An Update from Us 15.05.22

On Sunday 15 May: COVID INFECTIONS CONTINUE TO FALL BUT ARE STILL HIGH & IT’S AWFUL TO HAVE BADLY. PLEASE GET VACCINATED; appointments and walk-ins aren’t busy. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests SWF has 355* Covid cases.  

People we support have Covid badly. Staff illness is hitting all services and supplies.  PLEASE BEHAVE RESPONSIBLY FOR YOUR OWN AND EVERYONE’S SAKE. It’s good that hospitalisations and infections are falling and hopefully the increase in deaths won’t last.  

The Gov.UK Coronavirus Dashboard says SWF had 20 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 8 May. The Dashboard is inaccurate for infections as numbers of tests fall and infections go undetected/unreported. The ONS is regarded as the best such indicator in the world. The Dashboard says in w/e 10 May there were 1,389 (p/w 1,300) Covid deaths and in w/e 8 May 6,020 (p/w 7,126) patients admitted to hospital. There is a 3-week lag between infections and subsequent hospitalisations and deaths. The latest, said to be more reliable, *ONS data estimates 1,204,100 (1 in 45/2.91%) people in England had Covid in w/e 13 May (p/w 1,586,900 = 1 in 35/2.21%). Taking the ONS estimate and SWF’s population as 16,000 that means there were actually 355 (p/w 457) SWF residents with Covid in w/e 13 May.

No one testing positive for COVID-19 is legally required to self-isolate. To reduce risks of catching and spreading Covid the Government says: GET VACCINATED; ventilate indoor meetings; meet outdoors; wear face coverings in crowded enclosed spaces. Stay home if you can and avoid contact with other people.  

WHY ARE 10% OF SWF PEOPLE UNVACCINATED? On 12 May, in SWF 89.1% of people 12+ years old have had 1st jab (p/w 89.1%); 85.8% have had 2nd jab (p/w 85.7%) and 70.9% have had a 3rd dose or booster (70.8% p/w). SWF is below the national averages of 92.6% for 1st doses and 86.6% for 2nd doses, and above the national average of 68.4% for 3rd & booster doses. Most deaths and people in intensive care in Essex and England are not fully vaccinated.

Our NHS, social care, education and economy are suffering badly with Covid’s effects and its aftermath. Ambulance services and GPs are under severe pressure. Hospitals have suspended/restricted visiting, are postponing surgery & appointments, and say don’t attend A&E unless life is threatened, or you’re seriously injured.

Free Covid Lateral Flow Device (LFD) & PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for the general public are no longer provided. Reasonably priced LFD kits are available from some pharmacies and online providers.

The Tylers Ride Vaccination Hub in South Woodham Ferrers is now closed. Other sites continuing to deliver Covid vaccinations are at: Runwell Lodge, Wickford (not the Rettendon Lodge on Burnham Road); County Hall, Chelmsford; Civic Centre, Southend; Thurrock Community Hospital. SWF’s Ambulance Station has just had a major refurbishment inside and out. It’s good to see this long-term commitment to our ambulance station.

Full Information about mass vaccination centres is at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/ . Covid vaccinations can be booked online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or on 119.

Information about the vaccines and vaccination policy is at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/. Spring Boosters are for: 75+yr olds 6 months from last dose; care home residents 3-6 months from last dose; Immunospuppressed 12+yr olds 6 months from last dose. Eligible patients should wait for invitations from the NHS. 18+yr olds can have 3rd dose boosters 3 months after a 2nd dose; they have to wait at least 28 days after any Covid infection. 16 & 17-year-olds can get 1st & 2nd jabs and boosters at least 3 months after their 2nd jab. 12-15-year-olds can have two doses. Parents/Guardians of Children aged 5-11 in a clinical risk group or living with someone immunosuppressed, will be invited to get the children a 1st & 2nd dose and must wait for the NHS to contact them about this.    

Ring 999 for life-threatening emergencies. Ring 111 to book other A&E attendance slots at any time or for all other out of hours’ services. To contact Kingsway Surgery for non-urgent or other routine matters please don’t ring but email kingsway.receptionist@nhs.net . For Greenwood Surgery phone for all clinical matters; for prescription and administration queries email greenwood.meds@nhs.net ; please don’t contact them about hospital appointments for which you’ve been referred but ring the Central Referral Service on 0300 123 0771 or Broomfield Hospital Appointments on 01245 513900; the Practices can’t provide hospital appointment details.

SWF Health & Social Care Group provides health & social care support, information and signposting to people, especially those at risk, isolating, housebound, and without local support. Information is on our website https://swfhealthsocial.co.uk/ . Contact us on swfhealthsocial@outlook.com or leave a voicemail on 01245 322079 which is monitored daily.

NEW GP-COMMUNITY PHARMACIST CONSULTATION SERVICE

GP Practices at Crouch Vale Medical Centre can now refer patients to their chosen pharmacy for several appropriate conditions. Receptionists have been trained to offer patients this opportunity to be seen more quickly. Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals and they have the skills and resources to diagnose and treat.

Receptionists have a clear list of conditions which are and are not suitable for referral to pharmacists. If appropriate the receptionist will offer the patient a pharmacy appointment. The patient chooses the pharmacy they want to attend. If the patient accepts the receptionist makes the referral to the pharmacy by secure email. The pharmacy will contact the patient and provide telephone advice, offer a face-to-face appointment in a private room/area, or in cases where they are unable to help send the referral back to the surgery. When appropriate, the pharmacist will offer advice or recommend appropriate over the counter treatment. If the patient is referred back to the surgery then a member of the clinical team there will contact the patient to make suitable arrangements.

Receptionists and pharmacists have clear guidance as to what are and are not suitable conditions for referrals. They include some of the following conditions: bites/stings; colds; congestion; ear; eye; gastric/bowel; general; gynaecological; pain; skin; mouth/throat; and, swelling. This is another way in which our GPs and pharmacists are working together to provide patients with the best and quickest appointments and treatment.