Corona Virus Advice
The NHS in Ashford and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
We are undertaking the majority of our services remotely at present but our practice is still open and able to see patients, if needed, who don't have or aren't in households with people who have symptoms.
DO NOT PRESENT AT THE SURGERY instead go to https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19 or call 111
COVID-19 Vaccinations Clinics
COVID-19 vaccination clinics for our patients are being run from Musgrove Park Surgery. If you are housebound and have not yet been vaccinated please contact the practice to discuss.
Covid Vaccinations can now be booked through the National Booking Service. Any patient wishing to book a first or second Covid vaccination should now telephone 119 or visit www.nhs.uk/book-coronavirus-vaccination.
If you have had your first vaccination more than 8 weeks ago and have not been invited for your second dose please contact the national booking service as above.
If you have received and accepted an invitation for a Covid-19 vaccine we would strongly encourage you to prioritise coming to the appointment. If for unavoidable reasons you cannot make your appointment please call 119 to cancel so that someone else can utilise the appointment.
We would ask that anyone who does not have their own transport tries to arrange a lift with a friend or relative.
High Risk Groups for Contracting Coronavirus
Patients may have received a letter identifying them as being at high risk of contracting Coronavirus. Please see below a list of problems which identifies patients as being in this high risk group:
- People with a solid organ transplant such as a kidney or liver transplant
- People with specific cancers
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.
- People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD. See below.
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- People who are pregnant with significant congenital heart disease
- All patients on the following medications: Azathioprine, Mycophenolate (both types), Cyclosporine, Sirolimus, Tacrolimus.
- Patients with diabetes with HbA1c greater than 75, recent diabetic ketoacidosis or poor medication adherence;
- Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) who have required hospitalisation in the last 12 months or patients who have required 2 or more courses of steroids and/or antibiotics in the last 12 months;
- Patients with asthma with a history of hospitalisation in the last 12 months or ever been admitted to intensive care;
- Patients with significant heart failure which has required hospitalisation for their heart failure within the last 12 months;
- Patients with multiple long-term conditions;
- Patients who have had a splenectomy;
- Patients taking continuous oral corticosteroids of the equivalent of 20 mg of prednisolone or more for over 4 weeks;
- Patients taking immunosuppressive or immunomodulating medication such as cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, leflunomide, methotrexate, mycophenolate. It is expected that patients taking these medications will be under a shared-care protocol with hospital specialist colleagues and a risk stratification approach should be taken. Advice can be sought from the relevant specialist. Guidance is available from the British Society of Rheumatology https://www.rheumatology.org.uk/news-policy/details/Covid19-Coronavirus-update-members
- Other patients that the general practitioner considers would be at high risk such as patients with severe dementia, cognitive impairment.
Covid-19 vaccination information
Covid-19 vaccinations for our patients are being provided from Musgrove Park Medical Centre. There will be home visits for housebound patients.
We are inviting patients based on the national priority list. Please be patient and wait to be contacted about when the vaccine is available for you. You do not need to contact the surgery until you receive a letter, text or phone call about getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
Our phone lines are very busy; please help us to keep lines open for people needing to make appointments for other health matters.
If you have questions about the vaccine please read the information below.
Why is the vaccine not available from our own surgery?
Across the country GPs are working in groups of practices to provide the Covid-19 vaccine. We understand the people would like to get the vaccine from their own practice but unfortunately this is not possible at this time. If this changes we will update this information.
Should I come for a vaccine if I have symptoms of Covid-19?
No. If you or someone in your immediate household has symptoms of the virus it is essential that you self-isolate and book a test. Your vaccine can be re-arranged after your self-isolation.
If I’ve had Covid-19 do I need the vaccines?
Yes, getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t.
How soon after having Covid-19 can I have the vaccine?
It is recommended that people wait 4 weeks after recovering from Covid-19 or from being tested positive but not experiencing symptoms. We will rearrange invitations if you are in this situation when first invited to have the vaccine.
When will the second dose be given?
From 30 December the national guidance changed and second doses will now be scheduled for 10-12 weeks after the first dose.
Can I pay for the vaccines privately?
No, all Covid-19 vaccines are being provided free by the NHS. If you see any offers to get the vaccine privately it will be a scam and you must not contact them.
Find out more: For more information about the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Kent and Medway please visit www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/covid19vaccine