The Government has recently enacted a law requiring GPs to send copies of their patient’s records to NHS Digital, where they may be used for research and planning. This will include records going back 10 years and virtually anything new we record about you into the future.
You may be aware through the media about this scheme. This has caused controversy, in particular with regards to the times scale to publicise this change and the lack of national information regarding this.
At a time when GP Practices are extremely busy (currently your practice continues to see about a third higher activity than pre pandemic) the lack of national information has led to a large number of people contacting the surgery in the last week understandably concerned.
As GPs we too have concerns around the implementation of the scheme and would share the points of view expressed in this letter jointly from the British Medical Association and Royal College of GPs to NHS Digital
This is a complex area and the web page below from NHS Digital does explain things quite well.
The original deadline regarding the need to fill in the attached form and return to us by the 23rd June may now be extended as the start date for these proposals has been moved back from 1 July to 1 September but you should consider your wishes as soon as possible.
Opt Out Form
We are well aware of the very tight timescales here but we would like to stress again that this is a decision made by NHS Digital and not by your practice. This issue is nothing to do with providing direct care when you need it.
If you do not want your data to be used in this way there are two ways to stop it happening.
Stop data leaving the practice, aka “Type 1 objection”.
To stop your GP records being sent from us to NHS Digital in the first place you can ask us to place a “type 1 objection” in your records. We will do this for you. Please let us know by phone, e-mail or letter. At the moment this must be done before the 23rd June (but see above extension). You can also use this form Opt Out FormHERE. We will of course always share any records necessary for your care, such as a referral to a local hospital.
Stop NHS Digital using your data for planning or research, the “NHS Data Opt Out”.
NHS Digital also collects by default data from other sources, hospitals or clinics etc. This data can be used for planning and research including commercial research outside the NHS. You can learn more about how NHS Digital uses your data here: General Practice Data for Planning and Research: GP Practice Privacy Notice – NHS Digital.
You have the choice to stop this happening if you wish but it has to be actioned directly with NHS Digital, we cannot do this for you. To stop data NHS Digital collects on you being used for anything other than direct care go to the NHS Digital web site and search for national opt out. Then scroll to the bottom of the page to read how to action.
Following the latest guidance regarding the Oxford Astra Zeneca Vaccine this week, we Rural Alliance practices wish to highlight the following points:-
The occurrence of serious blood clots after receiving this vaccine is extremely rare (4 cases per million vaccines given in the UK). The cases that have occurred have been between 4 days and 2 weeks after having the vaccine. The risk of dying is around 1 in a million. This is about the same level as the risk of dying in an accident on a 250mile road journey. (BBC News – AstraZeneca Vaccine: How do you weigh up the risks and benefits?)
For those aged over 30 the benefits of having the vaccine still outweigh these small risks. If you are aged below 30 and have already had your first dose then please attend when invited for the second dose, unless you had any serious side effects, for instance blood clot or pin prick bruising away from the site of the vaccine. If you have any doubts do not hesitate to consult your surgery.
If you are under 30 and have not received your first vaccine dose yet, then you will be offered a different vaccine from the Oxford Astra Zeneca. Due to the limits on vaccine availability this may result in a delay in getting the vaccine or having to travel further to receive it. The numbers of blood clots occurring after the Pfizer vaccine appear no different to what we would expect in an unvaccinated population.
If you wish to read more about these issues please see the resources below:
BBC News: Weighing up the risks and benefits (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-56665396)
PHE (Public Health England) leaflet on risks of clots in relation to Covid vaccine (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-and-blood-clotting)
Risk benefit ratios for different age groups, from University of Cambridge https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/976877/CovidStats_07-04-21-final.pdf MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) statement on 7th April (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-jcvi-statement/jcvi-statement-on-use-of-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-7-april-2021)
Despite recent media coverage outlining a national supply issue, everyone in Cheshire West who has already had their first dose COVID vaccine will be offered their second dose within 12 weeks. Available vaccine supply is being prioritised for this purpose.
Most vaccination services in Cheshire West started vaccinating patients in early January and it has been determined nationally that second doses should be offered as close to week eleven as possible, following first dose.
Clinics are carefully planned around confirmed vaccination delivery dates in order to minimise disruption to patients. When confirmation of the delivery date for second dose vaccines has been received your GP practice will contact you to arrange your second dose appointment.
Our staff would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to all the patients who have taken the time to write cards and emails expressing their gratitude to the whole team at Kelsall Medical Centre
May we also take this opportunity to thank our much valued team of volunteers who are working in the clinic or as volunteers assisting in the car park, helping patients who are attending for their vaccinations at the COVID clinic.
Reading through your lovely messages helps to brighten our days and they are very much appreciated!
COVID-19 Recall for Vaccinations:
After our clinic on 6th March we will have completed our recall for all patients in Cohorts 1 – 7 who are able to attend for their vaccine or have been vaccinated in their home. This includes people at a higher risk from coronavirus including those with learning disability, those who live or work in care homes, health and social care workers and people who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
The order in which people have been offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)
If you are not eligible yet to have your vaccine please wait to be contacted.
Our patients aged 60-64 years and 56-59 years will receive COVID-19 vaccination invitation letters now and in the next week. The quickest and easiest way to arrange an appointment is via the national booking service, which offers appointments at local NHS Vaccination Centres from 9am-11pm, seven days a week.
Venues include NHS Vaccination Centres at Chester Racecourse and pharmacies at Hollowood Pharmacy in Crewe, Alsager Pharmacy in Alsager, Pharmacy 2u at Morrisons in Winsford and Boots in Foregate Street, Chester.
Clinics are booked on a first-come, first-served basis following your personal invitation. The national booking service is available online at http://www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or by calling 119.
2nd dose of your COVID-19 Vaccine
From the end of March:
The Covid-19 vaccination programme comprises of 2 doses of the vaccine. We will start to give the 2nd dose to patients towards the end of March. We will contact all patients to arrange an appointment for their 2nd dose, either by telephone, text message or letter.
Except in exceptional circumstances patients are expected to obtain their 2nd dose from the same vaccination centre where they received the 1st vaccination dose Patients should not look to obtain their 2nd vaccination from an alternative vaccination centre.
Each vaccination site is being supplied with 2nd dose vaccine numbers based on the number of patients vaccinated with the 1st dose. In order to ensure we do not run out of vaccine, all patients are asked to comply with this nationally agreed arrangement.
When attending for your vaccination at Cheshire View we ask the following:
- Patients do not attempt to enter Cheshire View until their designated appointment time
- Patients can attend with a member of their family or carer if required, e.g. if they have poor mobility etc.
- Wheelchairs or walking aids can be used throughout the building, the access is via a ramp.
- Please socially distance yourself from the person in front of you
- Patients will need to bear with us, as the vaccines need to be shared with patients across 6 GP practices, limiting the number available to Kelsall patients at any one time.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, when it is your turn we will be in touch
PATIENT NOTICE DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
We want to keep our patients safe therefore during the current pandemic and due to the space constraints at the premises on Church Street, we will also be undertaking some appointments at the The Old Bank Surgery site in Kelsall. This is in agreement with the Drs Adey and Dancy of Tarporley Health Centre.
This is a temporary arrangement until the crisis ceases; after which time all appointments will once again be undertaken at the Church Street Practice.
If you need to see a GP or a nurse you will be telephone triaged in the first instance to ensure you receive the most appropriate and safest care from our clinicians. A decision will then be made as to whether:
- Your problem is dealt with via telephone and/or video link without the need to physically attend at either of the above premises
- You are asked to attend Kelsall Medical Centre on Church Street
- You are asked to attend The Old Bank Surgery
If you are asked to attend in person at either site, please remain in your car until you are called in by either the nurse or the GP. Please do not enter either building unless asked to do so.
We thank you for your continued cooperation during the current situation.
Due to Covid-19, we are not taking cash payments, only contactless card payments please
Your local pharmacy is the place to go to get any prescription medicines and clinical advice for minor health concerns. But they do a lot more than that.
As well as helping with common illnesses – like sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains – pharmacy teams can also help with stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, advice on safe sex and emergency contraception.
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You don’t need an appointment – you can just walk in. Find your nearest Pharmacy here.
Visit https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Pharmacy/Pages/Yourpharmacy.aspx for more details.
Please see our Privacy Section for what this means for you.