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PRACTICE SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

06 May 2021

As you will be aware, the Covid19 pandemic is still having a significant impact on general practice service delivery.  Please be assured that every member of our team is working as hard as they can to provide the best service possible in these circumstances.  The attached YouTube video from the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland, Dr Carey Lunan, explains our current situation from a national perspective.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have several GPs absent from the practice at this time and this will unfortunately be the situation for several weeks. This occurs alongside already frequent disruptions to our staffing due to clinicians having to isolate, pending Covid-19 test results.  We do employ locum GPs to support where they are available but they are currently in scarce supply. This GP shortage, coupled with the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in due to the Covid-19 pandemic, means that we are under significantly more pressure to meet the needs of our patient population.

We are looking to our patients for your support and understanding as this predicament is challenging for our Practice and team at an already exceptional time. As such please be aware that:

  • Appointment availability is likely to be lower than we would like. Please make every effort to be available for booked appointments and to cancel appointments no longer required. Please be understanding should a clinician be running late for your booked appointment.
  • You may not always be able to have a consultation with your preferred GP. When you call to make an appointment, please help our team to help you by doing your best to answer their questions so that they can direct you to the most suitable service.
  • You may not need an appointment with the Practice. Your local pharmacist can offer advice for minor illnesses. This service is available at all pharmacies and you do not usually need an appointment.They may need to refer you to back to the Practice or another healthcare professional such as the dentist, optometrist or another NHS service if they feel your condition needs further investigation or more specialist care.
  • NHS Inform offers a range of useful resources on illnesses, conditions, symptoms and self-help: https://www.nhsinform.scot/self-help-guides

Please be assured that the Practice remains open, and that our team is committed to our patients and their health needs as always.


COVID VACCINATIONS

We've started inviting patients aged 40+ 

Patients aged 40 years and over who have not yet had or booked their 1st dose Covid-19 vaccine, should please call the practice to book into our next available clinic.
Please call us on our dedicated Covid vaccine booking line 01463 214642 between 1.30-6pm today (Friday 14 May).
When the clinic is full, this line will close. We will be in touch with eligible cohorts again in the coming weeks dependent on vaccine supply.
We kindly ask that you don't call this line if you are younger than 40 and not in an at-risk group. We are not vaccinating under 40s yet and by calling you will be blocking the line for eligible patients.
Thank you for your understanding.

Unpaid carers are to self-identify/register on-line via https://www.nhsinform.scot/carersregister or by calling the national contact centre: 0800 030 8013.

When you’re eligible, we will contact you to ask you to book your appointment. Please do not call the practice about receiving your vaccine unless you have been specifically asked to do so.

Please make every effort to attend your Covid vaccine appointment when invited. If you cannot make your appointment it is important that you call the practice to cancel to avoid vaccine waste.Vaccines need to be used within a certain time period and our Covid vaccine clinics are planned carefully to avoid any wastage. Please help us to ensure every dose is used. Where possible please do not drive to your vaccine appointment, this is to avoid congestion in our car park. If you are able please walk, use public transport or arrange a lift.

AstraZeneca vaccine safety update   

8 April 2021 - In light of reports of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following vaccination with the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) have issued new advice on the safety of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.   

The benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks. The JCVI recommends to offer alternative vaccines to adults under 30 without underlying health conditions.  

We are not yet vaccinating the 16- to 49-year-old (without underlying health conditions) cohort. When the time comes to vaccinate this age group, we will advise what alternative vaccines will be offered to adults under 30. 

Please do not call the practice with vaccine safety concerns. Unfortunately, our doctors do not have capacity to deal with vaccine safety enquiries; we have thousands of patients to vaccinate and doctors are already busy doing the usual practice tasks. For more information, please access this link to read leaflets explaining why the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is being offered and how, when and where it will be given. This is the information our doctors would share with you anyway. 

Thank you for your support and understanding. 

“When it does come time for you to be invited for vaccination, we would strongly encourage all to receive the vaccine. There can be no greater advocacy of our professional view of the vaccines than to say that our entire team either have been vaccinated or have accepted the offer when more vaccine arrives.” Dr Andrew Dallas

Covid image

COVID-19 vaccination passports/status certificates

At present there is no standard document available as proof of vaccination. Therefore, GP Practices cannot provide documented evidence of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

The Scottish Government is working with the other UK Nations and with the World Health Organisation to agree on potential future COVID-19 certification requirements for international travel.  

Rapid LFD (lateral flow device) tests

We are not providing LFD (lateral flow device) tests to our patients in practice. Patients can order LFD test kits to be sent to their home via NHS inform and gov.uk.

Who will be offered the vaccine first?

As with all vaccines, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert body, recommends priority groups based on clinical evidence. For the COVID-19 vaccine, those to be offered immunisation in the first phase in order of priority are below. The first groups that are already being vaccinated include:

- Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers

- Frontline health and care staff

- Those aged 80 and over

JCVI advises the order of priority for the vaccination is:

1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

3. all those 75 years of age and over

4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

5. all those 65 years of age and over

6. all individuals aged 16 years to 65 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious illness or death. Anyone who is in receipt of carer’s allowance. Anyone who is the main carer of an elderly or disabled person, whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill. All adults with learning disability.

7. all those 60 years of age and over

8. all those 55 years of age and over

9. all those 50 years of age and over

More information?

The following resources are available for you to reference:

Please call this number for general information about the coronavirus vaccine and its delivery. Lines are open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

It will not be possible to book or change vaccine appointments via the helpline.


WE ARE OPEN and offering patients telephone and video consultations

Whilst we appreciate all people are doing what they can to help the NHS during this time, it’s vital those with non-coronavirus health concerns still seek help as they would have before the outbreak.

The NHS is here for you, so don’t ignore the warning signs.  You are not being a burden, you are looking after yourself and our NHS by doing so.

If you notice deterioration in your health or someone in your household;

  • call us in normal hours (Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm) on 01463 712233

  • call 111 out of hours

  • or in an emergency dial 999

Don’t delay in getting potential cancer signs and symptoms checked during COVID-19. Please see http://www.getcheckedearly.org for further information.

Remember your community pharmacy is also open and you can also contact them for advice or with concerns.

  • If you are concerned about a potential sign or symptom of cancer contact us to get checked.

  • We are continuing to provide all immunisations for babies and children. Please phone us to arrange an appointment for this. If you have an appointment booked and are showing symptoms of COVID-19 please call us to reschedule.

  • If you have a regular appointment for a chronic condition such as asthma or diabetes you should contact us for advice.

  • If your hospital appointment has not been cancelled you should still attend.

For further information visit www.nhsinform.scot

COVID-19 patients and those displaying symptoms are treated separately. See below.


Coronavirus Update

PLEASE DO NOT come to the practice; during COVID we are offering patients a telephone and video appointment service. 

When you phone the practice to make an appointment our receptionist will ask you to describe your symptoms for sharing with a clinician who will then call you back at an agreed time. The clinician speaking to you will work with you to decide what the next step in your health management should be, that may include an appointment at the practice or an online Near Me appointment.

The situation regarding Coronavirus is constantly evolving and we thank you for your patience as our team make necessary changes to cope with the increased demand on our services.

If you have coronavirus symptoms

If you’ve 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. 

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.

***

Shielding patients:

The First Minister has announced additional restrictions in all parts of Scotland at level 4 to help suppress the new strain of coronavirus. You should follow the same guidance as the rest of the population. In addition, if you can't work from home you should NOT go to work. The Chief Medical Officer is sending shielding patients a letter which will act as a fit note. If you need support to access food, medicines and other services, call the National Helpline on 0800 111 4000 or visit www.mygov.scot/shielding for more information. 

Update 29/03/21

The Chief Medical Officer has updated the guidance around shielding, in preparation for changes in levels planned from 26 April. 

  • Those on the shielding list who cannot work from home, must not attend work whilst we are still in Level 4.
  • This applies even to those who have had first or second dose vaccination.
  • In areas which move to Level 3 or below on 26 April, shielding colleagues can then return to work, with necessary Covid secure risk assessments.
  • Household members of people on the shielding list can be at work, even in Level 4 areas.

Join the free Scottish Government text messaging service by sending a text from your mobile phone with your Community Health Index (CHI) number to 07860 064525.


Asthma review questionnaire

Have you completed the asthma review questionnaire? Find it here!


SMS Service - are you registered?

During the Covid-19 pandemic the practice has realised the value of the ability to communicate quickly and effectively with our entire patient population by SMS.  SMS is our default means of communication. This means patients who have registered their mobile phone number with the practice will receive appointment reminders and important healthcare updates. Please note this is a one way service, please do not reply to the SMS unless prompted, as your reply will not be sent back to us. It is also an opt-out service. This is because Cairn Medical Practice does not use patient SMS communication for any commercial or private gain but rather for individual healthcare benefits. The data opt-out option allows patients to opt-out of receiving SMS appointment reminders and alerts. Please ensure we have your correct mobile number on record by emailing it to us at nhsh.gp56006-reception@nhs.scot, please remember to include your full name and date of birth in your email. For more detail on how we plan to use SMS and what you need to do, please see our SMS Service page.


Highland Foodbank Opening Times

Please see below a list of opening times for Foodbanks in Inverness & Nairn:

Glebe Street Foodbank

Mon to Fri: 12:00-14:00

Sat/Sun: closed

Nairn Foodbank

Tue, Wed, Fri: 12:00-14:00

Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun: closed


Baby Immunisations

We make sufficient immunisation appointments available for the babies that are due to have their vaccinations that month; if they don't book then we release them for normal nurse appointments.  Please help us by booking your appointments early; we cannot add appointments in easily and we want your baby to be protected.

If you don't know what vaccinations are available, or when they are due, then the NHS inform website has all of the information that you need:

https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/immunisation/when-to-immunise

Postnatal checks are usually carried just before or after the appointment for your baby's 8 week check.


We are a Park Run Practice!!

Our participation in Park Run is temporarily suspended during COVID

You may have seen Dr Rennie in the P&J - we are one of the first practices to embrace Park Run as a means to improve the health, mental well-being and life of our staff and patients!!!

Cairn medical practice is partnering with our fantastic local Park Run as part of a UK wide RCGP initiative. By partnering we aim to improve the health and well-being of practice staff, improve the health and well-being of patients (reducing the need for lifelong medication), help develop a local community and environment centered around wellness generation, and support the UK-wide movement to scale up social prescribing activities

So…want to improve your fitness, make new friends, cope with health problems, learn new skills or simply be outside with others?

If so, Park Run could be the answer! It's free with 5k events for all ages from 4+, every Saturday morning, in Bught or Whin park. THIS ISN’T A RACE! walk, run, jog, volunteer or just watch.

It’s very friendly and you can come dressed wearing whatever you like – you don’t need to look sporty or be athletic to do this.

Everyone is welcome, whatever your level of activity, your underlying health conditions or if you have any disabilities.

Find out more:

 

Website

www.parkrun.org.uk/inverness/

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/invernessparkrun

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/invrnessparkrun

 

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBNK_oQ8fDo


Confidentiality - Children Aged 12+

Often we are asked by parents to discuss the medical affairs of their children.  Whilst, to a parent, this may seem a perfectly reasonable request, the law in Scotland sees things differently.  In Scotland, a child is assumed to have capacity (mental and legal) once they pass 12 years of age.  From that point on, with regard to disclosing information to others, the law requires that they be treated as an adult.  Therefore, we cannot discuss the medical affairs of children age 12+ unless we have the consent of the child.  this differs from the law in England, where a child is treated as such until they are age 16+.

More information can be found on the website of the Medical Defence Union, Here and in a brochure which can be downloaded here: Confidentiality Toolkit


Did you know?

Anticipating Your Care Needs

If you suffer from an on-going condition that may result in a crisis of either a health or social care nature, then you can leave instructions about your wishes for treatment at a time when you might not be able to tell the medical staff yourself.  The instruction is called an Anticipatory Care Patient Alert, or ACPA.  They are particularly beneficial for patients in care homes, patients with conditions such as Cancer, early stages of dementia or any other condition that is likely to result in a crisis or emergency admission.  This information is shared with the NHS Out of Hours Service and NHS 24, so that the whole system is aware of your wishes.

If you would like to discuss an ACPA, please ask your doctor at your next appointment.

Antibiotics Awareness

Each year, over 25,000 people in Europe die from infections that are resistant to antibiotics. We need to use antibiotics wisely and educate the population that they won't cure things like a cold or normal sore throat. Just as important, we need to ensure that people finish a course of antibiotics and don't stop taking the tablets because they feel better.

If you want to learn more about antibiotic resistance, and the consequences of it, watch this YOUTUBE video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLrGS4zKYpg


About Cairn

Cairn is a busy, urban practice located a 10 minute walk from Inverness City centre.  We have approximately 9800 patients, serviced by 10 doctors, 2 Practitioners, 2 nurses and 2 Healthcare Assistants.

Our building is on two floors with no lift access. The building is accessible at ground floor level for wheelchair users and patients with other disabilities. For patients who cannot use the stairs, we can make arrangements for you to be seen in a ground floor consulting room. Please let us know when booking your appointment if you need to be seen downstairs. 

Cairn is a training practice; we participate in the education of doctors and other healthcare staff at all levels, from university students to qualified doctors who are specialising as GPs.  Occasionally, there may be a student or a trainee GP present during consultations.  If you are not happy for them to be there then please tell us - you will not offend anyone.

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(Site updated 17/05/2021)
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