Swarland Avenue Surgery

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Surgery Newsletter (Autumn 22)

Surgery Newsletter


Inside this Issue

Flu Vaccination Clinics               1

COVID vaccination Clinics          2

NHS App                                       3

Swarland Service Update           4

Friends and Family Test             5

Flu Vaccination Clinics

Flu vaccination is important because:

  •  more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
  •  if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill

getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses

The flu vaccine is given FREE on the NHS to people who:

  •  are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2023)
  •  have certain health conditions including asthma, COPD, diabetes,  heart conditions, being very overweight, Chronic Kidney Disease, Liver  Disease, neurological conditions, a learning disability, problems with spleen and a weakened immune system.
  • 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 is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  •  frontline health or social care workers

Swarland Avenue Surgery will be running two dedicated flu vaccination clinics on: –

  •  24th September 2022 from 9:30am until 1:30pm
  •  1st October 2022 from 9:30am until 12:30pm

 These clinics are by booked appointment only

The surgery will be sending out text messages to eligible patients that have mobile phones.  A solution may be available in the next few weeks that enables patients to book digitally, but until then to book appointments we ask patients to contact the surgery on 0191 215 0141 or ask at the reception desk.

Please attend one of these days if convenient, but if you can’t make it we are offering appointments on other days throughout the Autumn/Winter.

Planning for this flu season started in Winter 2021 when we place orders for our  registered patient population.  We would really appreciate your support in attending one of our clinics

Thank you

Drs Mears, Iqbal & Dahl

COVID Vaccination Clinics

The Autumn COVID vaccinations will be available from the middle of September 2022 with those most at risk being offered an appointment first.  We have no current plans to administer the COVID vaccine at the surgery as we have our staff at the Oxford Centre service that has been established alongside other local GP surgeries.

Who is eligible for the autumn booster jab?

Patients aged 50 or older, a resident in care homes for older people, aged five years and over in a clinical risk group, or health, or social care staff, you will be offered the Covid-19 autumn booster jab.

Booking your appointment

Please do not call the surgery to book your COVID vaccination.  You may be contacted by the Oxford Centre service or you can check eligibility and make bookings via https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination.  If you are not able to book using an electronic system booking can be made via 119.

NHS App and your NHS account

Download the NHS App, or open the NHS website in a web browser, to set up and log in to your NHS account. Owned and run by the NHS, your NHS account is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services online.

To have an NHS account you must be aged 13 or over and registered with an NHS GP surgery in England or the Isle of Man.  Find out more about who can have an NHS account.

Use your NHS account to:

  •  get your NHS COVID Pass – view and download your COVID Pass for travel abroad
  •  get advice about coronavirus – get information about coronavirus and find out what to do if you think you have it
  •  order repeat prescriptions – see your available medicines, request a new repeat prescription and choose a pharmacy for your prescriptions to be sent to
  •  book appointments – search for, book and cancel appointments at your GP surgery, and see details of your upcoming and past appointments
  •  get health advice – search trusted NHS information and advice on hundreds of conditions and treatments. You can also answer questions to get instant advice or medical help near you
  •  view your health record – securely access your GP health record, to see information like your allergies and your current and past medicines. If your GP has given you access to your detailed medical record, you can also see information like test results and details of your consultations
  •  register your organ donation decision – choose to donate some or all of your organs and check your registered decision
  •  find out how the NHS uses your data – choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning

view your NHS number – find out what your NHS number is

To access the nhs app or to download on a smartphone or tablet please access the below link.


Swarland Avenue Surgery Service Update

Appointment Requests

We are facing an unprecedented demand for appointments and we are trying to ensure that patients have access to both urgent and routine appointments.  We have added several additional appointments to our system and we continue to make adjustments to try our best to meet the demand.

The time to wait for a routine appointment is currently around 3-4 weeks.  Ideally we would like to reduce this to 2-3 weeks over the coming weeks/months.

There is a large demand for same day appointments and we have continue to take requests throughout the day which at times means significant pressure on the clinicians with a significant amount of  extra work in addition to their planned clinics/workload.  To alleviate this pressure patients may be signposted to other appropriate services e.g. NHS 111, community pharmacy or walk in centres.

Home Visit Requests

The surgery has a register of patients that may require home visits because they are not able to leave their home because of health problems. 

Please can home visit requests be made before 11am.

The GPs meet after the morning clinics at around 11am and during this time the visits are allocated.   The GPs then carry out the home visits and return to the surgery for their afternoon clinics. 

Late visit requests are difficult to plan into the day and a visit later in the day can create complexities in planning smooth emergency & urgent care e.g. planning a same day hospital admission.

Repeat Prescription Requests

Repeat prescription requests should be made 2 working days in advance of a planned collection day from pharmacy.  This provides time for any queries to be resolved, the prescription to be electronically signed by a clinician at the surgery and for the pharmacy to receive the request in their system.

We will also be adjusting the telephone system from 12th  September 2022 to take calls for repeat prescription requests between 10am – 1pm and then 2pm – 5pm.  We encourage use of the NHS app to request prescriptions as requests can be made on the app at any time (as long as the medication is due).

Would you recommend this service to friends and family?

All of the staff at the surgery are working to provide patients with the best possible service.

The NHS friends and family test (FFT) is an important opportunity for you to provide feedback on the services that provide your care and treatment.

We would like to gather feedback if you have had any recent experience of our service and it would be appreciated if patients can complete the short form indicating how likely you are to recommend the surgery (less than 1 minute to complete) https://forms.office.com/r/GYDHKSNCbk.  The form is available at our reception desk for any patients that would like to provide feedback on a paper  version.

Thank you taking the time to read this newsletter.

John Snaith, Managing Partner, Swarland Avenue Surgery