Cheshire East Covid-19 cases on the increase
Cheshire East Covid-19 cases are on the increase. To allow us to protect our staff and patients, please do not attend the Health Centre under any circumstances if you or anyone that you have been in contact with in the last 14 days with a known or suspected Covid-19 case. The NHS lists classic Covid-19 symptoms as being loss or change to sense of smell or taste, new, continuous cough, and fever, but the symptoms associated with the delta variant resemble those of a bad cold, particularly in younger people - headache, a sore throat and runny nose.
If you think you may have Covid, it is important to get tested. Even people who don't feel very ill can put others at risk.
Thank you for your continued support.
New Surgery Contact Service Available
Patients may now use an online service to contact the Health Centre for advice about a medical, administrative or prescription issue. The service is easy to use, but if necessary can be completed by a member of staff for those without online access.
to complete a short online form and submit. We aim to respond within two working days though usually it will be the same working day. Your enquiry will be seen initially by one of the doctors. You will be able to use this service to upload photographs of skin lesions, and inform us what you feel you need from us. This service represents the next step in helping us deal with the increasing demand, using the new technology made available during the pandemic. As we move out of COVID measures and we open our doors again we hope to build the ‘total triage’ model that helped us during the pandemic with a more efficient and user friendly service for patients.
Please do not use this online form for urgent or emergency requests. The submitted forms will only be read 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The forms will not be read on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), practice closure for training or on Bank Holidays. Please contact NHS 111 for out of hour's advice or 999 for emergency care.
We hope that you will embrace this new way of contacting us. Holmes Chapel Health Centre.
COVID-19 Vaccination Status
From Monday 17th May, patients living in England who have had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. Patients can prove their vaccination status using the NHS App, through the NHS.UK website or by ringing 119 to request a letter. Please do not contact the Health Centre for this service.
The Restoration of GP Services - Triaging and Patient Access
As we emerge from lockdown and return to a degree of normality practices are facing an increase in demand. Having spent the past 12 months living with all the restrictions of COVID-19 it is not surprising that patients are now seeking access to healthcare again, the practices are also are being 'encouraged' by the government and NHS England to return to business as usual. Unfortunately, it is clear that COVID-19 is not over, and we all have to live with this infection for some time to come. All of us have been affected by the pandemic, including the way we work. This includes general practice.
The government is calling on practices to return to face to face consultations. The practice at Holmes Chapel has never stopped seeing patient’s face to face. We adapted to work differently and safer during the pandemic, and this has involved moving away from face to face consultations as the first patient contact. Triage has kept patients and practices safe, by remotely assessing symptoms and concerns, without unnecessary exposure to risk. Anyone who when assessed was felt to have worrying symptoms has been seen face to face, or where appropriate, referred directly to hospital. We have made every effort to ensure patients report new symptoms that could indicate significant disease, including cancer. Triaging all calls has allowed us to work more efficiently, freeing up staff for the vaccination programme whilst providing primary healthcare in the village. Total triage has been used for years in many practices, and at Holmes Chapel we have been gradually moving in this direction. The pandemic brought together a need for remote consultation and technological advances that accelerated the process, and having achieved a safe and efficient service it would appear to be a retrograde step to revert to the previous way of working.
General practice is all about people, and nobody wants to see our work become a remote service. The practice will therefore continue to offer face to face appointments as we have throughout the pandemic, but this will run alongside the newly expanded use of video, online and telephone consultations, as long as these are helpful for patients. There are still restrictions in place and whilst social distancing is with us we have to consider the capacity of our waiting room. We cannot support a return to queuing at the reception desk to book appointments, whilst these are available to book over the telephone and online. The practice plans to expand its use of triage by following the example of practice in the use of online consultations. This has been available for several years as our e-consult service, but the uptake of this has been low, and the system is cumbersome to use for the practice. Consequently we are moving to using the AccuRx software that has been used very successfully to help our texting service. From Saturday 5th June patients will be encouraged to use this to communicate with the practice, whether to book an appointment, enquire about results or sick notes, or the status of a referral. Reception staff will help patients who struggle with or do not have access to texting, so that eventually this will become the default means to contact the patient. The practice will respond to all contacts within two working days (i.e. messages sent on Saturday and Sunday will be accessed within two days from the time they are read on Monday morning), though usually much sooner. This should be quicker and easier for patients, and enable staff to prioritise workload so that patients can be contacted and an appointment given with their usual GP if possible in an appropriate time frame. It will also free up the phone system for staff and make it easier for patients requiring urgent attention to speak to someone with a minimum delay. For patients wishing to contact the practice for less urgent problems this service will remove the need for long waits or frustration of an engaged tone that we recognise has become an increasing problem as demand increases.
You can use the AccuRx service to contact the Health Centre by clicking https://florey.accurx.com/p/N81077.
The practice continues to engage with our Patient Panel and has their support with the use of new software as we move forward.
Everyone aged 18 and over plus anyone aged 16 and above who is clinically vulnerable are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.
The eligible age group is changing rapidly - check the latest information at NHS COVID-19 vaccination
If you are eligible you do not need to wait to be contacted to arrange an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination. Book an appointment now by contacting the NHS booking line 119 or book online using the link to the National Booking Service.
The objective of the COVID-19 immunisation programme is to protect those who are at highest risk from serious illness or death. The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) have set out a prioritisation for persons at risk, ranking eligible groups according to risk, largely based on prevention of death from COVID-19-specific. At this stage we have to adhere to guidance provided by the JCVI. For full details follow the link to the JCVI Green Book.
Currently the following are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination:
- people aged 18 and over. Check the latest information at NHS COVID-19 vaccination
- people at high risk from coronavirus(clinically extremely vulnerable)
- people who live or work in care homes
- health and social care workers
- people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- people with a learning disability
- people who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
We will try to contact you via text, phone or letter if it becomes apparent you are in an eligible group but not yet had your vaccination. Texting is the preferred method of choice - please contact the Health Centre if we do not have your mobile number or if you have previously opted out of receiving text messages. If we do not have a mobile number for you we will contact you by phone or letter, but this process is inevitably slower, time consuming and more expensive for the practice. Please ensure we have your up to date contact details so that we can notify you - if not, please email the practice with your details using this feedback form.
Details of how to book a vaccination appointment are contained in the text message, or will be explained in phone calls or letters to patients. When booking through the National Booking Service you will be given appointments for both your first and second vaccine doses. You will be asked your 10 digit NHS number, contained in your invitation letter if you have received one, but you can still book an appointment if you do not know your NHS number.
2nd vaccine doses
If you have already received the first dose of the vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should complete the course. This includes people aged under 30 years old. Second doses should be offered within 12 weeks of the first, but because of concerns about the Indian variant people over 50 and those with severe underlying health conditions which put them at high risk will now receive their second dose eight weeks later.
The current guidance is that the second dose should be the same type of vaccine as the first dose. Whenever possible patients should attend the same vaccination venue for both doses to ensure that the same vaccine is available and the second dose is administered at the correct time. There are some circumstances where it clearly may not be possible for the patient to attend the same site (e.g. they have moved home or, in between the first and second dose, they have moved to a new GP practice which is not part of the PCN grouping that administered the first dose.) In these circumstances, it would be appropriate for the new provider to administer the second dose.
Link to news
Link to latest COVID-19 update
COVID-19 Vaccination and Blood Clotting
The recent news about possible safety issues associated with the AstraZenaca COVID-19 vaccine has caused considerable concern for many of our patients and the practice has received a large number of queries from patients seeking advice. The practice recommends that all patients follow the recommedations issued by the Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI). Comprehensive information about the relative risks of COVID-19 infection and vaccination Information can be found by following the link COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting.
A statement issued by the JCVI can be accessed by following the link JCVI statement on the AZ COVID-19 vaccine
If you have already received the first vaccine dose without suffering any serious side effects you should have the second dose on time as you may still be at high risk of the complications of COVID-19. You should complete the course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose. This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed. Whilst it is expected that the first dose of the vaccine will have given you some protection, particularly against severe disease, having the second dose will give you higher and longer lasting protection.
Patients should be reassured that when the time comes for under 40’s to have their first vaccination an alternative to the AZ vaccine will be offered. For those aged under 40 who have already received their first AZ vaccine the current advice is that they should still have the AZ vaccination for their second dose as planned - the new advice only applies to first doses.
Unless you have an imminent appointment for your first vaccine we request that you access current information online rather than contacting the practice for advice.
COVID-19 Information for patients
You need to self isolate if you have any of the following symptoms;
New continuous cough
A temperature of 37.8 or above
A loss/change of sense of smell or taste
Please do not attend the practice if you suspect you may have COVID-19 infection, either because you have symptoms (cough, fever, loss of taste or smell), have tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have been in contact with someone who has suspected COVID-19 infection or tested positive for COVID-19. If you need medical assistance whilst you suspect you may have COVID-19 infection please ensure you inform the receptionist, doctor or nurse by telephone that you are potentially infectious.
Patients suffering from possible COVID-19 infection cannot be seen at the Health Centre due to the risk to staff and other patients. Instead they will be provided with an appointment at the nearest 'Hot Hub' where fully protected medical staff will be better placed to assess patients.
For the latest information about COVID-19 visit gov.uk/coronavirus
Holmes Chapel Health Centre general information
‘Our aim is to provide the best possible health care for you and your family.’ Our practice is classified as semi-rural, based in a purpose built health centre in the heart of the community in Holmes Chapel.
We have a growing practice population, currently around 12,300 patients, served by an extended Primary Health Care Team including doctors, practice and community nurses, reception staff, physiotherapists and health visitors. We are part of the Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group .
Our aims here at Holmes Chapel Health Centre remain:
Safe, Effective Care for our Patients.
Remaining resilient in terms of our staffing to be able to remain open and provide our services.
We are in a unique period of time: facing an uncertain challenge and we will do all we can to support our patients.
The Friends and Family Test - How likely are you to recommend our GP practice to friends and family if they need similar care or treatment?
(Site updated 18/06/2021)