Please allow 48 hours for a response. We recommend you do not use this service if your problem is acute and requires a quick response. It is not to be used for urgent or emergency problems.
PATIENT NOTICES - December 2021
Following the COVID-19 booster announcement from the Prime Minister on Sunday 12 December 2021, all GP practices and pharmacies are working to provide vaccinations for all eligible adults aged over 18 in line with national timeframes.
We need to free-up staff to deliver this vaccination programme so we have to prioritise GP services and pause some routine healthcare appointments. We will continue to deliver patient care and will focus our support on those most in need as outlined below.
If you have an appointment booked with us please assume that this is going ahead and attend as planned. We will contact you if we need to change your appointment: you do not need to contact us.
Still here for you when you need us most
While we need to pause some routine services, there are some things that we know cannot wait. Please continue to contact us if you (or someone you care for)
- have a serious or urgent health concern that you need to speak to someone about today;
- have worrying symptoms that could be a sign of cancer and need investigating;
- have been contacted about booking cervical and other screening or immunisations;
- have a complex long-term condition that you need ongoing help with;
- have a serious mental illness and need support;
- have a learning disability and need medical help.
For all other things we would encourage you to seek help in other ways as described below.
Accessing our services
If phone lines are busy, please use our online form to seek help.
When contacting us please tell us as much as you can about what’s wrong so that help direct you to the healthcare professional best suited for your health care needs which might be a GP, nurse or another specialist such as a physiotherapist, pharmacist or paramedic. The information you provide will also help us to prioritise your care if it’s something urgent.
Our priority will be to ensure you receive care quickly and might offer you an telephone, video or face-to-face appointment, arrange a home visit or refer you to another service.
Other sources of help
There are a number of ways to get health advice and care if you, a family member or a friend feel ill.
Visit the NHS website– for advice and information on how to look after yourself and your family. It covers thousands of illnesses and conditions: nhs.uk
- Visit a pharmacist– for expert advice and low-cost medicines to ease your symptoms and help treat your condition. Pharmacists are trained to spot worrying symptoms that require urgent medical help. Every area has a late opening pharmacy and most have consulting rooms where you can ask for advice in private. Go to nhs.uk to find your nearest open pharmacist.
- Visit 111.nhs.ukor call 111 – for free, round the clock help when your GP is closed, when it’s an urgent but not a life-threatening 999 situation, or if you are unsure where to go to get the right help for your medical condition. You can telephone 111 to get straight through to mental health advice.
We are contacting patients registered with us and will call you in to be vaccinated when you are eligible. Please wait to hear from us rather than calling us to check or make an appointment. This will help to keep phone lines free for patients needing medical help. You can also book a vaccination through the national booking service website or go to the Healthier Future website to check your eligibility for a vaccination, see answers to frequently asked questions, or find out about walk-in appointments.
We are currently vaccinating eligible patients for 1st, 2nd doses, boosters or additional doses for immunosuppressed patients. Please call our surgery to book appointment if you fall into one of these categories or visit https://www.watford.gov.uk/clinics for information on local walk in clinics.
Remember adults must be 4 weeks post covid infection, children 12 weeks post 1st vaccine or covid infection.
Time between vaccines for those aged 18 and over is 8 weeks for 2nd dose. 16 - 18 is 12 weeks. Booster is given 3 months after dose 2. Immunosupressed patients who require 3rd primary dose and booster should be having these at 8 weeks after 2nd dose and 3 months post 3rd vaccine.
We will continue to provide home visits, where necessary, for housebound patients who need to be see in person and who have no other alternative due to immobility or very serious ongoing health conditions.
Housebound patients are a priority for COVID-19 boosters. If you haven’t yet heard from us please be reassured that we will contact you to make an appointment as soon as we can.
Message from local NHS about help and support
GP services are busier than ever before, delivering more appointments but in a different way.
We are sorry to hear the experiences of people who are finding it difficult to get through on the telephone or who are unhappy with the types of appointment offered. If you need to see someone in person, you still can. We appreciate your patience during this difficult period.
Why are things different from before the pandemic?
Official data suggest that up to 1 in 50 people in England have COVID-19, so infection control remains a high priority especially in healthcare settings where there are sick and vulnerable people. To keep patients and staff safe we need to avoid crowded waiting rooms as well as to carry out cleaning between patient consultations and so it isn’t feasible for practices to see as many people in person as before the pandemic. If we can meet your needs by a telephone or video call this could be safer for you and others and can often be quicker and more convenient.
Currently around half of appointments are in person. Your GP team will make sure they arrange these types of appointments when needed. Your GP practice team is working hard to make sure that you get the same high standard of care whether you receive help on the phone, by a video call or in person.
With practices now doing more work over the phone, and due to the increase in the number of patients seeking help from their GP, including for vaccination queries (flu and covid), unfortunately some patients are finding it harder to get through and are facing long waits. We know this is frustrating and can be disruptive for you. We are really sorry for this and are working hard to improve your experience when contacting your GP practice.
Please do continue trying to get through to the practice on the phone when you need to and continue to use alternative ways of contacting your practice, such as filling out a secure web form (e-consult) from your GP website www.baldwinslanesurgery.co.uk. Please note that e-consults are not suitable for urgent or emergency medical queries as they can take up to 48 hours to be replied to.
Helping you get the right appointment for your needs
The reception staff are trained to support you to get the right appointment for your needs and sometimes you might be asked to give information that you would prefer not to share with someone other than a doctor or health professional. It really does help to have this information in order to arrange the right appointment for you.
You may be offered an appointment with a different trained professional who works at the practice rather than a GP if this is the best person to help you. This might be a nurse, a paramedic, a pharmacist, a healthcare assistant or a physiotherapist.
We know that most of you will continue to treat your practice staff with courtesy and kindness. This is really important for all the staff at your practice and they appreciate it.
Thank you for your patience and support during these difficult times for everyone.
We continue to offer flu appointments to eligible patients. We currently have a clinic on Sunday 28th November between 0930 and 11.30.
Please call the surgery to book your appointment.
The NHS flu programme in England typically offers the flu vaccine to those over the age of 65, pregnant women and those with existing health conditions or weakened immune systems.
In a typical winter, flu is one of the biggest health concerns for many older and vulnerable people. With the additional threat of coronavirus this year, the public are being advised to take extra care to avoid both of these diseases. The government hopes for as many people as possible to receive the flu jab to reduce the risk of caregivers and healthcare workers coming under immense pressure.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation they will operate in a slightly different way to previous years to protect our patients and staff
We will contact you to invite you for your vaccination either by text, letter or over the phone.
This year the flu vaccine is being offer on the NHS to
- Adults 65 and over
- People with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months)
- Pregnant women
- People living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
- Children in Primary School – to be done at school
- Children in Year 7 (secondary school) – to be done at school
- Frontline health or social care workers
Flu Jabs for patients aged 50 -60
Clinics for the new 2021 cohort of eligible patients aged 50-64, who do not have an ‘at risk condition’ (see NHS UK) will follow soon if the vaccine can be centrally supplied by NHS England. This cohort are schedule to be vaccinated as soon as supplies are available
COVID 19 VACCINE
National Covid-19 Vaccinations Programme
NHS England are now inviting anyone over 16 to book COVID-19 vaccination If you would like to arrange an appointment then please book via the NHS website or call 119 free of charge.
All children aged between 12 and 15 will be offered the vaccine at school. you can also book your vaccination at the following
or by calling 119.
Last week the government announced that COVID vaccination boosters would be available to anyone aged 40 and above and to the clinically vulnerable.
If it is over 6 months since you had your 2nd vaccination we will shortly be contacting you to invite you to have your booster.
you can also book your booster at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/book-or-manage-a-booster-dose-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine/
Dear Patients, mask wearing will become optional from 19th July 2021 as per government guidelines. We must stress however that the same guidance suggests caution and recommends ongoing wearing of masks in closed spaces, small areas and where vulnerable people will be present.
Sadly COVID 19 remains in the population.
If you would like information in a different format, for example large print, or easy read; or if you need help with communicating with us, for example because you use British Sign Language, please let us know.