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ROADMAP OUT OF LOCKDOWN
COVID roadmap out of lockdown for patients
Please read so that you are aware of our plans for the foreseeable future
You may have seen the news about different variants of coronavirus circulating in some parts of the country/in our area.
It is important that we quickly respond to this. That is why, in line with government and JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) guidance, we are bringing forward when people that are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, get their second dose of the vaccine, if they haven’t already had it. If you are in a higher risk group, it will ensure you can get maximum protection from the virus earlier.
If you are in a higher risk group, we will contact you with information on how you can book an earlier appointment.
EXEMPTION FROM WEARING A MASK IN PUBLIC
We have seen an increasing number of requests for GPs to write a letter to exempt patients from wearing a mask in public. Please see below the advice from the Local Medical Committee and note that it is not your GPs responsibility to provide exemption.
Exemption from wearing masks
The Government website clearly states that the public should not be asked to provide written evidence of their exemption from wearing a face covering and has now included templates for badges and cards that the public can download.
The MHRA (The UK regulatory agency for managing drug safety and use) states this is a precautionary measure taken by some European authorities. It has not been confirmed that the reports of blood clot was caused by AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine. The European Medicines Agency (The equivalent of the MHRA in Europe) states there is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions; its safety committee is reviewing this issue.
Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. More than 11 million doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK. Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.
The safety of the public will always come first. The MHRA are keeping this issue under close review but available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause. As such, people should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.
The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination programme
Latest figures (21.4.2021) across West Essex are:
80+ years = 95.2% vaccinated
Health and social care workers = 86%
75 - 79 years = 95.7%
70 - 74 years = 94.2%
65 - 69 years = 91.7%
60 - 64 years = 90.3%
55 - 59 years = 88%
50 - 54 years = 85.4%
40 - 49 years = 43.5%
Clinically extremely vulnerable = 90.9
At risk 16 - 64 = 83.3
Information for patients
All NHS services are under severe pressure at the moment, as we look after increasing numbers of patients who are sick with covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses.
We are also delivering the huge and vitally important covid-19 vaccination programme.
So that it can focus on these really important issues, you GP will understandably be prioritising urgent cases.
This means that when you contact your local practice, they will have an initial conversation with you to understand how urgent your health needs are.
If you have an issue that is not urgent, you may to wait longer than usual until your problem or concern can be dealt with.
Do please make sure that you continue to get in touch with us if you need to. This is particularly important if:
- your problem is urgent;
- you have long term condition that is getting worse
- you are worried about symptoms that might indicate cancer
Please also remember you can call NHS 111 for urgent concerns, and 999 for serious emergencies.
Your local pharmacist can also help with minor complaints
For adults with mental health problems including depression and anxiety, you can refer yourself directly to the local wellbeing service, via their website.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call this freephone number: 0800 6444 101.
We have a childhood illnesses leaflet free to download here, full of advice and information for parents and carers of young children https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/application/files/1716/0941/0098/Help_your_Child_Stay_Well_This_Winter_FINAL.pdf
Herts Help has a range of support and information to help people though the lockdown here https://www.hertshelp.net/hertshelp.aspx
Thank you very much for helping us all manage under these very difficult circumstances.
Frequently asked questions about COVID