Flu 2020

Dear Patients

17/09/2020: We are aware that a letter has been posted out to patients from the public Health Department.  This is a national letter and has not been issued from the Surgery.  Please see below for up to date information on how we will be delivering the flu clinics.  There is no need to retain the letter from Public Health- you will be issued a letter from the Surgery in due course advising you of your flu appointment and it is our letter which you need to keep and bring with you to your appointment.

Patient Information:

The 2020 flu vaccination programme will commence in October 2020. This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic our clinics will be running differently due to the requirement to adhere to social distancing. This page on our website will be updated frequently and will provide you with the latest information on flu vaccination and we respectfully request that you refer to this rather than telephoning the Surgery. 

When will the vaccination programme commence? 

Vaccines are being delivered to practices in late September so our clinics will commence in October.
This year we will be conducting flu clinics out with normal practice hours.

When will I find out when I will get my vaccination?
The surgery will send you a letter inviting you to make an appointment to attend a dedicated flu clinic. These clinics will be held on either a Saturday or week day evening and you will be advised what date and times they are being held on. As in previous years the first cohort to be invited will be those patients who are aged 75+, followed by those who are considered to be high risk due to pre-existing medical conditions.

How does COVID-19 affect my flu vaccination?
The Surgery has to run our flu clinics differently this year due to the requirement for social distancing. In previous years we have been able to invite many patients to attend simultaneously but this year we cannot do this. Instead, we will be running dedicated flu clinics out with normal working hours and patients will receive a letter inviting them to a dedicated appointment. This so we can control the number of people attending the surgery at any one time. We would ask all patients to make every effort to attend their appointment and not to request that it be re-scheduled unless this is absolutely necessary i.e. you have developed COVID symptoms and are required to self isolate.

It is important to understand that as we are limited to the number of people that we can invite per session we will be required to run more sessions than usual and the vaccination programme will take longer to get through this year than it has in the past. If a patient books an appointment and fails to attend, they have denied others the chance to be vaccinated so please be considerate to others and cancel an appointment if necessary rather than just not turning up.

Alternatively, patients can access flu vaccinations via their local pharmacy. This is also being run on an appointment based system and there will be a charge of £11.99.

Why are clinics being held at evenings and weekends?

You will be aware that there are 2 separate practices situated within one building with a shared waiting area. We can now only have a maximum of 10 patients within our waiting room at any one time. Both surgeries are experiencing an increase in demand for appointments at present. We therefore feel it is important to allow all of our routine surgeries to proceed as normal so that patients can continue to attend the surgery for appointments with our nursing team, and if necessary with our GP’s following telephone triage. We believe that having dedicated flu clinics out with normal hours is the safest way to proceed for both our staff and patients and it will allow us to invite more patients per session than we could if we were operating them within normal working hours.

It is important to understand that every GP Practice works differently so you may learn that other practices are doing clinics in a different way.

How will the clinics be run?

We will be operating a one-way system within the building and more details of how this will work will be published soon.

We will only be undertaking flu and pneumococcal vaccination at the clinics.  This is in compliance with the guidance from the government.  We will be able to administer shingles vaccinations later in the year.

Patients will be invited to attend at dedicated times. It is very important that patients comply with the following:
• Arrive on time- not early or late
• Wear a face covering (unless exempt) and wear suitable clothes which allow a clinician to easily access your upper arm ie no tight fitting tops and try to reduce the amount of layers being worn.
• Arrive alone (unless you require assistance from a relative or carer)
• Bring your letter with you to the appointment- in order to get through patients as quickly as possible we will not be using pc’s on the day. The information we require will be on your letter so it is vital that you have it with you.
• Adhere to social distancing at all times
• Only those patients in receipt of a letter will be vaccinated- do not bring partners, friends etc if they have not received a letter. They will not be vaccinated. We understand that couples can fall into different age categories and therefore receive letters at different times, you must only make an appointment on receipt of your letter even if that means you get vaccinated on a different day than your partner.

• You will only receive your flu and pneumococcal vaccine on the day. No other health issues will be discussed and there will be no opportunity to request prescriptions or any other advice from clinicians.
• DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU HAVE ANY COVID SYMPTOMS. If you have a persistent cough, fever and/or loss of/change in taste or smell. Please phone the practice to re-schedule your appointment.

This page will be updated continuously – please refer to it in the first instance rather than telephoning the practice with queries.  

Published 07/09/2020

Last updated 17/09/2020

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