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Coronavirus Vaccines: the latest information

There have been some very positive developments over the last couple of weeks with regards to the release of a vaccine against Covid-19. The first vaccines have been approved and have started to be used in hospitals. It is anticipated that alternatives will shortly follow.

A huge amount of work is going on at every level of the NHS to address the roll out of these vaccines, in order to protect our population against the disease that has disrupted so much of life this year. 

In General Practice, we have been asked to work collaboratively across Surgeries to prepare to deliver the vaccine at scale to our most vulnerable patients. 

However, over the next couple of weeks, the first roll out of vaccines will be prioritised in going to hospitals. We do not envisage receiving supplies of vaccines for the next few weeks, and possibly not before Christmas.

Covid-19 vaccinations will be provided through a range of local NHS services. The vaccines will be available to everyone over 18 years old. People will be invited for vaccination based on a nationally set priority list. The elderly and most at risk from Covid-19 will be vaccinated first.

We are not currently providing Covid-19 vaccines. We will update this page when more information about local vaccine services is confirmed.

You do not need to contact the surgery until you receive a letter, text or phone call about getting the Covid-19 vaccines. Our phone lines are very busy and we would appreciate your support to keep phone lines open for people needing to make appointments for other health matters.

The vaccination programme will take several months to work through everyone, so it could be some time before you are contacted.

Please help protect yourself, friends and loved ones by getting vaccinated when you are invited. In the meantime, it is as important as ever to maintain social distancing, handwashing and wearing face coverings in public spaces.

Find health help with NHS website and app

The NHS in Kent and Medway has a free website and app to help you find the right treatment, especially when you are not sure what to do or who to contact.

Whether you have a baby with a high temperature, a child who is being sick, a teenager who is feeling low or you have sprained your ankle and for many other health problems, the Health Help Now web app can guide you to the service that will help you best.

New features available on the Apple and Android versions include a health wallet, where users can make notes about symptoms or questions they may need to ask a GP, keep a list of health appointments and contacts, save favourite pages from Health Help Now and view other useful apps.

Health Help Now lists common symptoms for people of all ages and helps you find the best place for treatment for them in the local area. It shows the nearest services, whether they are open or closed, and provides a map of their location and directions.

Health Help Now also offers reliable health advice and links to other useful websites. Available at www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net, it works on smartphones, tablets, and computers. To find the downloadable apps, just search Health Help Now at the Apple Store and the Android Google Play Store.

Why not download it to your device now so you have it to hand when you need it?

Annex 1 - Communication from the Health and Social Care Information Centre about opt-outs and your care information choices.

This information below can also be found at http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Pages/overview.aspx

Sharing your records: your personal information

Information about you is used in a number of ways by the NHS and social care services to support your personal care and to improve health and social care services for everyone.
 
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is the national NHS organisation with a legal responsibility to collect data as people make use of NHS and social care services. The data is used both at a local level and nationally to help with planning, managing your care, supporting research into new treatments, identifying trends and issues and so forth, and is used to try to make services better for all.
 
You can, however, choose not to have information about you shared or used for any purpose beyond providing your own treatment or care.

Your right to opt out

You can choose not to have anything that could identify you shared beyond your GP practice. You can also choose for the HSCIC not to share information it collects from all health providers any further.
 
If you have previously told your GP practice that you don't want the HSCIC to share your personal confidential information for purposes other than your own care and treatment, your opt-out will have been implemented by the HSCIC from April 29 2016. It will remain in place unless you change it.
 
Simply contact your GP either to register an opt-out or end an opt-out you have already registered and they will update your medical record. Your GP practice will also be able to confirm whether or not you have registered an opt-out in the past.
 
You can find more information about how the HSCIC handles your information and choices and how it manages your opt-out on the HSCIC website www.hscic.gov.uk/yourinfo

If you don’t have internet access, or if you need medical help fast but it isn’t a 999 emergency, dial 111.

 

 

 

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