Page updated 3/12/2020
This page is compiled by the coordinators from information sent to us by the practice.
Covid Vaccine – Please check website for latest updates
We are all excited to hear that there is real progress on a Covid vaccine and that this should improve the quality of life for all of us. We know that you, like us, are struggling with the confines imposed upon us all due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Everyone is trying to make the best of the situation and, as a practice, we are committed to caring for you in the best possible way whilst keeping both you and our team safe. To keep you as informed as possible, we will update messages frequently as we become aware of more information from NHS England
We are holding a flu clinic on Saturday 5th December for over 65’s and eligible under 65’s.
To be eligible for the under 65’s vaccine, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- aged 50-64
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- frontline health or social care workers
Please ring the surgery to book in your place if you are eligible.
We have a temporary phone number to book your flu vaccine. Please ring 01258 863906 to book in.
Please note, this is only for flu vaccines and any other queries will not be dealt with.
IN the face of continued criticism but also praise of the Blandford Group Practice the staff have admitted that they are working in ‘difficult and frightening circumstances’ in the face of unprecedented demand.
Practice manager Carol Tilley said: “Mistakes and delays will happen, and people will not get a gold standard service every time as we are spread so thinly trying to keep things going as best we can in these unusual times.
“Our phones are busy as lots of people are calling us. Delayed non urgent hospital referrals leave people needing more ongoing support and there has been an increase in mental health/anxiety due to the current situation, all generating more calls in what was already very busy surgery.”
Added complications to the thousands of calls made about flu jabs are a change in the way vaccinations are delivered imposed by the drugs company, a back log of patients needing annual reviews due to the Spring lockdown, and GPs doing the majority of consultations by phone.
But getting another phone line would mean getting another member of staff, social distancing did not permit more people in the building and the nature of the work did not permit home working.
“It is a great shame that the public’s patience and kindness is running out. Our staff are working long hours, often six days a week, to keep the service going in very difficult and frightening circumstances. The situation in Blandford is not unique.”
The bulletin from the Dorset Primary Care below demonstrates the ongoing activity across the county, and Graham Cobb, chairman of the Blandford Group Practice Patient Participation Group, said he had learnt at a meeting of the Blackmore Vale PPG that the Blackmore Vale Practice was experiencing exactly the same sort of problems.
“I would like to praise all our staff for their outstanding commitment and contribution through what can only be described as being an extremely very difficult time for all of them, and on the back of the merger too. Some of our patients may have legitimate concerns, but there is no doubt in my mind of the hard work that all the members of the team have put in to both evolve the practice into a Covid-safe environment to offer the very best medical service possible under extreme conditions, and to safeguard staff members. I would ask all our patients to please realise the difficulties that the practice is working under.”
Whilst you are here, The Blandford Group Practice is seeking donations of new or second hand computers, tablets or I-Pads which can be wiped clean and then set up specifically for isolated patients to allow them to make contact with groups of people such as doctors and NHS helplines. Graham Cobb said the suggestion had been made during a Zoom meeting and the PPG had been asked to help with the appeal. Any such items can be dropped off at either surgery
‘*Calling all Dispensing Patients – Your Dispensary Needs You*
The profits from our Dispensary help fund vital services at the Practice including additional phlebotomy appointments, additional clinical staff and free dosette boxes.
If you are eligible to use the Dispensary we ask you bear this in mind when making the decision as to where you collect your prescriptions from.
Without your demand we wouldn’t be able to keep the Dispensary open and every time you use us you are helping to keep the additional services above running.
Thank you for your support’
Link to: Blandford Group Practice Website
UPDATE FROM THE SURGERY
FLU CLINICS 2020
The Blandford Group Practice will be starting the annual flu vaccination clinics in September 2020
Patients over 65 and patients with chronic health issues, such as asthma and diabetes, will be contacted by our Patient Services Team shortly to invite them to make an appointment
This year our clinics will be much smaller and more robustly controlled to abide to social distancing regulations so please bear with us. We request patients do not arrive early for their appointment and DO NOT attend if you have any of the symptoms consistent with Covid-19 or don’t have an appointment
Patients attending the surgery for their pre booked appointment should attend on their own (except for those requiring a carer), with no personal belongings, wearing a face covering and clothing easily removed to expose their upper arm
We are awaiting further guidance for patients aged 50 to 64 and those who are identified as eligible will be invited LATER in the season for their vaccination
The number of patients eligible for the vaccine this year is significant, and we request you are patient and wait to be invited
Help us to help you stay safe and well this winter
Below are some recent facebook posts which will be of interest plus attached is the Practice Summer Newsletter
We have recently seen and received quite a lot of negative comments about us not wanting to see patients, not answering our phones and jumping through hoops to get an appointment. These comments have made us feel very disheartened. Since lockdown, we have been busier than ever and we have contended with reduced capacity for clinical rooms, clinicians and our admin staff.
We have always been here seeing patients face to face, but our clinicians are speaking to everyone first to ensure we manage the appointments in the safest and most efficient way. We know this is not probably what people want, we don’t either, but it is essential for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and our patients.
Dorset has had a low rate of infections of Covid-19, but the pandemic is not over. By law, and as part of our NHS contract, we have to follow national guidelines on how and when people can be seen, what protective equipment is required and to ensure thorough cleaning of the rooms between each patient. In the time we used to be able to see three patients face to face, we can now only see one.
Please bear with us and be kind to our staff when you speak to them, they are working incredibly hard to keep you safe.
1.From the 10th August, Child Okeford Surgery will be open for pre-booked nursing and blood appointments. Due to the ongoing Covid 19 restrictions there will be no face to face GP appointments at this site. To keep patients and staff safe, access to the surgery will be strictly controlled and there will be no walk-in access unless you have an appointment.
You will be able to collect forms, sample kits, and to drop off samples at the front porch at Child Okeford Surgery. Please adhere to social distancing.
Please do not attend Child Okeford Surgery to book an appointment – you must do this by telephoning the surgery. Phone lines will inevitably be busy due to the high volume of calls we receive each day. You can also contact your GP, nurse or our admin team using EConsult. EConsult can be accessed 24 hours a day / 7 days a week using a link on our website. The Dispensary will continue to dispense through the window into the car park.
All patients attending face to face appointments will be required to wear a face covering. If you have any Covid 19 symptoms, please do not attend your appointment and call the surgery to rearrange.
2. Do you enjoy Gardening? Are you free on a Tuesday and Thursday morning? The Blandford Victorian Gardens are open to anyone that has a passion for gardening or just to enjoy something new, and meet others. They would love for others to enjoy the garden. If you would like to attend please let me know – Call Sara 01258 452501 or comment below.
Want to improve your health and wellbeing?
Health Apps can make a big difference. Dorset CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) has partnered up with ORCHA (the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications) to provide an apps site for you all to do just this. They have reviewed thousands of apps so you can find the best and safest.
Discover the best apps to improve your health on the website ourdorset.nhs.uk/apps
The apps you will find here have had independent and impartial reviews, and you will see that the resultant information is clearly presented throughout. We can all be reassured that any apps shown on this site have undergone a rigorous review process, and feel confident as we choose the best app for us.
By bringing this information to our fingertips, it’s now possible to identify and compare the best apps for our needs – and to ensure that we, and our friends and families, can get access to quality assured apps.
With the uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus looking likely to continue for the near future, we are asking our patients to consider using our online consultation platform, eConsult. This is a free service where you can submit a form online to receive help for new and ongoing non-urgent medical conditions and administrative help such as a sick note or a test result.
We know our phone lines can be busy in peak times. With eConsult, you can fill in and submit a form when it suits you. You are guaranteed to have heard from the surgery by the end of the following working day.
eConsult also has a comprehensive database of information on conditions to self-help and suggestions on over the counter medication.
In our most recent survey, 92% of users were satisfied with the eConsult and would recommend it to their friends and family.
To submit an eConsult and to access the medical conditions database, please go to our website, www.theblandfordgrouppractice.co.uk, and click on the eConsult tile on our homepage. The forms can be submitted from your phone and you can also submit them on behalf of your child if they under 18.