, via NHS Inform, to allow all adults in Scotland who have not received a covid vaccine to self-register for their first dose.

The Scottish Government said it is available to everyone over 18 who has not had an invitation, or who missed their first vaccine appointment. 

The portal is open to all adults, even if they are not registered with a GP.  This is to allow anyone who is new to the country or who does not have an up-to-date registered home address to come forward for a vaccine.

The portal will remain open until the vaccination programme ends in September.  People who self-register will receive a text or email with details of their appointment, which they can change if the time or location is unsuitable.

To register for a vaccine appointment click HERE

 

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A GENERAL ENQUIRY ABOUT CORONAVIRUS

 

If you do not have symptoms and are looking for general information about coronavirus, a free helpline has been set up on 0800 028 2816.   This is a non-clinical service.

 

 

 

COVID VACCINATION

 

Covid vaccination is being done through a centralised government programme.   We continue to receive many calls from patients who will be vaccinated via the mass vaccination programme.    We would politely ask you to avoid calling the practice for these purposes as 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.  With increasing demand at the practice, we need to keep our phone lines free for patients who are unwell and needing medical care. 

 

All the informationon vaccines, invitations and appointment and leaflets can be found on NHS Inform   https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine     You can also call the national helpline on 0800 030 8013.   The helpline is open from 8.00am to 8.00pm, 7 days per week.  

 

For patients who will be vaccinated by the mass clinics you will be contacted directly by NHS Scotland.  

 

Please also see What you need to know about covid vaccination   Information is provided in different languages.

 

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 are an unpaid carers you can book a COVID vaccination appointment through the national helpline on 0800 013 8013.  Please click the link for further information  Unpaid carer COVID vaccination

HANDICABS - FREE Vaccine Transport for people with mobility challenges

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

 

FREE COMMUNITY TESTING AND ORDERING OF LATERAL FLOW TESTING KITS

Regular testing for people with no COVID-19 symptoms is one of the ways we can all help keep people safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 in Edinburgh.  The Scottish Government is offering free testing for people with no COVID-19 symptoms in communities where COVID-19 infection rates are now or have recently been higher than in some other parts of Edinburgh.

Testing is free, fast and safe. It will only take around 15 minutes to take the test and 45 minutes for people to be sent their results.

You can also order free rapid lateral flow test kits online or by phoning the National Testing Centre on 119. 

Almost 1 in 3 people infected with Covid-19 don’t have any of the usual symptoms but are potentially passing on the virus unknowingly to family, friends and others in the community. By getting tested people can find out if they are positive and self-isolate at home to stop spreading the virus to others. People who have been vaccinated are also encouraged to take a test as they may still carry the virus.

You can find out more about community testing on our web pages at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/communitytesting

COVID-19 VACCINATION STATUS SCHEME

A service that allows people travelling abroad to access their record of vaccination status themselves has launched.  People will be able access their Covid-19 Vaccine Status online, by logging on to www.nhsinform.scot/covid19status.

A vaccination status letter can be downloaded from the NHS Inform patient portal or -  for those not online - requested in the post via a Freephone Covid Status Helpline  0808 196 8565.

Only those planning to travel to a country or territory where a record of vaccination status is needed as an entry requirement should download the record or request it.

While there are no countries currently requiring vaccination status to travel, international travel restrictions can change quickly requiring such measures to be in place.

As Scotland’s vaccination programme progresses, vaccination status will be replaced by digital Covid Status Certificates, which will include vaccination and testing data to be used for outbound international travel.

PRACTICE VACCINATION PROGRAMME

We have now completed the practice covid vaccination programme and the Community Vaccination Team have completed their visits for housebound patients.

Thank you to all patients who attended for their vaccination and made these clinics a huge success. 

CANCER PATIENTS AND THEIR CARERS - DURING COVID

Any cancer patient worried about symptoms should call their existing cancer treatment helpline or the national Cancer Treatment Helpline on 0800 917 7711.

Other ways to get information

  • For general information about COVID-19 call 0800 028 2816 
  • Cancer Research UK call 0808 800 4040 (Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm) 
  • Macmillan Cancer Support call 0808 808 00 00 (every day, 9am - 5pm) 
  • The NHS Inform Scotlandwebsite has up-to-date information and answers to frequently asked questions.

 

HELPLINE FOR VULNERABLE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC 

A national helpline has been launched for people who are over 70, disabled, require the support of mental health services, are pregnant or receive the annual flu jag for health reasons.  This includes the shielded group of patients and the wider at risk groups.    The telephone number is 0800 111 4000.  

The service will offer help to those who do not have family or existing community support and cannot get online.   This service is in addition to localised support already available for people who have received letters advising them to shield themselves.  Any of those in the shielding category who are not yet receiving assistance, who do not have family and cannot get online, can access support via this new helpline.   If you know of any neighbours or friends who this may apply to please pass on the phone number.

More information can be found HERE

 

CONCERN RE SAFETY OF ASTRA-ZENECA VACCINE AND BLOOD CLOTS

Any patient who attends the practice for their vaccination will be given the Astra-Zeneca vaccine.  For patients attending the mass clinics there are different options and you will receive one of the 3 vaccinations - Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca or Moderna.  We are aware that there may be concern amongst patients in light of recent news reports about blood clots.   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.

Please also see Leaflet on COVID-19 Vaccine and Blood Clotting

Patients who have concerns about symptoms after vaccine should access healthcare in the usual way

https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/the-vaccines/side-effects-of-the-coronavirus-vaccines

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.

EDINBURGH CARER SUPPORT TEAM

 

The Edinburgh Carer Support Team is open and offering information and emotional support over the phone. If carers have a query or would like to access phone support, they can call our phone line on 0131 536-3371 or contact their own named carer support worker (Monday to Friday).  

Carer Support Worker, Rachel McNeill has made a short video on behalf of the Edinburgh Carer Support Team to remind carers and staff that we are still here to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://youtu.be/KamOyeUyqtQ. Please feel free to circulate.

All carers who have been in touch with The Edinburgh Carer Support Team or carer voluntary organisations will be receiving and information pack in the coming weeks.

Please also see below a copy of the COVID-19 carer FAQ sheet  Carer Support - FAQ

You can find more information on support during the COVID 19 pandemic at:  https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

TIPS ON STAYING MENTALLY HEALTHY DURING CORONAVIRUS

 

Tips for mental wellbeing whilst staying at home  Mental wellbeing tips

 

10 tips to help if you are worried about cornavirus   10 tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus

 

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

 

Young minds - help if you are anxious about coronavirus   Coronavirus blog for young people

 

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/ 



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