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Covid Vaccination Update Spring 2022

We will be offering Spring Covid boosters (4th doses/ 2nd booster) to all patients aged 75 and over who are 6 months since their last booster (and who have not had Covid in the past month). This applies to anybody who turns 75 by the 30th June 2022. We have scheduled two Saturdays to try and accommodate when most people are due- 23rd and 30th April. These sessions will be at Audley Health Centre. We will contact people by text or phone call to book these appointments and will start doing this contacting from Wednesday 30th March onwards. There is also the option for people to use the National Booking System (NBS) if that suits them better.

Patients who are immunosuppressed will also be eligible for another booster 6 months after their last dose. In the majority of cases, this will represent a fifth dose of vaccine.

We will also be vaccinating our care home residents (in Wilbraham House and The Poplars) on Friday 8th April.

There is always the option to book a 1st, 2nd or booster dose. To do this, email vac.audley@nhs.net stating which vaccine dose you want to book.

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Cervical screening saves lives

On 14 February, The Department of Health and Social Care, together with NHS England and NHS Improvement, launched a Help Us Help You – Cervical Screening Campaign, to highlight the benefits of cervical screening and remind people that that it can help stop cancer before it starts. The campaign encourages those eligible for screening – women and people with a cervix aged 25-64 – to respond to their cervical screening invitation letters and to book an appointment at their GP practice if they missed their last one.

Two women die every day from cervical cancer in England. Yet it is one of the most preventable cancers and getting screened can help stop it before it starts. Screening checks for certain types of the HPV virus that can cause cell changes to your cervix. Cell changes are easily treated and this prevents cervical cancer.

For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/cervicalscreening

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Covid-19 Urgent Eyecare Service

If you are experiencing any of the following:

  • red eyes
  • flashes or floaters in your eyes
  • recent or sudden loss of vision
  • Foreign body in the eye

you can access free NHS appointments at local opticians as part of the urgent eyecare service (CUES). To find your nearest practice and information on how to access it, please visit Find a Practice – Search for your nearest participating optical practice (primaryeyecare.co.uk) Please be aware this is not a sight test.

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Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 17-23 January

Do you know how cervical cancer can be prevented? During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week we want as many people as possible to know how they can reduce their risk of the disease and to educate others.

How can you reduce your risk of cervical cancer?

We want to ensure all women and people with a cervix know how cervical cancer can be prevented. This means:

Please book an appointment for cervical smear if you are called. We have early morning and late evening appointments at Audley Health Centre and at our Bradwell extended access hub. We also offer weekend appointments.

Information taken from: Jo’s trust: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/cervical-cancer-prevention-week (January 2022)

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Covid-19 Booster Vaccine

We are working hard to ensure all our patients are able to access the covid-19 booster vaccine.

Here at Audley we offer the Pfizer booster for all adults over 18 where it has been 3 months since their 2nd dose and 28 days since a positive covid test result. We are also still offering first and second doses to our patients if you need them. Please see the table below that shows who can have each dose and when.

To book your appointment please email our vaccine address on vac.audley@nhs.net with your name and DOB, or you can call reception after 2pm. However, if you are able to email please do, as this means that our phones lines are kept free for routine general practise queries.

If our clinic dates are unsuitable for you, you can use the National Booking Service or call 119. Some vaccination sites may offer a walk-in service but the best way to ensure you get a jab is to make an appointments through the nationals booking service.

Cohort2nd dose3rd
primary dose
BoosterOther considerations
Age 18+ 12+ at high risk themselves 12+ and household contact of immunosuppressed8 weeks after 1st doseNA3 months after 2nd dose18+, no vaccine within 28 days of acute covid <18, no vaccine within 12 weeks of acute covid
16-18 (well)12 weeks after 2nd doseNA3 months after 2nd dose (to start in January 2022 but not yet authorised to book)<18, no vaccine within 12 weeks of acute covid
Immunosuppressed age 12+ 8 weeks after 2nd doses3 months after 3rd dose18+, no vaccine within 28 days of acute covid <18, no vaccine within 12 weeks of acute covid
12-15 (well)Not vaccinating in our PCN- speak to school team, 119 or walk-in centres offering to that age.
5-11 yearsNot vaccinating in our PCN.
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Important information regarding the Covid-19 Booster Vaccines

It was announced on Sunday, 12 December 2021, that the NHS will offer a booster vaccination booking to every adult by the end of December in response the Omicron variant.

Please note that you should not contact your GP Practice to book your booster jab, you should use the National Booking Service or call 119. Some vaccination sites may offer a walk-in service but the best way to ensure you get a jab is to make an appointments through the nationals booking service.

General practice is working hard to support the covid-19 vaccination programme, but we are still here for you but the way you access care may be different:

  • Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients where there is a clinical need. You will be asked to first discuss your conditions over the phone or online with a member of the healthcare team to assess what would be most appropriate for you and which practice member would best provide it.
  • Most common conditions can be assessed and diagnosed by your doctor by telephone or video consultation. They are experienced and skilled in doing this. Using technology like this will help to protect you, your family and loved ones – and GP practice staff from the potential risk of the virus.
  • General practice services are extremely busy and are working hard to treat as many patients as possible.
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Proof of Medical Exemption – Covid-19 Vaccination

Some individuals are unable to be vaccinated and also, in some cases, tested for medical reasons. You can apply for proof that you have a medical reason why you should not be vaccinated or why you should not be vaccinated and tested.

If you get this proof of medical exemption you’ll be able to use the NHS COVID Pass wherever you need to prove your COVID-19 status within England.

Until 24 December 2021, you can self-certify that you’re medically exempt if you work or volunteer in a care home.

Some businesses in England choose to use the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry. Until 24 December, businesses can decide whether to allow in people who self-declare that they’re medically exempt.

From 25 December, if you’re unable to get vaccinated, you’ll have to use the NHS COVID Pass in the same way that people who are fully vaccinated use it.

For full information on the requirements for proof regarding being exempt from Covid-19 vaccination please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-medical-exemptions-proving-you-are-unable-to-get-vaccinated

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Clarification on Covid Face Covering Exemption Cards/Certificates

With the new legal requirements regarding face coverings coming into effect in England, we thought it might be useful to explain when and who requires a covid exemption card/certificate.

If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering:

  • You do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this
  • You do not need to show an exemption card

This means that you do not need to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about your reason for not wearing a face covering.

However, if you feel more comfortable showing something that says you do not have to wear a face covering, this could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or sign. Carrying an exemption card or badge is a personal choice and not required by law.

If you wish to use an exemption card or badge, you can download and print out or show these templates: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Exemptions from face coverings

In settings where face coverings are required in England, there are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear them, so please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances.

Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • children under the age of 11 (The UK Health and Security Agency does not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
  • people speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • to avoid the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public

There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering:

  • if asked to do so in a bank, building society, or post office for identification
  • if asked to do so by shop staff or relevant employees for identification, for assessing health recommendations (for example by a pharmacist) or for age identification purposes, including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
  • in order to take medication
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Alcohol Awareness Week

Alcohol Awareness Week is about raising awareness of the dangers alcohol can have on your health and wellbeing and it’s about campaigning for change.

Cutting back on alcohol consumption can be a really effective way to improve your health, boost your energy, lose weight and save money!

The NHS Better Health Campaign have a free ‘Drink Free Days’ app, allowing you to track your alcohol intake, view tips on cutting down and receive reminders when you need them most. The app is available for FREE on the app store or Google Play.

However, if you are struggling with your drinking and it is becoming an issue for you or your family, help is available, and many people seek it every day – https://alcoholchange.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help-now