Routine Face-to-face appointments will be given to patients if there is a clinical basis for this, otherwise consultations will be conducted through econsult (online consultation) or over the phone. If you need urgent medical help and it is not an emergency, contact your GP or NHS111 online or telephone NHS 111 first. During the COVID-19 pandemic it’s important that A&E is only used by those with serious or life threatening problems. There are many ways to get the right care at the right time via www.nhs.uk, your pharmacist and your GP. St Marks Medical Centre offers online, telephone and video consultations. If you are invited in for a face to face appointment, infection control measures are in place to keep patients and staff safe.
Over recent weeks, we have seen an increase in the number of requests to GP practices, hospitals, pharmacies and to the CCG directly from patients who would like a letter or certificate as proof of their Covid vaccination. Common reasons given are because people are planning foreign travel or to return to their workplaces.
South East London CCG and our healthcare provider organisations across Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark are not able to provide people with proof of Covid vaccination. There is no national policy for the NHS to do this, and we recognise the ‘vaccination passports’ debate as politically contentious. We are therefore not able to act in contradiction to the national position. Also, our healthcare providers are working very hard at this time to deliver the Covid vaccination programme in addition to the ongoing care of our patients, and do not have sufficient resources to supply individuals with such letters.
Our recommendation to people who would like proof of their vaccination is threefold:
- Keep your Covid vaccination card safe and use this as proof of your vaccination
- If you have a smartphone, take a photograph of your Covid vaccination card so that you have a copy if you lose the card of if you forget to bring it
- Download the NHS App via Google Play or the AppStore. Information available at: www.nhsapp.service.nhs.uk/login, This will give you access to your medical records, where you can print, take a screenshot or show your record of vaccination
Please see below a message about the COVID-19 Vaccination from our very own Dr Mariyam Aqeel:
Below you can find an Arabic translation of Dr M Aqeels video by Dr N Raphael:
COVID-19 Vaccine: The NHS will get in touch when it’s your turn to be vaccinated – Please do not contact the surgery before then.
The first phase of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme has begun. However, initially the vaccination will be prioritised for those over 80, care home workers and residents, and frontline health and care staff. These vaccinations will be delivered through a limited number of Hospital and GP Hubs. See the Why do I have to wait for my COVID-19 vaccination? leaflet explaining who was chosen for the first group and why.
If you are in a priority group, when it is the right time, you will receive an invitation to come forward for your vaccination. For most people this will be a letter (some might receive a text from their GP practice), either from the practice or the national NHS. This letter will include all the information you will need to book appointments, including your NHS number.
This is going to be a long-term programme and it will likely take until at least Spring before all high-risk groups have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine.
Please help us and do not contact the practice or other NHS services to get an appointment for a COVID vaccination until you get this letter. Please also continue to follow the national guidance to control the virus and save lives.
Information on the vaccine is available on www.selondonccg.nhs.uk/what-we-do/covid-19/
All patients and visitors to NHS services must wear a face covering at all times. This includes hospitals, community clinics and GP services. Evidence has confirmed that face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission if you are suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.
The government has set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home, using scarves or other textile items. These face coverings should cover the mouth and nose, whilst allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandanna that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.
Please wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting on a face covering and after taking it off, avoid touching your face covering whilst wearing it to avoid transmission of the virus.
If anyone attends an appointment without a face covering, they will be provided with a face mask in an emergency.
- www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19 – 111 coronavirus service
- www.nhs.uk- Testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) – Information about testing for coronavirus and what to do if you’re contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.
- www.nhs.uk – Main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) – Check if you have coronavirus symptoms
- www.nhs.uk – Self-isolation and treating symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) – What to do if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus
- www.nhs.uk – People at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) – Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus
- www.111.nhs.uk/isolation-note – Get an isolation note
- Coronavirus Parent guide 01/05/2020
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
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
Read more about what you can and cannot do at www.gov.uk – Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.
- a high temperature– this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a 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 of/change in smell or taste
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home. Use the 111 coronavirus service to find out what to do.
Testing for Coronavirus
Testing is now open to any member of the public with COVID-19 symptoms at www.nhs.uk – Testing for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Get an isolation note at www.111.nhs.uk/isolation-note.
What to do if you need medical help for another reason
If you need medical help not related to coronavirus, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- For health information and advice, use the NHS website or check your GP surgery website.
- For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online.
- For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.
Read more advice about getting medical help at home at www.nhs.uk – Using the NHS and other health services during coronavirus (COVID-19).
Other things you can do to stop the infection spreading
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside
- touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at gov.uk/coronavirus.