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Update: 18.02.2021


To date Townhead Surgery has vaccinated over 3500 patients, NHS & Care Staff with their first dose.  We had another clinic on Tuesday 16th February, with a further 420 patients.  If you are over the age of 65 and/or are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) or know someone who is and they have not had their first vaccination, please can we ask you to let us know ASAP, you can send us a message via the contact us link on the tool bar above.  Thank you

From the week beginning 15th February we will be starting to book Priority 6 which includes Adults 16-64 in any at Risk group as outlined by Public Health England.  We have over 1,500 patients in this Priority group and given the news of the new shieding priorities it will be a few weeks before we reach the 60-64 priority 7 group.


National Mass Vaccination Letters - Some patients have been receiving letters to invite them for COVID Vaccinations, these letters are not from the surgery they are from the NHS and therefore we are unable to answer questions on these letters.  It is your patient choice and right to select if you would prefer to be vaccinated by the Townhead team in Skipton (Mid-week) or Settle (Weekend) or go to Kendal/Lancaster/Morecambe through the mass vaccination programme, where you you could get an appointment sooner than with Townhead. 



SCAM CALLS/ TEXTS: The NHS is aware that some patients are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination. In some cases, people are asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine. Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill. In other cases, callers are offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details. The vaccine is only available from the NHS and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn.


This message here is an example of a fraudulent scam.



We have also been informed by a patient that they have recieved a scam email.  As far as we understand The mass Vaccination Programme will contact you via Letter or Phone call and Townhead Surgery will contact you by phone call.


Further to your letter, this is to confirm the cancellation of your 2nd COVID 19 Vaccine appointment on 12.01.21 


(copy of letter sent to all patients who were booked in for an appointment on 12.01.2021)

Due to new advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers, we are writing to inform you that we need to reschedule your second coronavirus vaccination appointment. The new medical advice is that the second dose of the vaccine remains effective when given up to 12 weeks after the first dose, and should be given towards the end of this 12 week period.

While you will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best long-term protection from the virus, you will still have a significant level of protection at 22 days after you received the first dose. The new guidance will also help ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the first dose of the vaccine as soon as possible. Please be reassured that there are no safety concerns in the new guidance, and it will not impact on how effective the vaccination is in protecting you from Covid-19 once the course is complete.
You do not need to call us. We will call you to reschedule your second vaccine appointment. 
It is important to note that even when you have received your vaccine, you must continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and wearing a mask, as well as the additional measures in place in your area.

We apologise for any inconvenience, and look forward to seeing you for your second vaccine doseat the right time.
For more information on the vaccine, please visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
COVID-19 vaccinations 
We understand that many of our patients will want to know more about the recent Government announcement relating to the licensing of the new Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations and the ongoing Pfizer BioNTech vaccination clinics.  
At the moment, we do not have any further information about when any new vaccines or additional doses will be made available to the Surgery for our patients. The NHS will not offer Covid-19 vaccinations until it is safe to do so and a vaccine is proved to be both safe and effective and that it can be given safely from different sites.  What you have heard in the news is also the information currently available to us.  
The cohorts Townhead Surgery  has been instructed to vaccinate first; are care home patients & staff, over 80-year-old patients, patient facing staff both from the surgery and community, to ensure that we can maintain clinical services in the area.  The current location being utilised for this programme is Skipton Hospital 

For further current information about who will be offered a vaccine, please see the Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination: advice from the JCVI, 30 December 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 
When we receive guidance, we will update the websites and continue to communicate in a number of ways (Social media, website, SMS & Letter where appropriate) to ensure that all our patients are vaccinated (offered a vaccination) over the next 6-9 months.  This is a long-term project,  which has to run alongside our routine/urgent day to day services and which has to be provided safely and efficiently.   
We would therefore politely ask our patients to help us by not calling the surgery to ask about vaccination, unless you have been contacted. Our phone lines are extremely busy at the moment. Please keep our phone lines free for those patients who need urgent help. 

Please note Patients and visitors to Townhead Surgery Settle and Hellifield will be required to wear a face covering or face mask, even when coming to collect letters, precriptions or medication.  We thank you for your support with this.
To minimise the risk to patients and staff, any patient wishing to make an appointment with a GP must phone the surgery and a clinician will call you back. We must provide medical care by telephone or video as much as possible. WE ASK YOU NOT TO PRESENT TO THE SURGERY UNLESS YOU HAVE SPOKEN TO A TEAM MEMBER AND BEEN ASKED TO DO SO. 
If you are worried about coronavirus, please visit https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
We must all work together to allow the service to continue.  Please do not contact us unless you feel it is essential.
You should only come in to the surgery if: 
  • Expressly asked to by a GP or practice staff member
  • Collecting pre-ordered prescriptions or medication
  • Putting a written repeat prescription in the box in the surgery entrances
  • Dropping off samples or BP machines (if requested by a clinician) 
Please DO NOT come in to the surgery if;
  • you wish to make an appointment - this must be done over the phone or via eConsult
  • to put in a repeat prescription - this can be ordered online, on the phone or by dropping off your repeat slip or a written request in the boxes provided in the entrances at either surgery. Please note due to the increased demand this could take up to a week to dispense.
  Thank you in advance for supporting the practice in reducing risk to our patients and staff.
As per NHS England guidlines, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, you will no longer be able to book online appointments for the forseeable future. 
Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Do not leave your home if you have either:
  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do:
People with coronavirus symptoms must STRICTLY SELF ISOLATE at home for at least 10 days, and household members must ALSO isolate for 14 days. Coronavirus can be spread by people before they show any symptoms. 
07.01.2021 - Updated guidance for patients who were previously in the shielding category:- COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Shielding is re-starting for CEV group: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Shielded patients list - NHS Digital
  • Government writing to all on the CEV list.
  • Shielding advice is not altered even if had the vaccine.
  • Eligible for support to stay at home, application on-line. Get support if you’re clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Shielding patients in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group, are now eligible for free home delivery of medicines by chemist or dispensary.
    1. It is OK to ask friends/neighbours/family who can collect on your behalf.
    2. Patients can use NHS volunteer service by ringing:  0808 196 3646
    3. Our dispensing Manager has been working hard to form a network of deliveries & staff volunteers to deliver to CEV patients, to cover different parts of the practice area, please ask reception when you phone in if we can help or you can be added to these lists.
Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus
If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You:
·         should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others
·         should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace
Clinically vulnerable people are those who are: 
·         aged 70 or over (regardless of medical conditions)
·         under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
·        chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
·         chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
·         chronic kidney disease
·         chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
·         chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
·         diabetes
·         a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
·         being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
·         pregnant
 Clinically extremely vulnerable people are those who are:
There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. Over this period, we are advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). You are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, but are encouraged to go outside for exercise. The full guidance is available and the Government will write to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place.
Updated 18.02.2021
COVID TESTING - Eligible key workers or their households who are displaying symptoms, can register for a test at https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/  You must prebook however there are some local mobile untils coming as follows:
  • 24th & 17th February 2021 - Settle - Greenfoot Car Park, Ingfield Lane, Settle, BD24 9RW
  • From 12th December  - Skipton -  will have a daily service at Cavendish Street Car Park, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 2AB
  • Kendal & Lancaster  - https://northcumbriaccg.nhs.uk/covidtesting 
  • 8am to 8pm every day - Keighley - Keigley Sports Centre BD21 3JN
  • 10.30 -3.30 Daily - Barnoldswick - Rainhall Road Car Park
  • Everyday 11am-3pm - HarrogateDragon Road Car Park, Dragon Road, Harrogate, HG1 5DB
  • For other North Yorkshire testing sites please see Book a coronavirus (covid-19) test | North Yorkshire County Council
Before you attend you must book a test. Tests can be booked from 8pm the night before.
Get a free NHS test today to check if you have coronavirus now - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-an-antigen-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

Stay Alert - We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
For more details, ways to reduce spread and protect yourself, and how to get medical advice, visit: 
Bradford Council COVID Youtube support in a range of languages: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzYOSpxR-vtvj4eECQaHK7l8drTWvPwqD
Coronavirus isolation notes can be obtained from the NHS website or 111 online. GPs will NOT be issuing isolation notes, and will NOT be issuing sick notes for coronavirus symptoms.

Visit 111 online to obtain a self isolation note if your employer insists on this https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
“ORCHA” health apps library for patients

New diabetes advice helpline 
Clinical advice for those living with insulin-treated diabetes
NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a new Diabetes Advice helpline to support people living with insulin-treated diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you, or a member of your household, have coronavirus, or routine care has been disrupted, the helpline can provide clinical advice to help you understand how to effectively manage your diabetes. 
The helpline is accessible via Diabetes UK’s support line on 0345 123 2399. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm.

for more information and support https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/booking-your-childs-vaccination-appointment/

People who need to claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) because of coronavirus will not be required to produce a fit note or an isolation note. More details on coronavirus and claiming benefits can be found on the NHS website or  https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Government also launches #Youarenotalone campaign

Gynaecological cancers during COVID-19-confidential email or telephone advice service. For smear advice or advice on gynaecological cancers.  https://eveappeal.org.uk/supporting-you/cancer-and-coronavirus/
Help to Stop Smoking: www.northyorks.gov.uk/stopping-smoking offering support and clinics on a Wednesday in Skipton - see Our clinics & Services page for more detail or clicl on the weblink.

Links to websites for mental health and physical health while staying at home. 

Mental Health Links

Government launches plan to tackle loneliness during coronavirus lockdown
Elefriends- depression online forum https://www.elefriends.org.uk/
Qwell - free online counselling https://qwell.io/ 
Every mind Matters https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/



10 June - Harrogate - Hydro Leisure Centre, Jenny Field Drive, Harrogate, HG1 2RP

Before you attend you must book a test. There are two ways to do this depending on which testing group you are part of. Tests can be booked from 8pm the night before. 

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