An Update from Burwell Surgery - May 2021
We did not see any Covid-19 positive tests in patients registered with this practice in April and May (after having 4 in March).
As of Friday 14th May Addenbrooke’s were treating 3 patients who are confirmed positive with Covid-19, none of which were in critical care.
At the time of writing the easing of lockdown went ahead on Monday, 17th May https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-easing-of-covid-restrictions-confirmed-for-17-may
It is as yet unclear what effect that the so called ‘Indian Variant’ is going to have on the situation and planned easing for June 21st. Unfortunately there are likely to be a number of future similar spikes of cases due to new variants and the hope is that local measures such as widespread testing and accelerated vaccination campaigns can be used to contain these without having to resort to more widespread lockdown measures. We will have to see.
What we are seeing: Along with most practices we have been exceptionally busy over the last 6-8 weeks with ‘non-covid-19’ issues. We are getting the sense that many people are now getting more confident coming forwards with problems that they have been living with for a quite a while over the Covid-19 pandemic. We are doing our best to deal with this surge of demand but as a result of this we have made a few changes to our service:
1) We have switched off access to askmyGP over the weekend. We were finding that we were coming in to a large number of calls on a Monday morning, some of which probably would have been more appropriately dealt with by the ‘urgent’ medical service provided by 111 over the weekend.
2) We are still aiming to deal with the majority of calls on the same day of receiving them. All calls are triaged by a doctor within a few minutes of receiving them to ensure that we deal with urgent calls first. If a call comes in late in the day (usually after 5pm), we may choose to deal with this the next day if we do not consider it to be urgent.
3) We can still usually see you on the same or next day if you need a face to face appointment after the initial triage assessment.
Covid-19 Vaccinations: The latest information regarding the exceptionally rare issue relating to clots and the AstraZeneca vaccination is on:
We have now started vaccinating people aged in their late 30’s so most of the clinics available will be offering the Pfizer vaccine (as this is the vaccine approved by the Government Vaccination Group for under 40’s).
Future plans for Covid-19 vaccinations: We are continuing to support the vaccination programme being run in Soham and Ely. It is possible that you may also be offered a vaccination in one of the National Vaccination Centres in Cambridge or Newmarket.
Local NHS services: Unfortunately there are considerable waits for many ‘non urgent’ services however at least most specialities are up and running and routine surgery is happening.
I am pleased to report that there is now a local specialist service available to support patients who are suffering long Covid-19 symptoms.
We know that up to 10% of patients who have had Covid-19 infection, suffer from long Covid-19 symptoms. They can be both severe and debilitating including, breathlessness, loss of taste and smell, pain, depression and anxiety, difficulty in concentration. This website https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/ is a good initial source of advice.
If you are suffering significantly from these symptoms and think that you would benefit from specialist help please contact us. The referral process involves an initial triage assessment by a specialist nurse. Then, depending on the problem I understand that you could be directed to appropriate specialist medical teams and therapists.
At the Surgery: We are operating a pretty full service now. We are currently only seeing about 10% of patient contacts face to face. Whilst this will remain very appropriate for many consultations I am hopeful that this percentage will gradually increase as we move forwards – assuming that the Covid-19 numbers stay low.
We now have a physiotherapist based at the surgery one day a week for the acute assessment and management of musculoskeletal problems. We will direct appropriate calls for him to call back from askmyGP.
It feels that one of our main constraints is capacity for offering blood test appointments. These are still not available at Newmarket hospital so we are grateful if as many people as possible could continue to use the drive through blood testing service that Addenbrooke’s run at the Newmarket Road Park and Ride (near Cambridge airport). Our Extended Access Service is also available for blood testing. To book an appointment using this service, please contact one of our Receptionists: 01638 741234.
Best wishes to you all.
Dr Alex Manning, Partner