News

Welcome to Birley Health Centre's news page.

 

For up to date news see

https://www.facebook.com/BirleyHealthCentreSheffield

 

 
We are aware that through this pandemic, we have not been able to see you as much as we would like. You may feel out of touch. We also recognise that the changes have been significant in our health centre and the NHS and the need for communication has grown.
 
We are committed to quality care for our patients and responding to your feedback. Part of this is to improve our communication with you. Hopefully the  Facebook page will be a part of that, even if you need to register or get updates from family members. We realise that not everyone is on Facebook and we will try to include the highlights monthly on this news page.
 
All the best from your Birley Health Centre team.

Covid Restriction Update 15th July 2021

Throughout the pandemic we have made the surgery as safe as possible for all our patients and staff and will continue to do so going forward.

From July 19th nothing will change at the surgery - patients will need to still wear a mask, socially distance and use hand sanitiser in the surgery and staff will continue to wear PPE. We will continue to use the door buzzer and have different arrangement for anyone with COVID symptoms. We do understand that it can be frustrating, but we know that when people come to us they are sick and vulnerable (and some cannot receive the covid vaccinations due to medical reasons) so we feel it would be wrong to not take these small precautions that can help to protect people.

Also whilst the medical risks of COVID are reduced by vaccination, the impact of self isolation due to a COVID outbreak remain considerable.

In terms of 'opening up', as many of you know, we have never been shut and in fact have consulted with much higher numbers of patients than we did pre-covid (face to face, by phone and by video), not counting giving 31,311 COVID vaccines at Beighton Health Centre since the start of the year.

We will continue to request people use AskmyGP where possible, or reception will help you if you can not. As the risks to all of COVID have reduced, the proportion of face to face appointments will increase. Knowing what your needs are is important to enable you to find the right person or service to help.

The receptionist team do a very important job for us and are following principles we have agreed as a practice. Thank for your patience and kindness with them

Birley Health Centre has come so far in trying to minimise the impact of Covid and we are sure you understand that we need to keep the surgery as safe for ALL patients as we can.

 

The message below is about the Prescription Order Line that will be sadly coming to an end.

One of our plans for this year was to make improvement to the process of ordering prescriptions. We will be very proactive in supporting you in this over the next few months.
Birley Health Centre.

There is more information about alternative ways to order prescriptions here.

https://www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk/Your-Health/prescriptions-and-medication.htm


...................................................................
'For some years NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has worked with your doctors’ surgery to provide a Prescription Order Line telephone service for ordering repeat medication.

This service was set up as a test service and has only been available to a few volunteer Sheffield general practices and their patients, including your practice.

The CCG has formally looked for an NHS provider to extend the Prescription Order Line to all general practices in the city but unfortunately has been unable to find one that meets the criteria. Therefore, as we are unable to provide equal access to this service for all Sheffield patients, we have taken the difficult decision to stop providing the Prescription Order Line to all practices from 30 September 2021.

We understand that this will mean a change to how some people order their repeat medication. If you use the Prescription Order Line we want to know how this closure will affect you and what support you may need to order your medicines in the future.

Please tell us about how this will impact you by completing this short survey or go to this webpage:

www.bit.ly/prescription-order-line

The POL team will be able to send out paper copies on request and also help patients to complete it over the telephone after 3pm (there is a FREEPOST return address).'

 

DEMONSTRATING YOUR COVID VACCINATION STATUS.


From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Janssen single-dose vaccine. Vaccine status will be available through the NHS COVID Pass service from:

the NHS App which https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/nhs-app/ you can download from app stores

the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/…/vaccination-status-for-travelling-abr…/

119 - by requesting a paper letter

You will need to register to use the online services, if you have not already. It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified.

If you cannot access the online services, and you have had both doses of the vaccine, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel outside the UK in the near future and have had your second dose (or one dose of the Janssen single-dose vaccine) more than 5 working days ago. It may take up to 7 working days for the letter to arrive.

This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status. Please do not contact the practice about your COVID-19 vaccination status unless you have been advised to by the 119 service.

When you're planning your travel, you should check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is enough time to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status before you are due to travel.

 

 

 

Last vaccine clinic at Beighton 17th July

We are approaching the last vaccine clinic that will be held at Beighton for the present time.
 
We have no more vaccine deliveries scheduled at the moment and so the last clinic is likely to be the 17th July 2021.
 
If you have been invited for a second dose vaccine at Beighton then please book this now so as not to miss out.
 
If you have not been invited to Beighton because you are healthy and aged under 50 years, or if you have been invited but have not booked before the 17th July, then you will need to use the national booking line by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or calling 119.
 
If it is more convenient there are also sites offering drop in vaccination in Sheffield: The Octagon Centre, offering walk-in vaccination appointments Mondays - Sundays, 8am - 5pm (first come, first served) and Primary Care Sheffield in Darnall, offering walk-in vaccination appointments Tuesdays – Fridays, 6.30pm – 9pm and Saturdays and Sundays, 9am – 4.30pm (again first come, first served).
 
Lastly we know that many people are keen to know whether there will be another (third) Covid booster that will be given. At the moment we haven’t been told whether this will happen or how it will be given. As soon as we have clear details we will share them with you to keep you informed.

 

Update regarding face to face appointments June 2021

We've had some questions about seeing a GP face to face. This post explains the thinking behind how we are working currently.
 
We recognise that this last year has been unsettling and people are keen to know what things will look like moving forwards.
 
In the past you could book a face to face GP appointment simply by asking for one. As the increasing demands have outstripped resources enormously, we got to the the point where it became a race to get appointments at 830am.
 
The people who got appointments could often have been dealt with a quick GP phone call, a receptionist, a nurse, admin staff or a pharmacist for example. And many people who could only be helped by a GP were sent away because they didn't call in time. We could not carry on like this. And we had strong continual feedback that you did not want it to carry on also.
 
The following is what we feel is the only safe way to manage our situation, giving the best care to the most people.
 
We try to get a bit of information from patients, ideally through AskmyGP or through a receptionist. We understand you may not want to say what is wrong. We can get one of the clinical team to call you.
 
As a team we try to get people to the most appropriate person to help using the best method of contact, taking into account patient preferences and what is needed medically.
 
We start many consultations by phone. Occasionally email is suitable for simple issues. Many things can be managed this way, but others can not. If we feel that seeing a patient is needed to make a good decision we bring people in for a face to face consultation. This has had to weighed up with the risk of spreading COVID.
 
So we aim to see someone face to face to diagnose or assess if someone is unwell. However we also recognise the benefits of a face to face for mental health, if someone is not coping, when there are multiple medical problems or complex symptoms. We take all of this, and patient preference into account.
 
We have never stopped seeing patients face to face. At the height of the pandemic, we had to weigh up the benefits of face to face very cautiously. Every day we still saw patients who needed it. However increasingly we are bringing more people up to the surgery. We expect the number of face to face consultations to increase considerably in the next few months.
 
We also take seriously continuity, the same clinician following through any ongoing problem. We can't do this every time but we try.
In summary, seeing a GP in the past was completely about patient preference. However over time this meant the people who most needed a GP were struggling to see one. Our current system is not perfect. But we see it as the best way to give all our patients what they need, safely, with the pressures we are facing.
 
Our understanding is that changes we have made have enabled Birley Health Centre to give great care where many surgeries are not coping. We recognise that some patients will find these changes difficult to accept. In fact many staff do also. But we felt we had no option given the pressures. We are proud of the service we are offering and have a passionate and committed team. We continue to be open to feedback about making further
improvements.
 
Dr Ben Allen
Birley Annual update video https://youtu.be/hIy-o8loDfc
Birley video about options for getting medical help

 

Goodbye to our manager Kiz

Our manger Kiz is sadly leaving us in a few weeks for a senior role at Primary Care Sheffield.
In her 5 years with us she has brought fantastic organisation and enthusiasm to Birley. She also played a lead role in getting Beighton set up and the COVID vaccination programme.
 
She is absolutely remarkable and will be missed by the team. We wish her all the best!

 

NHS app

Regarding registering for the NHS app, we are getting various questions.
 
 
 

 

Update May 2021 about how we are managing appointments

 

Thank for the amazing messages of support from so many of our patients to Dr Allen post! Your positive experiences are encouraging. We've been able to share this with our staff.
 
The main frustration we've heard in recent years has been getting an appointment. We're aware we've made great improvements in this, particularly through AskmyGP.
 
However such easy access has created it's own challenges with workload that is almost unmanageable.
 
One option is to restrict access again to 'first come first served'. We know this risk those who most need us missing out.
Our preferred option is to keep access open through AskmyGP (which includes phoning us if you don't have the internet!).
 
For this to work, we hope you can accept that we will need to make decisions about the following
-Who needs a GP
-Who could be managed by another of our staff
-If someone wants to be seen face to face and we consider this is needed, we will continue to offer this.
-Who we need to redirect to self help of another organisation, perhaps without even a phone call and
-Be willing be describe a little about the problem that can help us decide how best to help you (Only if you are comfortable with this)
 
These later options may not feel so positive as a patient, if you feel you need to talk to a GP. We will always still take your preferences into account.
We also ask that you consider if there are alternative solutions that may be a reasonable first option. We of course need to support you to know what those options may be! We're sure many of you are already doing this!
 
These two things together could enable us to continue with easy access and fantastic, safe care when you most need it.
There aren't easy answers! We are committed as a team to working with you in this.

 

Where to go if you are unwell.

 

We're aware that it can be confusing where to go to get help when you are unwell; 111, NHS.net, pharmacy, GP, walk in centre etc. This video hopefully will help you understand the options.
 
Transcription below.
 
My name is Dr Allen, one of the GPs at Birley Health centre.
 
In this video I will explain the options of where to go for help when you are unwell as this can be confusing. This includes 111, NHS online, 999, walk in centres, pharmacy and GPs. Any websites or phone numbers I mention are available in the description.
 
If you have a new problem, or need medical help and are unsure where to get help from, use 111 online or call 111. They will help or direct you. They can even book you in to A and E or a GP, day or night.
 
If you want to know more about a known medical problem that you have, try searching on the NHS website. This has reliable information on health conditions, medications and much more.
 
Use 999 in a medical emergency when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. For example signs of a heart attack or stroke, heavy bleeding that won’t stop, or severe difficulty breathing. Don’t call your GP surgery as we can not respond as quickly as the ambulance service.
 
Broadlane walk-in centre can treat minor injuries or illnesses, such as infections, cuts and rashes. They are open every day 8am to 10pm.
Pharmacies can help with medication questions, as well as minor illness such as coughs and colds, flu and red eyes.
 
For urgent dental problems you need to call your dentist or 111 if you not have one. only dentists can safely diagnose and treat dental problems.
Health visitors can offer excellent support with most common childhood health problems. The link and phone number is in the video description.
For help mental health support at any time, you can contact the Sheffield rethink helpline or Samaritans. Again links and numbers in the video description.
 
Finally there is your GP. One of our unique roles is helping patients who have a mixture of medical problems. Another role we play is where it really important to see someone who knows you. This may be that you have an ongoing medical problem or medication. One of the ways to ensure a GP is available when you need us is to consider if any other options would be suitable for you. If in doubt, using the 111 service can help you.
 
Our phones lines are open from 8.30am until 6pm every day, except on a Tuesday afternoon when our phone lines are diverted to a call centre at the NGH. If you need urgent help on a Tuesday afternoon, they will contact us.
 
The best way to get medical help from Birley health centre is to use AskmyGP on our website. If you write a little about what you need, we can find the best person to help you. If you want to know more about AskmyGP or other changes at Birley Health centre this year, please follow the a link in the description. People who cannot access the AskmyGP service can still continue to telephone the Health Centre as before.
 
If you need an appointment in an evening or a weekend, we can book people into Woodhouse or Sloan GP surgeries. This includes appointments for GPs, nurses, physios and blood tests. If you prefer this let us know as will need to arrange this for you.
 
When we are closed, GPs are still available in Sheffield all the time. If any problem can’t want until we are open, please do ring 111, who can arrange help if you need this.
So in summary, NHS online is excellent for getting more information about a known problem you have. 999 for life threatening emergencies, walk in centre Broadlane for is for minor injuries, pharmacy can help with multiple minor illnesses and health visitors help with common childhood illness. Our phones lines are open 8.30 until 6pm every day except Tuesday and we prefer to use our online access if you have internet.
 
The main take home point, if you don’t know what to do, use 111 online or call 111, any time of any day. The role of 111 IS to help you find the best way to get the care that you need.

 

 

COVID vaccine update May 2021

Covid vaccinations for people aged 18-49
 
The NHS has now started phase 2 of the covid vaccination programme, vaccinating the healthier population aged 18-49.
 
Birley Health Centre will not be offering vaccinations to this cohort of patients. You will be invited by the NHS to have your vaccination at a mass vaccination centre such as Sheffield Arena or a pharmacy, or pharmacy led site, within 45 miles.
 
Unfortunately we are unable to help with vaccination enquiries for this group of patients. When you are eligible you will be contacted by the NHS with details on how to book your appointment. Please be patient and wait for your appointment, this is the biggest vaccination programme of its kind and it will take a while for everyone to be vaccinated. The NHS aims to have given all adults the first dose of the vaccine by the end of July 2021.
 
If you have a query about an existing appointment that has been booked through the national booking service please call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. The practice is unable to help with these enquiries.
 
If you have already had your first vaccination with us, please wait to be contacted with an appointment for your second dose. We will be in touch when it is time for your second dose, please note that we may call at short notice as vaccines become available.
The vaccination site for the patients we are vaccinating is Beighton Health Centre Queens Road Beighton.

 

An apology and explanation from a Dr Ben Allen to anyone who is disappointed with us as a surgery or a profession, or who may become so in the future.

At times GPs may appear impossible to get hold of and don't listen when you do. You may feel not taken seriously or feel 'fobbed off'.
 
I can't imagine what it must be like if you're ill or worried. It is understandable to feel angry. I'm sorry if this has happened to you.
 
The cause is something that neither patients or GPs are in control of, but it is eroding the relationship between us nationally. GPs are overwhelmed by patient 'demand' and patients are angry about our service.
 
Why?
What we are expected to achieve has increased far beyond funding and staffing, year on year, for well over a decade. With medical advancements, giving quality care becomes far more complex, people live longer with multiple conditions and medications, and GP workload becomes exponentially more challenging. Hospital work shifts to GPs without funding. Each tiny change drains more time.
 
Yesterday I managed 50 patients, (many on over 10 medications) supported other staff with another 50, 100s of prescription, letters, blood tests, then tried to resolve 2 complaints that we are not doing a good enough job (which at times we are not), left loads of work I was expected to do and got home at 9pm.
 
Work in GP surgeries may not be how you imagine. In terms of communication and decision making, it is far more intense and frantic than my experience of hospital. For the money A&E receives for 2 patients, we're expected to offer you unlimited access all year. Around 42p per person per day.
 
The effects of this feels as devastating to us as it does to you. Most GPs became doctors because we care. And every day we are powerless to avoid communicating that we don't. Patients who used to adore their GP, now just feel they are an inconvenience and conclude we don't care anymore. It's so sad.
 
What can anyone do? Do consider first if you can find an alternative solution; 111 can help you find solutions, www.NHS.uk is great for known health problems or medications, and pharmacies can help with many minor illnesses or medication queries. We do benefit from knowing a bit about your problem when you call or write in, as it helps us find you the best person to help. Engage with written resources we give you.
 
Every day, we need to divide our time between the needs of all our patients. Instead of the quality, understanding, face to face conversation we would all prefer, we may need our reception to pass on messages or direct you to other services or non GP staff. This creates time for us to spend those who need us most, which I know may feel unsatisfactory when your need is genuine too.
 
When you feel let down, it may be reasonable to feel angry, but please remain respectful to staff. Abuse is a now a daily reality. Many of us can't do a better job than we're doing.
 
It may get worse yet. The most important thing is that I want us not to blame or shame one another as most patients and doctors are doing the best they can in challenging times.
 
Feel free to share outside of Birley as this is a national issue.
Dr Ben Allen, Birley Health Centre
 

Video Practice update (and transcript)

 
This is a video update with news from Birley Health Centre from the last year. If you prefer to read, the transcript is below. Feel free to leave feedback below. Dr Allen, GP Partner
 
This video is an update with our news from the last year. I will discuss our online access, changes in face to face appointments, COVID vaccines, our website and facebook, new staff and priorities for next year.
 
As the pressures on general practice have increased, we could see that the system of booking appointments as first come first served needing improving. Our new online tool, AskmyGP, enables patients to write a bit about their problem. A doctor or senior receptionist can then find the best person or service to help them. Some patients only need a written messages which is also very quick. The feedback is has been extremely positive. We do prefer patients to use AskmyGP but we know not everyone can go online and some people do still ring in.
 
Something we have heard can be frustrating is when we end requests before you have finished replying. One reason is that if we have too many open cases it can be difficult to work with. However we take this on board and discuss this with the team. You can always make another request if we have missed something important.
 
You can select which person you’d like to help you. However we still need to share the work out with who is available. We do try to take this into account wherever possible.
 
Similarly, AskmyGP software offers a preference of email, phone or face to face. Whilst we do take your preferences into account, we still need to use our judgement as to which is the most effective way to respond to your request. For example, an email reply is only effective for fairly simple queries. As you will appreciate, our ability to offer face-to-face appointments has been affected by Coronavirus pandemic.
We only bring people to the surgery where the benefits of being seen are greater than the risk of COVID transmission. When we assess someone medically, by far the most important part is talking. So we can get a lot of information from a telephone call, but we DO still see people when we think this is needed. We expect as the risk of COVID reduces, we can start bringing more more people in to the surgery and we very much look forward t that!
 
The Covid Vaccination programme continues to be delivered from the former Beighton Health Centre building and it is going really well. We have done around 15’000 1st doses and 9000 2nd doses. We could not offer vaccines at Birley as the NHS required us to work from one site with our local surgeries. This has been done on top of our usual workload. There has been uncertainties in how the vaccines have been roled out, which we recognise has been stressful at times for our patients. We have done our best to communicate what we DO know through our facebook and website. Staff and volunteers have delivered an incredible service to all our patients and there are so many people to thank for this work.
This year the changes and uncertainty have been significant. We had feedback that people felt in the dark about what was going on. Through the news section on the website and our facebook page, we have attempted to connect with you in a new way that we hope has helped with this. If you need any help in accessing either our website or Facebook, please contact us so we can help.
 
Moving onto New Staff, our Physician Associate, Katy, has been joined by another called Hannah Smail. Dr Galpin who did one day a week has left us but have two days of support from a new GP called Dr Douglas. There are photos of all our staff now on our website with descriptions of their roles, as we know this can be confusing.
 
This year we want to continue to improve our service. Top priorities include improving the phone lines, both the waiting times and sorting issues we have heard about the queueing system. We also want to improve the process for ordering prescriptions. General practice is struggling nationally to manage the needs of our patients. In many ways our online access has made this even more of a challenge, despite employing far more doctors than average at Birley. We are committed to offering excellent care despite these challenges. We’ll need to work with you on this if we are going to succeed despite the pressures we are facing.
 
We would like to restart our patient group meetings where we can discuss issues like this in person. We would also like to offer online meetings to discuss our service and perhaps even offer question and answer sessions on common medical problems. Any feedback or ideas you have would be very welcome, which you can do through our website.
 
Most of all we are looking forward to seeing far more of you at the surgery and hoping for a far better 2021.
 

A message from Dr Boyle about a fantastic organisation who support patients to make small changes that prevent , and help manage, health problems.

Dear all, you may not know but I’m a founder Trustee of The British Society of Lifestyle Medicine (BSLM). It’s an organisation that is set up to share knowledge with health professionals and society generally of small changes in lifestyle that can make a big change in health outcomes.
For example who would have believed 5 years ago that type 2 diabetes if caught early could be reversed in many! It’s a not for profit organisation.
Essentially it’s about prevention of illness , reversal where possible and amelioration of long term conditions where established
The website is full of evidence based information. I hope you enjoy engaging with BSLM. It really is enlightening. Thanks Dr Michael Boyle
 

May 16th COVID update

If you are over 11 weeks since your first COVID vaccination, and have not received a text or call about your second, please now contact the surgery so we can book you in.
 
If you are under 11 weeks please continue to wait for text message or a call as we are working through them.
 
 

How get travel certifcates


You can register for the NHS app now.
 
Instead of using the app you can contact 119 if you need a letter for travel.
 
Please don't call your GP for proof of being able to travel. They can not do this and the phone line is needed for usual care. Thank you
 

Covid vaccinations for people aged 18-49

 
The NHS has now started phase 2 of the covid vaccination programme, vaccinating the healthier population aged 18-49.
 
Birley Health Centre will not be offering vaccinations to this cohort of patients. You will be invited by the NHS to have your vaccination at a mass vaccination centre such as Sheffield Arena or a pharmacy, or pharmacy led site, within 45 miles.
 
Unfortunately we are unable to help with vaccination enquiries for this group of patients. When you are eligible you will be contacted by the NHS with details on how to book your appointment. Please be patient and wait for your appointment, this is the biggest vaccination programme of its kind and it will take a while for everyone to be vaccinated. The NHS aims to have given all adults the first dose of the vaccine by the end of July 2021.
 
If you have a query about an existing appointment that has been booked through the national booking service please call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
 
The practice is unable to help with these enquiries.
 
If you have already had your first vaccination with us, please wait to be contacted with an appointment for your second dose. We will be in touch when it is time for your second dose, please note that we may call at short notice as vaccines become available.
 
The vaccination site for the patients we are vaccinating is Beighton Health Centre Queens Road Beighton.

 

 

COVID vaccine update 27th April 2021

 
The 6 local GP Practices are continuing to work hard vaccinating eligible patients. As at 26th April 2020 we have given a total 21,084 vaccinations at Beighton Health Centre.
We are currently focusing on 1st and 2nd doses for cohorts 1-9 (all patients aged 50 and over and those 16-64 with underlying medical conditions). Click below for the list of clinical conditions that count as 'at risk'.
 
 
If you fall within either of these categories and haven’t received an invitation to have your 1st vaccination at Beighton Health Centre or at a Mass Vaccination Centres please contact us preferably using AskmyGP when we are open https://my.askmygp.uk/?c=C88025#/
 
In line with Government guidelines we are giving 2nd vaccinations as close to 11 weeks after the 1st vaccination as possible. We are currently contacting patients, via text and phone, to book 2nd vaccinations. If you had your 1st dose more than 10 weeks ago and have still not received an invitation to attend for your 2nd vaccination please contact us https://my.askmygp.uk/?c=C88025#/
 
Anyone who is housebound who had their first vaccine at home will be followed up for their second vaccine in the next 1-2 weeks if you have not already.
 
Patients under 50 will be invited to attend one of the Mass Vaccination Centres. You will receive a text/letter from NHS England explaining how you can book an appointment.
 
Our Reception Teams are working extremely hard in these unprecedented times. We appreciate it may be difficult to get through on the telephone at busy times. Please be assured we are working as hard as we can to ensure everyone is dealt with as efficiently as possible.
It has been a privilege to be involved in protecting so many of our patients. We look forward to being able to see more of you soon.
 

 

How can we recover as a community from the impact of lockdown?

 
 
As a surgery, we have been discussing how we can support those who feel they have been affected. We would like your ideas. We are aware that for many people, this year has been very difficult.
 
Below is an excellent article about how communities recover from traumatic events;
It states that it is important for people to share their experiences of the challenges with other people.
It suggests creating opportunities for people to share their experiences is important for a community to recovery well. This seems all the more important given how isolated many people have been.
 
So my question is, for anyone who thinks this could be helpful, how could this be done? We'd also be interested if you have other ideas you think would help us all to recover from this year. You can post below to enable discussion, or using the feedback link on our website if you prefer.
Thank you!
 

 https://features.kingsfund.org.uk/2021/02/covid-19-recovery-resilience-health-care/

 

COVID recovery

This resource has been developed to support individuals with their recovery from COVID-19.
 

Covid vaccine update 4/2/20

If you are over 70 and not been offered a vaccine, now is the time to contact us.
We are doing 1000 vaccinations this Sat 6th and Monday 8th.
We are expecting another large delivery of 2000 vaccines towards the end of next week and our aim to offer a vaccine by text or phone call to everyone in the top 4 priority groups as in the link below.
We have lists of all our patients in these groups and will be sending invitations by text and phone call. However most people over 70 should have been offered a vaccine by now. Please do contact us if you or do someone you know who is over 70 is yet to be contacted.
Please contact us the usual way through the following link to AskmyGP which is preferable to calling if possible. https://www.birleyhealthcentre.co.uk/appointments
 
 

 

Recommended health related books

With the dark nights and lock down, one positive thing that some people do is reading.
Over the next few weeks, we will share recommended health related books on topics such general well-being, child-parent relationships, menopause, end of life, grief and sleep. On facebook it is simply a list of titles. However there is a paragraph about each book at https://www.birleyhealthcentre.co.uk/self-help-resources
To generate this list, we have personally asked 1000’s of doctors and patients for their recommendations so hopefully it is a pretty rich list. Feel free to share with anyone may be interested.
The time health professionals have to spend with each person may unfortunately feel too short. It does to us too! Books can distill hours of expert wisdom that can benefit those who enjoy reading. We have not personally read all these books, so we can't endorse everything they say. The list is also not exhaustive.

 

Mass Vaccination Ventres 

NHS England are writing patients to invite them to attend for a covid vaccination at one of the mass vaccination centres which will likely be at FlyDSA Arena in Attercliffe.
As with our vaccinations, they will be offered in priority order and the offer is in addition to the vaccine program we are running at Beighton.
If you would prefer to attend locally for your vaccine instead, that will still be possible, please wait for the practice to contact you as you are doing already.

 

COVID vaccine FAQs

https://www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk/Your-Health/covid-19-vaccine-faqs.htm?fbclid=IwAR373_9ScD81-Tvc06OTWvdZ4RC2N0h2_P7znMuRDfzyIeR6Nu72facsX6o

 

Stop smoking service

A quick plug for the service in Sheffield that supports people to stop smoking and their short video.
It can take a few tries to quit smoking for good. But you’re a step closer to success each time you try. Make your next quit attempt this year. Text 'YSF' to 80800 to speak to a stop smoking advisor. You're 3 times more likely to quit with their support.

 

South Yorkshire Community Transport

South Yorkshire Community Transport providers offer a free return journey to a Covid-19 vaccination site for priority groups.
To book a ride to and from a vaccination site with Door-2-Door services in South Yorkshire, passengers must call once they have their vaccine appointment.
Sheffield Community Transport - 0114 285 9906
They should try to give as much notice as possible and at least one or two days before the journey itself. Operators will work hard to accommodate as many people as possible, but places are limited, and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

COVID vaccine update 17/1

We are part way through the first 1000 Pfizer vaccines. We have another 1000 Pfizer arriving tomorrow and another 1000 Pfizer AND 1200 Oxford on Thursday. We will continue vaccinating daily at least through to Sunday 24th.
Our initial Covid vaccination clinics filled up very quickly. For those of you who you received a text message but were unable to book, please try again later today as we will be adding further clinics.
If you are over 75 years old and still haven't heard from us please do not worry. We will be contacting you very soon.
We will be using the Oxford vaccines for >75 housebound patients. With our vaccinators giving 3000 vaccines a week, it helps us enormously if mobile patients can find a way to get to Beighton, even if this is inconvenient.
However any patients who lack the mobility to leave their home will of course be vaccinated with a home visit. When we contact you, we will make a plan on the phone.
Thanks for all the kind and supportive messages, it's been great for all involved to feel the community is behind them!

 

 

 

Video of Beighton vaccine site

We've made a video of a walk through of what to expect if you are getting a COVID vaccine at Beighton.
We are aware from our facebook group that there is some anxiety about the logistics of getting the jab. It is an unfamiliar surgery, many people struggle with mobility, have not been out of the house much and there are lots of unknowns.
Dr Allen made a video at Beighton today. It is not the best quality, but hopefully it will give you a little more information about what to expect and how to plan for it to go well if you are going yourself or taking someone in the next few weeks.
Please share it, especially with anyone over 70 and attends a GP at Birley, Hackenthrope, Sothall and Beighton, Crystal Peaks or Mosborough.
Again, you will need to be invited. Please do not contact your surgery, they will contact you and are working through in the order of priorities we have been given.
Many people have found it to be a positive and even emotional experience. All the best to anyone going this week!
 
 

Why Beighton?

We have had the following 2 very good and related questions about 'Why Beighton, why not vaccinate at Birley?
1) 'Could you tell us why so many practices have been grouped together for the covid vaccine and why a practice with such poor access ie.parking was chosen. With so many practices combined it will take longer for patients to receive the vaccine.' AND
2) 'Mindful that some people are not fully mobile, do not have use of cars may not be fully conversant with public transport routes etc...Can you please explain why the vaccine is not being administered at BHC?'
Our answer
All the local practices wanted to do it at their own practice! Grouping practices together is a national strategy out of our hands. We can only speculate about why. However giving a vaccine at -80 degrees is a specialist situation that we can't all do individually.
The factor limiting the number of vaccinations is not that batches are shared between multiple practices, but supply of vaccine. We're willing to give them out as quick as we get them.
The choice of venue is also complex. Partly again, out of our hands. NHS wanted a medical building for good reasons. If we gave one surgery the vaccinating role for all 6 surgeries, it could compromise care for that practice and overwhelm staff. Given all the factors, Beighton was an available medical building that seemed overall the best from the options we had.
National strategy does change. As the Oxford vaccine is less complex to store and give, there is speculation that this could be more practically achieved back at Birley. But again, that is out of our hands for now.
We are not going to get everything perfect. It is a very challenging scenario all around and many surgeries around the country simply declined to participate for many good reasons. The team is committed to doing the best job we can and we hope we can vaccinate from Birley at some point!

Covid vaccine update 15/1

Our first batch of vaccines have arrived! Around 1000 people are booked into Beighton from tomorrow (Sat) until Monday. The preparations have been a challenge but are all going as planned.
The other exciting news is that we have been offered another 1-2 deliveries, each of 1000 vaccines, for next week (beginning 18/1). We have agreed to deliver these also. We will be contacting many of our patients aged over 75 in the next few days to offer them the vaccine.
We would ask again that you don't contact us to check when you will be having it, or to ask questions about the specific vaccines you will be having. We will continue to work through in the priority that we have been given, by calling and texting patients. This is when we'll be able to answer any questions you may have.
Giving 3000 vaccines in 1 week will be a significant undertaking for our staff. The GP surgery will continue to function but we will have to prioritise patients that can not wait until the following week. We apologise in advance for anyone who experiences disruption as a result.
We hope the experience of getting the vaccine will be simple and positive for all involved!

Warning regarding fraudulent messages regarding the covid vaccination

We are aware that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.
Coronavirus vaccines are only available on the NHS. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.
- The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
- The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
- The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
- The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.

 

AskmyGP as an App

We've had questions about using AskmyGP as an app. The initial way to use AskmyGP is through your web browser ie Chrome. However with this, notifications come via your email only.
There is a way to make it function as an app on your phone with notifications. You will not find this in an 'app store'. However this link below may enable you to get the app functioning. It works on android, apple and windows.
If anyone is struggling, we can try and help. However the experts are probably some of our patients now!

COVID-19 vaccination first phase priority groups

This explains COVID-19 vaccination first phase priority groups if this is helpful. I hope we can keep you updated with where we are up to. Currently waiting for vaccines for priority 1 and 2. These people can expect us to be in touch.
First line workers need to ask their employers for the vaccine.
 
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-care-home-and-healthcare-settings-posters/covid-19-vaccination-first-phase-priority-groups?fbclid=IwAR04HIGD6aV8QjOKkhMdbDJTEgWQ3MhNOP7bXYfCT1aZRuqtsj_81O6LDbo

 

COVID vaccine update 8/1/21

 

We have now had confirmation that we are due to take delivery of our first batch of Covid vaccinations.

We will be running our first clinics on the 16th, 17th and 18th January.

Clinics will be at Beighton Medical Centre S20 1BJ.
Directions for the site are found here: https://drive.google.com/…/1h8GkgVklTqOQgf5z2De4N71Js…/view…

We will contact eligible patients by text or phone so there is no need to ring reception to book an appointment. Please do not ring to try and arrange a vaccination. We will contact you.

There is a strict priority list set by government and we will be following this closely.

Please do not worry if you don’t manage to have a vaccination in this first clinic. We are expecting the supply of vaccinations to quickly increase and we have been working hard to ensure that we can provide more and more appointments as this happens.

There is limited parking and waiting around Beighton Medical Centre so when you attend for a vaccination please don’t arrive early and please leave promptly after the 15 minute observation time that is required after your vaccination.

At the medical centre there will be strict social distancing measures in place. There are no refreshments available and patient toilet facilities will not normally be accessible on site so please be prepared for this.

You may have to que outside prior to your vaccination especially at busy times. The 15 minute observation area is inside in a waiting room and is comfortable.

 

 

National Lockdown Jan 2020

 
We are entering another national lockdown. This post is to give you some information about what this may mean for you.
 
Below is a useful link to access information on the rules regarding when you can leave home, exercise, meet with others, how to do ‘bubbles’, travel, work, childcare and financial support.
 
 
The main page for index on all the information is here
 
 
 

Information for shielding / extremely vulnerable groups (7th Jan 2020)

The Prime minister has said; “If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, we are advising you to begin shielding again and you will shortly receive a letter about what this means for you.”
 
The guidence is here. There is full guidelines and an easy read guide.
 
 
This only applies to people who have been informed previously that you are ‘clinically vulnerable’. You will receive a letter directly from the NHS about this if you are and the Health Centre cannot supply one instead. If you are NOT classed as vulnerable but you think you SHOULD be classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ you can check the criteria on the link below.
 
 
If you are not classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ the following guidelines still apply regarding work https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home
 
Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working wherever possible.
Unfortunately the Health Centre cannot supply letters to people who do not meet the shielding criteria but for various valid reasons are keen to work from home. The government guidance is clear that anyone who CAN work from home should do so. We appreciate this is a difficult time for all.
 
 

Flu update (7th Jan 2020)

 
At the time of writing we are in a national lock down to reduce demand on the NHS. Rather than this stopping our flu campaign, it actually makes it more important. Flu can be serious and lead to hospitalisation. Our drop in flu clinics continue for all eligible people. We understand possible concerns around the new 'stay at home' message. However flu vaccines are a valid and positive reason to leave home. We will take care to ensure social distancing and mask wearing.
 
We continue to offer flu vaccinations, now including all 50-64 year olds.
 
We have 2 drop in flu clinics planned. No appointment needed. Eligibility below.
Monday 11th Jan 2021 4-6pm
Tuesday 12th Jan 2021 2-4pm
 
Most afternoons we can accommodate you if you can not come to our drop in, please request on the following page.
If you are eligible but you DO NOT want the flu jab, please let us know as the NHS asks that we either give the vaccine or record that you do not want it.
 
Here is a summary of who can have the flu jab free:
everyone aged 50 and over
all children who are two- and three- year-old on 31 August 2020
everyone living in a residential or nursing home
everyone who cares for an older or disabled person
household members of anyone on the NHS Shielded Patient List
all frontline health and social care workers
all children in primary school or year 7 are eligible but are arranged through their school.
all pregnant women are eligible but are arranged through maternity services
 
You are ALSO eligible for the free flu vaccine at Birley if you have a long-term condition as listed on our website.
 
Below is a video from Dr Allen with more details about the flu jab.

We need your feedback!

 
Your feedback is essential for us to improve the services we provide for our patients and to enable Birley to be the best that it can be.
We would love to hear from you if you have a suggestion on how we can do things better to improve your experience.
Rather than using Facebook for feedback, please use this form on our website. We may post some suggestions back on to the Facebook to discuss further.
Thank you!
 
 

Flu clinics

 
We continue to offer flu vaccinations, now including all 50-64 year olds.
We have 3 drop in flu clinics planned for the new year. No appointment needed. Eligibility below.
 
Tuesday 5th Jan 2021 2-4pm
Monday 11th Jan 2021 4-6pm
Tuesday 12th Jan 2021 2-4pm
 
Most afternoons we can accommodate you if you can not come to our drop in, please request on the following page.
If you are eligible but you DO NOT want the flu jab, please let us know as the NHS asks that we either give the vaccine or record that you do not want it.
 
 
Here is a summary of who can have the flu jab free:
 
everyone aged 50 and over
all children who are two- and three- year-old on 31 August 2020
everyone living in a residential or nursing home
everyone who cares for an older or disabled person
household members of anyone on the NHS Shielded Patient List
all frontline health and social care workers
all children in primary school or year 7 are eligible but are arranged through their school.
all pregnant women are eligible but are arranged through maternity services
 
You are ALSO eligible for the free flu vaccine at Birley if you have a long-term condition as listed on our website.
 
Below is a video from Dr Allen with more details about the flu jab.
 
 
 

How can we best share our news and updates with patients who don't have the internet?

We have some ideas but are keen to know what other ideas are out there?
We don't want anyone feeling left behind. Thanks
 
 
 

Dr Allen has created a video that explains some of the principles of pain relief.

As it states, it is not intended to replace a conversation with the surgery. However it may help you better understand medications you have taken, what options may be available and which medications may be the most suitable. It also explains how to best take them safely.
 
 

We wanted to give you an update on the COVID vaccination programme.

 
We have limited information but this is what we know. At this stage, the initial vaccinations for our 6 local GP surgeries will be given from Beighton Health Centre, Queens Road, S20 1BJ.
We expect to receive 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in early January but the date is not yet confirmed. A second dose will be needed 3 weeks later.
 
The NHS asked us to deliver the vaccine to patients from our 6 local practices at a single dedicated site. Beighton Health centre was chosen as a suitable previous GP building. This would enable all our practices to continue to function as surgeries.
 
The over 80’s are the most vulnerable to COVID infection and so a national decision has been made to vaccinate them first. As soon as we have a confirmed date for the vaccine deliver, we will start contacting those who could be in this first group. We ask everyone to be patient and wait to be contacted.
 
At the point the vaccine is offered to you personally, we will give up to date information about the details of the particular vaccine, your personal eligibility and risks. The brand of vaccine offered may change over time. The details we know about the vaccine may also change over time.
 
The vaccine for some will be exciting and for others daunting. It is certainly logistically challenging and we will try to keep you updated.

Face coverings exemptions

 
We get many questions about Face coverings exemptions. The government has covered this in their guidelines here. I'm afraid it is not part of our NHS work to provide letters for exemptions covered here. You could print out the guidelines if having something official give you some security about being challenged.
 
 
 
Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own
 
Section of the guidelines below
 
'Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances. Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.
 
This includes (but is not limited to):
children under the age of 11 (Public Health England does not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others ‒ including if it would negatively impact on your ability to exercise or participate in a strenuous activity'