For the latest details please click on COVID-19 vaccine webpage for guidance.
COVID VACCINATION CENTRES - NEW NATIONAL VACCINATION LETTERS
From 16.01.2021 people across England aged 80 started to receive national letters inviting them to book themselves a COVID vaccination appointment at a new vaccination centre which has been established in a building called Robertson House in Stevenage, being run by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust. This new vaccination centre is one of the first seven large-scale sites across the country
The letters advise patients that they can book a vaccination appointment by going online to www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119. The letter also explains that patients may be contacted by their local vaccination service to arrange their vaccination (currently via our Primary Care Network PCN at Bishops Stortford Football Club).
Patients have a choice of booking an appointment for themselves or waiting to be contacted by their local NHS (Primary Care Network PCN), rather than travelling to Stevenage, further details below:
'Letters from the national NHS system are being sent out to people aged 80 and over during the coming days. If you’ve already had your first dose of the vaccine from us at our local vaccination hub at Bishops Stortford Football Club you can ignore this letter. The practice is responsible for arranging your appointment for your second jab'.
If you haven’t had your first vaccination yet (and you are aged 80 or over), you can choose to book an appointment for yourself using the web address or phone number in the letter. If you book in this way, your vaccination will take place at a venue called Robertson House, close to the centre of Stevenage. Alternatively, you can choose to have your vaccination in your local area instead. We will contact you as soon as we are ready to offer you an appointment.
COVID VACCINATION SCAM
Neighbourhood watches have been alerted to a highly believable scam which starts with a text and advises the user that they are eligible to apply for the COVID vaccine and to click on the link in the text message. The user is then led to a webpage, which looks very convincing and asks them to complete some details, in order for them to be able to apply for the vaccine.
The details asked for:
- Date of birth
- Proof of address
- Card payment details
With the recent approval of multiple vaccines in the UK, these types of scam attempts are likely to continue, as fraudsters continue to take advantage of the rollout to some many people. Patients will never be asked to pay for a COVID vaccination.
GPs in the Stort Valley and Villages PCN begin administering Covid-19 vaccinations
A centre has been set up at Bishop’s Stortford Football Club to start vaccinating our patients. The vaccinations will be arranged in strict order of eligibility, and we will begin with patients over 80 year’s old.
If you have not yet been invited to attend, please don’t worry, but do not call your GP Practice. We will contact you as soon as we have a vaccine and an appointment slot available.
There is plenty of information about the vaccine available:
For enquiring patients (who are not yet being vaccinated):
Dr Sian Stanley, Clinical Director of the Stort Valley and Villages PCN says: “General Practices across Sawbridgeworth, Bishops Stortford and The Hadhams have come together to work collaboratively to offer a community-focussed Covid vaccination service. It has taken a huge team effort to prepare the programme and get it up and running at the football club – the site used for our flu vaccination programme earlier this year. It’s a very emotional moment for us.
GP practices will be inviting patients to receive their vaccine, following a strict eligibility list, starting with our oldest patients first. Together, our teams bring years of experience and knowledge of delivering vaccination programmes. Please be patient and wait until you are contacted with further details on how to book in with us.”
Shan Toms, General Manager of Bishop’s Stortford Football Club said: “We are proud to be part of this vaccination programme to help the community get back to normal, and to be part of history. I am hoping this is the light at the end of the tunnel that will get us all back to a near normal life.
Vaccine priority groups: advice on 2 December 2020
Phase 1 – direct prevention of mortality and supporting the NHS and social care system
This priority list is confirmed in order as follows:
- residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- all those 80 years of age and over
- frontline health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- all those 65 years of age and over
- all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- all those 60 years of age and over
- all those 55 years of age and over
- all those 50 years of age and over
Covid-19 Vaccination programme - statement from Stort Valley & Villages Primary Care Network - updated 07.12.2020
Covid-19 Vaccination programme
COVID Vaccination info click here: https://www.stortvalleyhealthcare.com/services/covid-19/
We’ve had a terrific response to our appeal for clinicians to help deliver the Covid-19 vaccine to patients. Not only have our own staff volunteered to work overtime, but retired nurses/doctors are volunteering to help out too.
Our target is to vaccinate all our eligible patients over a 3-4 month period, and to give first dose of vaccinations to 15,000 patients within the first weeks of rollout in January.
It is a big undertaking, as between us we care for 63,000 patients across the 5 practices in Stort Valley and Villages Primary Care Network (PCN).
We will deliver the programme from Bishop’s Stortford Football Club, which was a great success with flu vaccinations this year. It will be tough, but we are keen to get started and it’s great to know that we can count on your understanding and support in the months to come.
It is not our intention to start a debate about vaccinations. Whether or not to have the vaccination is a personal choice which everyone is free to make for themselves.
Frequently asked Q & As
Why is this programme different to the annual seasonal flu campaign?
Whilst we don’t have all the detail about the requirements of these new vaccines, we do know that they won’t initially be delivered to us in single, pre-filled doses, as is the case with flu vaccines. Each vaccine has to be reconstituted and individually drawn up – which slows the process down. Every patient will have 2 doses, 21 to 28 days apart.
Clinics will be held on a socially distanced basis, and patients who drive themselves to their appointment will need to wait 15 minutes post vaccination before they can leave the site. So logistically – a bit of a challenge!
Why work as a PCN; why not as individual surgeries?
The reason for this, is that the first vaccine to be delivered requires ultra-low temperatures, and once defrosted, needs to be administered within 5 days. Furthermore, it comes in vials that contain 5 doses, and once diluted, the vaccine must be used within 6 hours.
So, if we get a big batch delivered, it is unlikely a single practice would have sufficient numbers or clinical capacity to deliver this within the required timeframe. In addition, the vials cannot be divided at practice level and shared with other practices due to the regulations related to the distribution of medications.
At this stage, we do not know if we will have any control or choice over our delivery schedule.
The vaccine will be in short supply and we must try and keep wastage to a minimum.
As the programme progresses and more vaccine becomes available, we may be able to adjust how we deliver the programme.
Which patients will be prioritised for vaccination?
This has not been confirmed, but will depend on the characteristics of the vaccines being administered. It is unlikely that surgeries will have any control over this part of the programme
We will do our best to keep you informed; this programme is bound to be subject to many changes.
Central Surgery, Church St Surgery, Much Hadham Surgery, Parsonage Surgery, South St Surgery
Stopping Coronavirus from Spreading : What you can do to help.
Click here to read the government guidance on how to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
How to wear and make a cloth face covering
NHS Diabetes Advice helpline
NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a new helpline in response to disruption to normal diabetes services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
The service is for adults living with diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition and require immediate clinical advice.
Whether you or a member of your household have caught the virus, or routine care has been disrupted, the helpline is available for immediate clinical advice to help you understand how to effectively manage their diabetes.
You can access NHS Diabetes Advice via Diabetes UK’s support line on 0345 123 2399 Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm.
COVID-19 Research - Help the fight against COVID-19
Join a COVID-19 clinical trial - The PRINCIPLE Trial
The PRINCIPLE trial aims to find treatments that reduce hospital Admission and improve symptoms for people with COVID-19. You could be eligible to join if & self refer through the trial website if:
You have had these symptoms for fewer than 15 days:
- a continuous new or worsening cough
You are aged 50 to 64 with a pre-existing illness:
- High blood pressure and/ or heart disease
- Diabetes not treated with insulin
- Asthma or lung disease
- Weakened immune system due to serious illness or medication (e.g. chemotherapy).
- Stroke or neurological problems
- Liver disease
- You are aged 65 and above
Find out more via www.principletrial.org
Click here to download a poster with this information (PDF, 551KB)
Click here to download this information in an easy read format (PDF, 813KB)
Apply for a coronavirus test:
Advice for parents during coronavirus
Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.
Click here to download helpful advice for parents (PDF, 273KB)
Easy Read Coronavirus Resources
Please click here for our Easy Read Coronavirus Poster (PDF, 1.41MB)
Please click here for our Easy Read leaflet (PDF, 732KB)
Coronavirus / COVID-19 Privacy Notice
Click here for our COVID-19 Privacy Notice
Patients ‘at risk’, requesting letters from the GP
The government has already written to the VERY high-risk group, advising they isolate for 3 months at home and do not go out.
This was taken from a national database and we are awaiting further guidance from NHS England in relation to any other searches being run to identify more patients who fit the VERY high-risk criteria that may have slipped the net. The practice will be instructed by NHS England when these letters can be sent out.
In the interim, patients will need to make their own decisions with regard to self-isolating etc.
If patients have any problems with collecting medication, shopping, isolation contact the relevant village volunteer group ‘Operation CommUNITY’.
0300 123 4044
Age UK Herts
0300 345 3446
Citizens Advice Bureau
Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Read the NHS advice about staying at home.
Use the 111 coronavirus service
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Information is available at gov.uk/coronavirus and https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact.
A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation.
Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others
In light of current concerns relating to the Coronavirus outbreak & to ensure patient / staff safety, we have temporarily suspended the online booking system for appointments.
Staff will now triage patient’s symptoms prior to any appointments being made. Please attend appointments on your own if possible. If you require assistance, please limit this to one person as questions relating to Coronavirus, will be asked at the time of booking & are applicable to all attending the appointment with you. Providing false or misleading information is against legislation and you will therefore be committing an offence for which you could be prosecuted.
Due to high patient contact levels, should our telephone lines 01279 827608 be busy, patients are able to email us via Parsonageadmin@nhs.net
Our website will be regularly updated with information relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Silver Line - helpline for older people
Need help? Call Silver Line ANYTIME on: 0800 4 70 80 90
The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Please visit https://www.thesilverline.org.uk
Sexual and reproductive health help during COVID-19
Hertfordshire County Council has produced some useful guides to help support people who have been bereaved in these challenging times. There are versions for adults, parents and carers and young people, as well as an easy read version for adults and young people with additional needs.
Guides can be viewed or downloaded from www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/coronavirusbereavement