The COVID Pandemic has had such a huge impact on all our lives and, along with everyone else, we are really hopeful that things will return to a more “normal” situation in the coming months.
Since March 2020, we have put measures in place at Garden Lane Medical Centre so that we can keep patients and staff as safe as possible and we feel that, for the time being, it is wise to keep these in place until we are confident that COVID no longer poses a significant risk.
An important part of this is to try to keep the number of people attending the surgery in person to a minimum. Right from the start of the pandemic we have been open for business and have been seeing people face-to-face whenever necessary, but we will continue to offer a telephone appointment to most people in the first instance rather than booking them straight in to see a clinician. This often allows problems to be dealt with effectively without attendance at the surgery, but ,where it is necessary to see someone in person, it allows us to assess the urgency of the problem, to book people in with the right person and to assess if they can be seen in the main building or if it is safer to see them in another part of the building so as to avoid their being in contact with other patients in the waiting room if they have any symptoms suggestive of COVID.
We will also continue to ask screening questions over the intercom before admitting people to the waiting area and will ask people attending to wear a face covering whenever possible. The clinical staff will continue to wear PPE when they see patients and to take time to carefully clean equipment etc. after each consultation. We believe that these measure have helped to keep patients and staff safe for many months already and will continue to do so.
As things generally open up, it is inevitable that it will get much busier here. It is already evident that waiting times for hospital appointments have increased significantly. While most people have been very patient and understanding, we do appreciate that it can be frustrating that there is usually a 3-4 week wait for a routine appointment here. We will continue to try our very best to deal with urgent issues as quickly as we can, but we do ask for your patience.
COVID-19 VACCINATION (updated 19th March 2021)
As a practice and in partnership with other Chester GP surgeries running the St Columba’s vaccination site, we have now concluded our vaccination programme for Cohorts 1-9. Our last clinic took place on June 8th and we want to thank all Staff, Patients & Volunteers for making the site such a success.
If you are aged 18 or over or are classed as Clinically Vulnerable and have not yet been invited for your 1st Vaccine dose, please follow this link to book your 1st appointment at one of the Mass
Chester Racecourse being the closest
Information on the vaccine is available on the NHS.UK website
Cheshire CCG has made this really helpful 'What you need to know' guide for all questions relating to the COVID-19 Vaccination, Vaccination clinics & Volunteering
Mental Health Crisis Helpline
People who need urgent mental health support can call the Cheshire and Wirral mental health helpline on 0800 145 6485. Launched during the early response to Covid-19, the phone line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and open to people of all ages – including children and young people.
COVID VACCINATION CERTIFICATION
“The Government confirmed that a COVID-19 status certification system will be developed over the coming months which could allow higher-risk settings to be opened up more safely and with more participants. Over the coming months, a system will be developed which will consider three factors: vaccination, a recent negative test, or natural immunity (determined on the basis of a positive test taken in the previous six months). Events pilots will take place from mid-April to trial the system. All pilots are checking COVID status, which will initially be through testing alone but in later pilots, vaccination and acquired immunity are expected to be alternative ways to demonstrate status.
GPC has been discussing these proposals with the Government and NHS bodies to ensure there would be a minimal impact on GP practices, and this has been accepted. We need to avoid the expectation that people can secure evidence of vaccination or testing by obtaining a letter from their GP practice.”
Healthwatch Cheshire Survey on COVID-19 Vaccination for 18-30 Year Olds.
Healthwatch Cheshire are keen to find out the opinions and experiences on the COVID-19 vaccination for people living in the Cheshire area aged between 18-30 years old. Anecdotally, we have been told that there could be some hesitation amongst some people in this age group to get vaccinated, and as they are the next/current cohort eligible for their vaccination, it is useful to explore their views on the vaccine. This will enable us to feed back people's views and perceptions to those organising the COVID-19 vaccination process, in order to influence the messaging used in encouraging people to take up their vaccine. Where people between 18-30 have already accessed their vaccine, we also want to hear about their experience of the process, and their thoughts prior to getting their vaccine. Sharing views and experiences in this survey will help to gain a better understanding of what is going well, what could be improved and people's views on the COVID-19 vaccination process. This survey is completely anonymous, and comments will only be used to influence the planning of the vaccination programme going forward.