Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Welcome to East Cliff Practice

We hope you find this website both useful and informative.

If you have any comments or suggestions about this site, or how it can be improved, please Contact Us.

Practice building

 

Covid-19 Vaccinations

Please do not contact the surgery with queries regarding the Covid-19 vaccination. We will be contacting patients as soon as we know more from NHS England as to who is eligible to invite for vaccination. See below for further information.

 

Latest News

  • Influenza Vaccine
  • Coronavirus Vaccine
  • E-Consultations
  • Text messaging service
  • A plea to be an understanding patient
  • Monthly Health Awareness Campaign
  • Accessible Information
  • Surgery News

 

Influenza Vaccine

There has been an unprecedented demand for a Flu vaccination this year. We exhausted our supply of vaccines early in the season which would normally have lasted us for the whole winter season. We placed an order for a further supply of vaccinesand to date have vaccinated almost 4,000 East Cliff patients. Flu vaccines are still available to anyone over 50. Please contact the practice should you wish to receive a vaccination.

 

Coronavirus Vaccine

The five Ramsgate practices, Dashwood, East Cliff, The Grange, Newington and Summerhill are working together to deliver the vaccine programme. Between the five practices we care for over 51,000 patients across Ramsgate.

The Montefiore Medical Centre which houses both East Cliff and the Grange practices has been designated as the main vaccine site for Ramsgate although more recently each practice has been making arrangements to vaccinate their own patients.

Patients of Dashwood, East Cliff and Summerhill will be offered a vaccination at East Cliff Surgery or at their own surgery. 

Patients of The Grange and Newington will be offered a vaccination at The Grange Surgery or at Newington Surgery.

Some patients may also have been invited and attended a dedicated vaccine hub.

We are inviting patients based on the national priority list. Please be patient and wait to be contacted by your own surgery about when the vaccine is available for you. (See below). There will be home visits arranged for housebound patients.

Please read the questions and answers below about our local vaccination service. Our phone lines are very busy; please help us to keep lines open for people needing to make appointments for other health matters.

Which priority group are you currently inviting?

As of the 29th March :

Between the 5 practices we have delivered a total of 14,537 doses of vaccine.

We are working through the first 9 groups identified as priority groups and awaiting central guidance on when we can commence vaccinating groups 10 to 12 (18-49 year olds).

For East Cliff patients we have achieved the following percentages for 1st dose vaccines:

1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers 100.00%

2. All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers 98.1%

3. All those 75 years of age and over 96.9%

4. All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals 94.5%

5. All those 65 years of age and over 89.9%

6. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality 82.8%

7. All those 60 years of age and over 93.0%

8. All those 55 years of age and over 87.8%

9. All those 50 years of age and over 81.6%

If you fall within one of those groups and have not been contacted or you have changed your mind about having the vaccination please contact the surgery you are registered with. 

We have been involved in discussions with other Thanet practices about joining a central vaccine hub in the middle of Thanet. Whilst this remains an option the Ramsgate practices felt on balance it was better to continue to work together to offer patients access to vaccinations locally in Ramsgate. 

You may separately be contacted by NHS England offering the option of travelling even further for a vaccination. We are aware that letters have gone out offering the option of attending a centre in Folkestone and that other centres are being planned in other parts of Kent. In some instances some patients have been invited to attend a centre as far away as Swindon which we understand has been sent out in error. Rest assured we are doing all we can to safely administer as many vaccines locally as we can and to continue to offer you a local option for vaccination.

How are you contacting people to invite them for a vaccine?

We are telephoning patients in the first instance, this allows us to ask some screening questions and explain arrangements at the appointment and answer any questions.

If I cannot attend an appointment what should I do?

If you have received and accepted an invitation for a Covid-19 vaccine we would strongly encourage you to prioritise coming to the appointment. If for unavoidable reasons you cannot make it please call your practice to cancel so that we can invite someone else.

Why is this process so complicated?

Please be assured we are prioritising this programme and committing all available staff to this effort as well as recruiting bank staff and volunteers. All of these staff need to be screened and trained. A significant proportion of staff are working extra hours to ensure this programme runs smoothly.

We are dependent upon vaccine supply. At the moment this is centrally decided and we only receive notification of delivery a few days in advance making it challenging to plan clinics. We administer the vast majority of vaccine stock we receive within two days of them arriving at the surgery. If more stock were available we would increase our efforts to vaccinate more people sooner.

This is not like a flu vaccination programme. There are distinct differences in how the different vaccines are managed and handled.  Typically with flu vaccines we receive prefilled syringes. The Covid Vaccines come in vials and require careful handling and drawing up into syringes meaning the process takes longer.

Additionally with the Pfizer vaccine, patients are required to wait 15 minutes after their vaccination meaning we have a slower flow of patients through the clinics.

All practices remain open and we are having to manage the same daily workload alongside running the vaccination programme.

What is the order of patients you are vaccinating? 

See the priority groups listed above. We are awaiting news on when we can start vaccinating group 10 (40-49 year old), group 11 (30-39 year old) and group 12 (18-29 year old)

We will update this website when we have further news. 

 

E-Consultations

We are now offering E-Consultions which will allow you to have electronic consultations with your Doctor or other clinician as well as accessing advice and information on different problems and conditions. To access this simply click on the most appropriate option on the blue pop up on this website. We hope that this will reduce some of the frustration and long waits when trying to contact us via the telephone. We will aim to respond as quickly as possible and by at least by close of play the next working day but please understand we are launching this additional service at a time of increased demand and with fewer staff.

 

eConsult Patient Facing Video

 

eConsult Patient Facing Video (with audio and sub-titles)

 

How to upload a Photo while submitting an eConsult

 

Text messaging service

Do we have your up to date mobile details? We are now using a new text messaging service calle AccuRx to send messages. The messages can include electronic clinks which will allow you to have video consultations with he doctor and even electronic copies of fit notes. You can use our new E-Consult service to tell us of any changes to mobile numbers (use the 'Request fit notes and GP letters, or ask about recent test result option').

Please ensure we have up to date details as we may use this to communicate details of the various vaccination programmes as information becomes available.

 

A plea to be an understanding patient

It is very sad that whilst we are doing our best to maintain a service during the most difficult of times our staff are reporting higher levels of rudeness and abuse from patients.

We do appreciate that this is a very difficult time for all of us, both patients and staff, who are having to cope with increased frustration, pressure and stress. We would respectfully remind patients not to abuse NHS staff as they are doing their best to help you under very difficult circumstances.

We do adhere to the NHS Zero tolerance guidance and will de-register patients who abuse our staff.

 

Monthly Health Awareness Campaign

Apirl Health Awareness - Bowel Cancer

Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK. Most people diagnosed with it are over the age of 60.

Symptoms of bowel cancer

The 3 main symptoms of bowel cancer are:

  • persistent blood in your poo – that happens for no obvious reason or is associated with a change in bowel habit
  • a persistent change in your bowel habit – which is usually having to poo more and your poo may also become more runny
  • persistent lower abdominal (tummy) pain, bloating or discomfort – that's always caused by eating and may be associated with loss of appetite or significant unintentional weight loss

Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. For example:

  • blood in the poo when associated with pain or soreness is more often caused by piles (haemorrhoids)
  • a change in bowel habit or abdominal pain is usually caused by something you've eaten
  • a change in bowel habit to going less often, with harder poo, is not usually caused by any serious condition – it may be worth trying laxatives before seeing a GP

These symptoms should be taken more seriously as you get older and when they persist despite simple treatments.

Read about the symptoms of bowel cancer

When to get medical advice

See a GP If you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer for 3 weeks or more.

The GP may decide to:

  • examine your tummy and bottom to make sure you have no lumps
  • arrange for a simple blood test to check for iron deficiency anaemia – this can show whether there's any bleeding from your bowel that you have not been aware of
  • arrange for you to have a simple test in hospital to make sure there's no serious cause of your symptoms

Make sure you see a GP if your symptoms persist or keep coming back after stopping treatment, regardless of their severity or your age. You'll probably be referred to hospital.

Read about diagnosing bowel cancer

 

Accessible Information

We want to get better at communicating with our patients.

We want to make sure you can read and understand the information we send you.

If you find it hard to read our letters or if you need someone to support you at appointments, please let us know.

Please tell the receptionist if you need information in a different format or communication support.

For see our accessible information page for more information.

 

Surgery News

  • Changes at East Cliff Practice
  • Certificates and Letters

 

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Changes at East Cliff Practice

We would like to advise patients that we have completed a merger with Invicta Health Community Interest Company.

Background

There are several changes coming to the way in which primary care is organised. More money is promised to the NHS in exchange for operating in both larger units and with changed ways of working and delivering patient care at a local level.

Our surgery partners have been considering together how best to secure the future care of our patients. To make sure everyone benefits from these planned changes we realise that we need to be part of a larger organisation but have wanted to implement this whilst keeping the feel of current practice.

After careful investigation of the possibilities by our partners, we have now joined Invicta Health Community Interest Company, a local provider of primary care services. Both organisations have a common aspiration to provide excellent primary care alongside training staff at all levels.

The Benefits

We will continue to provide patient care alongside inputting into the wider vision of Invicta Health CIC.

In the short term, we will be working to standardise working processes and patients will benefit from investment in improved systems and options to access care through increased use of technology.

In the longer term, all will benefit from the opportunities that come from being part of a larger organisation.

This merger will also give the practice an enhanced ability to cope with NHSE long term plans as well as the increasing regulatory demands. We believe this is an exciting opportunity which we must take advantage of given the current challenges facing general practice both locally and nationally.

 

Certificates and letters

We are having to prioritise urgent issues over more routine work and we ask for your understanding and support if these take longer than they would otherwise.

The NHS and the Department for Work and Pensions, is now live for patients to be emailed a digital isolation note. Isolation notes provide patients with evidence for their employers that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work. As isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor, this will reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes. The notes can be accessed through the NHS website and NHS 111 online. After answering a few questions, an isolation note will be emailed to the user. If they don’t have an email address, they can have the note sent to a trusted family member or friend, or directly to their employer. The service can also be used to generate an isolation note on behalf of someone else.

Please also note that letters that have been sent out centrally by NHS England to those patients considered very high risk if exposed to Covid 19 and should self isolate for 12 weeks. These have not been co-ordinated by the practice. The practice is separately identifying patients who our GPs consider may be at very high risk and they will be contacted separately.

 

Job Vacancies

We currently have a vacancy for:

GP

 

See our jobs page to find out more and apply

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