A few weeks ago, I wrote about some of the changes we have made to primary care services in Doncaster to ensure we can continue to support and treat patients for all illnesses in a safe manner during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
I’m pleased to confirm once again that the NHS is continuing to help people to manage all their health needs, including those with symptoms of coronavirus and those with other non-coronavirus related illnesses or conditions.
Over the last few weeks, local practices have started to receive many more requests and I for one have seen an increase in the number of patients I am speaking with on the telephone, via online consultation and seeing patients that are safe to visit our practice. As a reminder, you can visit 111 on-line, your practice website; speak to your local pharmacy or your local practice. You will be advised how they can help; that may be a phone call with a Nurse Practitioner, an online consultation with a GP or a visit to the dedicated Coronavirus facility for patients that have symptoms.
I’d also like to remind people that routine vaccination services continue to run. Vaccines provide essential protection against potentially life-threatening diseases, so I would encourage all of you, particularly children, to attend their regular vaccination appointments. Now more than ever, it is important to have the best possible uptake of vaccinations to prevent outbreaks of other potentially serious diseases and to reduce further pressure on the NHS.
Vaccinations are one of the most important things we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health. It could be said they are a building block of health, providing essential protection against potentially debilitating and life-threatening diseases such as whooping cough, diphtheria, mumps and measles.
Here at NHS Doncaster CCG, we are urging people to continue to go for routine vaccination appointments when invited to by their local practice. I appreciate that some people may be worried about going out and visiting health services at this time. For the last six weeks, we have been asked to stay at home to protect the NHS and to save lives, but please be assured that alternative measures have been put in place at all local practices across the borough to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
As long as those attending appointments, including parents of babies or children, do not have symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, all vaccinations should go ahead as normal.
Looking ahead to later in the year, the flu jab will be more important than ever and we expect more people to be offered this than in previous years.
We may even have a Coronavirus vaccine in the near future. Many scientists and researchers are working hard on producing this, but we know these things take time so we need to be patient until this is made available.
We are here to help and guide you; so if you have any queries about your child’s vaccination or your own, please call your local practice and speak to someone.
Your GP or Practice Nurse will advise and reassure you that attending a vaccination appointment is not only safe, it is vital.