FLU VACCINATIONS 2020/21
This year the way in which we coordinate our Flu Clinics has changed due to the huge impact of COVID-19.
What is the flu?
The Flu is a highly infectious virus that infects the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause serious illness and even death in vulnerable groups. Some people with pre-existing conditions are more likely to develop potential serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Who is eligible for the flu vaccine this year?
You can have the flu vaccine if you are:
- Aged 65 or over
- Aged under 65 and have a medical condition
- Living in a residential or nursing home
- Caring for an older or disabled person
- Household contacts of anyone on the NHS Shielded Patient List
- Frontline health and social care worker
- Aged 2-3 years old (for most children, the vaccine will be given as a spray in each nostril)
- In primary school (provided by the School Nurse)
- Year 7 secondary school student (provided by the School Nurse)
- Aged 50-64 – Please note those in this new eligible group will be offered the vaccine later in the season as we will be vaccinating the very vulnerable first. Please check in with us after 1st November 2020. For further information on eligibility visit Flu Vaccine - NHS information
How can I book an appointment?
If you are eligible for a flu vaccination you will receive an invitation by letter or text message to book an appointment by telephone when the clinics become available.
At the time of booking your appointment, the receptionist will advise you of the following;
- Where to attend and any specific COVID -19 / Social distancing measures in place
- To wear a face covering
- To wear short sleeves if possible
- To attend at your allocated appointment time- If you are running late you will not be seen after your appointment time and will need to reschedule
- If you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 you must not attend your appointment, you must self-isolate and get a test
What safety measures are in place to keep me safe before, during and after my appointment?
Your safety is important to us and the following measures have been put in place to keep all patients and staff safe;
- All patients will be advised to wear a face covering
- All patients attending will be asked a series of questions to identify if they or anyone in their household is experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone experiencing potential symptoms will be asked to leave immediately, self-isolate and get a test
- Clear signs and social distancing markers will be in place in and around the surgery
- There will be a limited number of patients in the building at any one time
- All clinicians and patient facing staff members will be following the latest infection control guidance.
This Year there will not be a walk in flu clinic.
We are running bookable clinics from 13th October 2020. All flu appointments must be booked by calling reception on 01787 378226.
In order to protect our vulnerable patients and ensure social distancing, patients will be allocated a time slot to attend for their vaccination. First clinics will be prioritised for our most vulnerable patient groups.
Later in the year the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn.
However if you’re aged 50-64 and in at-risk group, you should not delay having your flu vaccine.
Visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/ for further information.
Urgent Information Regarding Blood Test
We have an urgent situation with being able to complete some blood tests. This is caused by our supplier, Roche, being unable to deliver some chemicals needed for this process. This is a national problem.
We need to prioritise clinically urgent tests. This means that if you are having a regular blood test, it may be delayed. We are very sorry about this.
If you are worried and you have been told your blood test is urgent, please contact the person who referred you, your GP or your Consultant.
Managing queries will mean that your Practice or Hospital team is busier than ever – please be as patient as possible – they will be working incredibly hard to support you.
National teams are working with Roche to sort this problem out and we will keep everyone updated as the situation changes.
We do understand that this may worry you and is very inconvenient, so please do get in touch with our PALS team if you wish to discuss this further. Their number is: FREEPHONE 0800 389 6819
Your Practice and Clinical Commissioning Team
Face Coverings - Important Information
We are asking all patients to provide their own face covering when entering the practice. This can be a mask, scarf, bandanna or handkerchief.
The Surgery will now only permit access for patients the GP considers essential to be seen. Everyone will be offered a telephone call or can complete an eConsult available on our website home page;
We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.Letters of exemption (face covering)
or their travel companies website:
Antibody testing for Coronovirus
Antibody testing is now available for patients who are having blood tests. If you wish to have the antibody test done you will need to book an appointment to discuss this with a nurse.
eConsult is now live
Next time you feel unwell or have a request for the practice, use eConsult online for free, 24/7.
Visit our practice website to begin.
What can you use eConsult for?
Contact your own GP for medical advice Administrative requests e.g. fit notes, GP letters, test results
Search for trusted NHS self-help advice
Our team review every request and will get back to you by the end of the next working day
Managing your Medication during Covid-19
The dispensary at Long Melford Surgery is only open
Monday – Friday between 14:00 -17:30 for the collection of medication
The Practice WILL NOT be issuing printed prescriptions for the foreseeable future and unless we dispense to you from the Surgery all prescriptions will be sent electronically to the pharmacy. Please ensure you prepare for this change by making sure you have a nominated pharmacy. This can be done by contacting your nominated pharmacy or online via Patient Access.
Please allow at least THREE WORKING DAYS from the time you order your medication until the time you collect/expect delivery.
If you are having difficulty collecting your prescriptions from the dispensary or pharmacy due to self-isolating or protective shielding measures please let us or your pharmacy know.
The Practice does not reply to emails. For all medication queries please telephone the Practice and request a call back from a member of the practice dispensary team.
Electronic Repeat Dispensing
The Practice is currently reviewing all patients on repeat medication for the suitability of electronic repeat dispensing.
Your nominated pharmacy will inform you if you have been issued with a series of repeat prescriptions, in-line with electronic repeat dispensing. Essentially this means your pharmacy or the Surgery dispensary will prepare your medication each month without your having to make a request.
For further information on electronic repeat dispensing, please click on the following link:
If you have any questions regarding repeat dispensing, please either contact your local pharmacy or request a telephone call back from the dispensary team.
Transparency Notice for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19)
This practice is supporting vital coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital. Please see Further information.
Text messaging system
MJOG, our text messaging system is now live! Text messages will be sent to confirm appointment times, remind you about appointments you have booked and give you the option to cancel your appointment by sending a text back.
In order to have MJOG used effectively and in the best way we can we need YOU to help us by keeping us up to date with your current mobile numbers. You can let us know over the phone if your number has changed or we have a short form you can fill out in the surgery. If you are not sure whether we have your mobile or the correct number, please don't hesitate to ask the receptionist, either over the phone or in person, to check to see if your details are up to date.
If you do not wish to have text messages sent to you, all we need is written and signed confirmation specifically stating that you want to opt out. Once we have this, messages will no longer be sent to your mobile.
Dispensary email address
The email address for patients wishing to order their repeat prescriptions is email@example.com.
Summary Care Record (SCR)
See the section on Summary Care Records to find out about what is included, who will be able to access it and what to do if you do not want a summary care record created.
Out Of Area Registrations
Some of you may be aware that NHS England has been working towards introducing a scheme to allow GP Surgeries to accept out of area registrations. The scheme which was due to be introduced in October 2014 has been postponed until 5th January 2015. The reason is to allow NHS England time to ensure that all arrangements are in place for patients to access urgent care when needed.
Long Melford Practice has not yet decided whether or not it will participate in the scheme. At present we have decided that we will not be taking part in accepting patients from outside our area as we have not been given enough assurances on how patients who live elsewhere would access health care in the event of an emergency or if they required a home visit.
We will continue to review the situation as we receive more information. The Partners and staff at Long Melford Practice are committed to providing quality patient care, safely & until we feel confident that any new systems will protect or improve patient safety, then we will not proceed.
See the section on Care.data to find out how some of your data may be used by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)
Patient Access Password Security
Patient Access users will receive an email over the next 3 weeks to inform them of updates to their security measures by the end of July. Users will be asked to set up a five-digit security PIN code and also, optionally to provide a mobile phone number.
Please contact the Patient Access Support team with any questions.
Welcome to The Long Melford Practice
We would like to say THANK YOU to all our patients for their forbearance during this COVID 19 outbreak. We appreciate the difficulties and challenges you are facing and we are doing all we can to support you and keep you safe.
We are a partnership of four Doctors. We work from two modern purpose-built premises at Long Melford and Lavenham. We are pleased to also have additional GPs on our staff. Our clinical team also includes five Nurses and two Health Care Assistants.
Our Practice Manager, Nicola Whitehead welcomes your comments and suggestions and will be happy to assist with any enquiries or problems.
If you require urgent medical advice when the surgery is closed please dial 111
If the matter is life threatening please dial 999
Surgery Opening Times
Weekdays: 8.00 am - 6.30 pm
Weekdays: 8.00 am - 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm - 6.30 pm
Dispensary Opening Times
Please note during the COVID19 outbreak The Dispensary is only open for collection of prescriptions between 2 - 5:30 pm Monday -Friday
The Dispensary is open
Monday – Friday 8.30 am - 1.00 pm and 2.00pm - 6.30 pm
The Long Melford Branch Practice
36 Church Street
(click for map)