SOMERSET COVID VACCINATION PROGRAMME (10/11/21)
We are still receiving many phone calls from patients enquiring when they will be contacted about their covid booster vaccine or third primary vaccine for those who are immuno-suppressed. Unfortunately we are not involved in the covid vaccine programme and practice staff are therefore unable to advise you about this. Please click on the link below for all the latest information about booking your covid vaccine via the National Booking Service.
Somerset Covid Vaccination Programme - FAQ
THIRD PRIMARY COVID VACCINES (19/10/21)
The Joint Committee for Vaccination & Immunisation (JCVI) recommends that patients who have severely weakened immune systems (immuno-compromised) should receive a third primary dose of the covid vaccine and then a booster vaccine 6 months later. Letters have been sent out by the national team to patients in this cohort and cross-referencing checks have taken place against GP records to ensure all patients in this cohort are identified and subsequently contacted.
If you are immuno-compromised you will be contacted directly by Somerset Foundation Trust to arrange your appointment for a third primary dose of covid vaccine. Please do not call the surgery about this as we are not involved in the appointment booking process. If you have any concerns or questions about the vaccine you should contact your hospital Consultant.
If you are immuno-compromised but have already received a booster vaccine you will NOT need to have a third primary dose.
ENGAGEMENT DROP-IN EVENT (07/10/21)
Former patients, the local community and stakeholders of Victoria Park Medical Centre are invited to attend a series of drop-in engagement events.
Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are inviting former patients and stakeholders who represent the local community to attend a series of drop-in engagement events in October, which will discuss the future of the Victoria Park Medical Centre site as well as individuals’ experiences of accessing GP services since the centre closed.
In August 2021, the very difficult decision to close Victoria Park Medical Centre was made due to safety concerns. This was following a reduction in services and ongoing clinical staffing shortages at the centre.
Patients have now been re-registered with other local practices in the area, but the CCG would like the opportunity to discuss the current and future healthcare needs of the community and to understand what additional local health services might be needed.
It is important that the CCG has these conversations now to capture the thoughts and views of former patients, the local community as well as key stakeholders
Three drop-in engagement events will be held at Victoria Park Community Centre in October 2021 and will provide an opportunity for people to have their say.
- Monday 11 October from 5.30pm – 8pm
- Tuesday 12 October from 10am – 12pm
- Wednesday 13 October from 1.30pm – 4pm
For those unable to attend a session, there will be an opportunity to have your say online through a patient and stakeholder survey. The survey will be available until Sunday 17 October.
LAUNCH 0F RESILIENCE COURSE FOR MILITARY VETERANS
VICTORIA PARK MC - CLOSURE NOTIFICATION
Sadly, we have been notified that neighbouring practice, Victoria Park Medical Centre is set to close. Please click on link below to read the official statement.
Victoria Park Closure
Victoria Park - Practice Closure Patient Q & As
COVID-19 LIFTING OF RESTRICTIONS (19/07/21)
While COVID restrictions end today in many settings in England, everyone visiting hospitals, GP practices, dentists, optometrists and pharmacies must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules, unless they are unable to do so for medical reasons.
This will help to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and staff, especially those who are more vulnerable to infection.
NHS APP - VACCINATION CERTIFICATES (11/06/21
Unfortunately we are unable to issue your Covid-19 vaccination status certificate at the practice. Please see here. for further information. Proof of your vaccination status is available on the NHS App, which is also valuable for accessing your health records and ordering repeat prescriptions.
The NHS App can be downloaded from here for iPhone or here for android.
Alternatively you can call the NHS helpline on 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine (2 doses), the letter may to take up to 5 days to reach you.
INFORMATION SHARING 12/05/21
This practice is supporting vital health and care planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital. For more information about this see the GP Practice Privacy Notice or go to.
General Practice Data for Planning and Research: GP Practice Privacy Notice - NHS Digital
NHS COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAMME UPDATE - 11/06/21
We know that everyone is eager to find out when they will get their Covid vaccination and that this is an anxious time. The NHS is working very hard to invite people who are eligible to have their vaccination, as quickly as possible. If you are aged over 25 you can now book your vaccination via the National Booking Service, online, or by calling 119.
Please support us by ensuring your contact details are up to date, so we can contact you quickly when it is time to have your vaccination. We are contacting eligible people by phone, letter or text message – if you have already booked an appointment at a large vaccination centre, please tell us so we can update our records.
As soon as you are invited – please confirm your appointment date and time. You must attend all booked appointments to ensure that precious vaccines are not wasted and we can invite everyone as quickly as possible.
** If you already have an appointment over the coming weeks, whether for your first or second dose, this remains in place and it’s really important that you attend it as planned
You can get your COVID vaccination if:
- You are aged 25 or over
- you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
- you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- you have a learning disability
- you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
**Oxford Astrazeneca update**
On 7 April 2021, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued new advice, concluding a possible link between the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and extremely rare, unlikely to occur blood clots. It concluded that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks but advised careful consideration be given to people who are at higher risk of specific types of blood clots because of their medical condition.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has weighed the relative balance of benefits and risks of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and advise that:
- the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
- It is preferable for adults aged under 30 years without underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative COVID-19 vaccine, if available. People may make an informed choice to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to receive earlier protection.
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK
Keep up-to-date with what's happening at the Practice by visiting our Facebook page Redgate and Somerset Medical Centre
NATIONAL AWARD FINALISTS 27/10/20
Redgate and Somerset Bridge Medical Centre were the only GP practice in the UK to reach the finals of the Student Nursing Times Awards 2020 in the category of 'Student Placement of the Year'. Despite not winning the coveted award it was a wonderful achievement for the entire practice team and great recognition for all the hard work and effort put into training and supporting our nurses of the future.
MY DIABETES, MY WAY SOMERSET
My Way Digital Health provide diabetes online structured education courses that have been commissioned by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group These are free for patients to access.
To sign up go to www.somerset.mydiabetes.com/
FACE COVERINGS (08/06/20)
Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example on public transport or in some shops.
COVID-19 ADVICE FOR PARENTS
Parents - have you seen this helpful traffic light poster from Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on what do to when your child is unwell or injured? Your GP is still here for you, and you can contact us in the usual way by calling them, but please do not visit without an appointment. See the poster here:
SOMERSET CORONAVIRUS HELPLINE
A single phone number is now available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support from their councils.
The number, 0300 790 6275, is now live and will make it easier for people access any local authority help they may need, including emotional support, in the current crisis.
It links together the district and county council contact centres and will be operating seven days a week, 8am to 6pm, making it the one number you need to remember for Coronavirus-related enquiries. The district and county councils usual phone numbers will be running as normal alongside the new number for non-Coronavirus related issues.
The new number won’t cover medical advice, for which people will need to continue to use the 111 NHS online service and only ring 111 if they cannot get help online.
Anyone who can’t find help within their own local networks and volunteers, can use the new number to get help and advice around:
- Personal care and support including food and delivery of prescriptions
- Support for the homeless
- Emotional support if you’re feeling worried or anxious
- Transport to medical appointments
- Waste collection and disposal
- Financial support
Callers will be asked to describe the support they require and will be connected with others for resolution.
The 0300 790 6275 number is being staffed by the five councils in Somerset and will be available seven days per week 8am – 6pm.
Meanwhile, the five councils in Somerset are getting in touch with people on their data base that may be vulnerable to see if they need assistance with anything like supplies of food, help with transport and other support.
If people are interested in volunteering for example helping people out with shopping or picking up prescriptions they can go to https://www.corona-helpers.co.uk/ to register.
ADVICE FOR ASTHMA SUFFERERS
Asthma UK has some very useful advice for asthma sufferers during the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information click here.
FAMILY MATTERS - SUPPORT AVAILABLE
Ups and downs of family life can be magnified during a time of crisis like the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, and there are support services there for anyone, parent or child, who is struggling, as well as those who simply want more information. Click here or go to our Family Matters page for details of resources and organisations that can provide support to you and your family.
SUPPORT WITH THE MENOPAUSE
Pop along for a chat with our Nurse Practitioner, Alison Williams at one of our evening Drop-In sessions. No booking required.
HOW LONG WILL MY INFECTION LAST?
At this time of year many people suffer with sore throats, coughs and simple colds. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, and colds are caused by viruses. Pharmacists can advise you on the best over-the-counter medicine to help relieve your symptoms.
A person with a cold can start spreading it from a few days before their symptoms begin until the symptoms have finished.
The best ways to avoid catching a cold are:
- washing your hands with warm water and soap
- not sharing towels or household items (like cups) with someone who has a cold
- not touching your eyes or nose in case you have come into contact with the virus – it can infect the body this way
- staying fit and healthy
The flu vaccine helps prevent flu but not colds. The chart below details how long the symptoms of viral infections usually last. If symptoms continue for more than 3 weeks, worsen, or you are concerned you should always consult your GP.
SMS TEXT MESSAGE REMINDERS
We are pleased to announce that we now offer a free SMS text messaging service to patients. If you are aged 18 or over and have already provided your mobile telephone number to the practice you will now automatically receive important information by text message, including helpful reminders of the date and time of your next booked appointment.
If you are not sure whether you are registered for this free SMS text messaging service, then please speak to reception and ensure they have your correct mobile telephone details.
If you would prefer to OPT OUT of this service then please reply to the text received with the word 'STOP'.
NEW SERVICE: WEIGHT MANAGEMENT SUPPORT
Need help to lose weight? We can help you with dietary advice, meal planning tips, help with portion sizes, managing a food diary and a FREE Weigh-In.
Book an appointment with Kirsty today.
Health Walks are designed to attract people of all ages who want to improve their health, meet new people as well as explore their local environment. Walking groups are led by trained Volunteer Walk Leaders who have reached the standard of delivery set by the county Somerset Health Walks initiative. Redgate and Somerset Bridge Medical Centres are affiliated with the initiative and host regular walks on Wednesdays at 12.30 pm. For more details please speak to reception.
WHEN SHOULD I WORRY?
Having an ill child can be a very scary experience for parents. If you understand more about the illness it can help you to feel more in control. This booklet is for parents (and older children) and deals with common infections in children who are normally healthy. It is not meant for children who have ongoing health problems such as asthma, heart, or kidney problems.
You should not rely on the advice in this leaflet for children who are less than 3 months old. Babies younger than this can respond differently to infections"
Download/print this booklet:
PLANTING BULBS IN THE COMMUNITY
Our volunteer gardeners joined forces last week with Sydenham Improvement Group to help repair the seating and plant bulbs outside Bridgwater College.
Our volunteer gardeners meet at Redgate Medical Centre every Tuesday at 12 noon. If you can spare an hour please pop along and give them a helping hand. We are really interested to receive your ideas on the design of the new garden at Somerset Bridge and what types of plants and shrubs you would like to see planted. You can leave your suggestions at Reception.
EVENING AND WEEKEND GP SERVICES
You can now access appointments in the evening and at the weekend if you are registered at a practice in the Bridgwater or surrounding area. For information on how to book these appointments please see the attached information. Improved Access Frequently Asked Questions
C-CARD SCHEME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Somerset Bridge and Redgate Medical Centres are now condom issue points. For details of the C-Card Scheme please click on the link below
SINGING FOR BETTER BREATHING
There’s increasing evidence that singing regularly as part of a group is good for your health and general well being.
There’s also research that suggests group singing has benefits if you have a long-term lung condition such as asthma, COPD or emphysema.
It can help reduce your feelings of being short of breath by strengthening the muscles you use when you breath and help you to feel more in control of your breathing. Singing can increase the strength of your voice, improve your posture, increase your lung capacity and boost your body’s response to infection.
Would you be interested in joining a singing group at the Practice?
If this is something of interest to you, please leave your contact details at Reception.
HEARING AID BATTERIES
Somerset Bridge Medical Centre is now an official stockist of hearing aid batteries. Please enquire at Reception
ONLINE COUNSELLING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Free, safe and anonymous online counselling and support for young people aged 10-16 years. Click on link for details https://kooth.com/
COMMUNITY GARDENING GROUP
In partnership with Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) we have recently established a Community Gardening Group at Redgate Medical Centre. A group of volunteer patients and friends from both practices meet every Tuesday at the practice at 12 pm. Work is already well underway transforming the garden outside the main entrance at Redgate. If you are interested in getting involved in the group, please leave your details at Reception or just come along and join in. All gardening equipment is provided and we even provide liquid refreshment afterwards ! Even if you are not able to garden due to mobility problems we would still like to hear from you.
If you have any plants, cuttings, bulbs or potting compost that you are able to donate to the group please contact reception. We would be most grateful for anything you can spare.
THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY TEST
The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is an important feedback tool that supports the fundamental principle that people who use NHS services should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience.
It asks people if they would recommend the services they have used and offers a range of responses. When combined with supplementary follow-up questions, the FFT provides a mechanism to highlight both good and poor patient experience. This kind of feedback is vital in transforming NHS services and supporting patient choice.
Launched in April 2013, the FFT question has been asked in all NHS inpatient and A&E departments across England and, since October 2013, all providers of NHS funded maternity services. In its first year, more than 2 million individual responses were given.
The feedback gathered through the FFT is being used in NHS organisations across the country to stimulate local improvement and empower staff to carry out the sorts of changes that make a real difference to patients and their care.
While the results will not be statistically comparable against other organisations because of the various data collection methods, FFT will continue to provide a broad measure of patient experience that can be used alongside other data to inform service improvement and patient choice.
Publishing results of the Friends and Family Test
The results of the FFT are published at monthly intervals on both NHS England and NHS Choices websites
NEW PATIENT GROUP MEMBERS NEEDED
We are currently looking to expand the membership of our Patient Group. We would be particularly interested in recruiting representation from patients aged 18 - 40 and especially those who are parents of young children or teenagers. More information is available in the Patient Group area of this website . If you would be interested in finding out more about this group please contact the surgery.
BIRTHDAY ANNUAL REVIEW
Patients who have conditions such as diabetes, asthma, COPD, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure will have a single review for all their long term medical problems each year in the month of their birthday. This will reduce the number of visits patients have to make to have their long term conditions monitored which we hope will be much more convenient. We would encourage you to contact the practice around the time of your birthday to book a Birthday Review appointment if this applies to you.
Transferring from the old system to a birthday review system is going to be challenging and may result in some patients being seen earlier or later than they initially expected. The doctors would like to thank all their patients for their support whilst we are implementing these changes