Burwell Surgery Update 26th March 2021
Local Covid situation
These are the number of positive Covid 19 tests from our registered patients in recent months:
Currently in Addenbrookes they are only treating 5 patients who are confimed positive with Covid 19 as of March 25th 3 of which are in critical care. Clearly a much improved situation
I have heard it said that the pandemic modelling academics in Imperial college are 80% confident that we won’t have a 3rd wave. Let’s hope that they are correct and that our more developed vaccination programme stops us going the way that continental Europe seem to be at the moment.
It would be great to be able to assess the effect that each stage of the opening of the lockdown door has before we open it up further. However we are all so needing to resume some sense of normality for so many reasons that this may not happen. It does feel like there is a considerable gap between where we are now and some of the big public gatherings planned over the summer.
The current ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary
What we are seeing
We are lot of mental health pressures created by the lockdown/Pandemic. Some of our younger people are struggling with the transient back to face to face learning. This may be a dress rehearsal for the rest of us learning to interact with the real world again in the next few months.
We are currently offering vaccinations to everyone who is in groups 1-9 of the governments priority groups. This is everyone over the age of 50 and those with ‘at risk conditions’ aged over 16.
We have got quite a long way to go in these groups (see the updates from the vaccination programme below on the website) and of course many second doses to give. It is difficult to know how long this is going to take as it largely depends on the supplies of vaccine we are given.
Second vaccinations are mainly being given approximately 10 weeks after the first vaccination. You will be contacted in the same way that you were for the first vaccination (ie by a text or telephone). It would be helpful if you don’t contact us prior to this as we will always be getting in touch with you as soon as an appointment is available for you. This is difficult to anticipate as it very much depends on vaccine supply.
Some people have had their vaccinations in one of the national vaccination centres (rather than the system that our surgery is involved with in Soham and Ely). They operate a different system and tend to contact by letter and may give you an appointment for your second vaccination when you attend for your first vaccination.
Future plans for Covid vaccinations
With our colleagues in neighbouring practices (in an organisation called the ‘Ely Primary Care Network’), we are currently in negotiations with the government to provide vaccinations for everyone between the ages of 18-50 (who has not already been vaccinated). Clearly we have to complete cohorts 1-9 first.
I think that it is likely that we will be doing this but I don’t know when we will start this group. There are talks of booster doses to cover new variants and there are trials going on vaccinating children. We don’t know anything official yet as to future directions of the vaccination programme. Sounds like we could be doing lots of vaccinating for quite a while to come!
Local NHS services
There is no doubt that there are significant waits and backlogs as a result of the 2 pandemic waves. All cancer related pathways and urgent surgery are happening normally. Plans are being developed to prioritise and work through the backlog.
Newmarket hospital are still not offering blood tests for Cambridgeshire patients because of Covid staffing constraints. So we have been asking people to go to the drive through service that Addenbrookes run at the Newmarket road Park and Ride (near Cambridge airport).
I think that the message would be if you are waiting for an appointment or test please do let us know if you symptoms get worse – and tell us again if they keep getting worse. We can find ways round the system to speed things up under these circumstances.
At the surgery
We are kind of doing OK at the surgery but there is no doubt that this has been a tough time for all of the staff here. We still have some covid staff impacts and as a small team we have all felt the ripples of this. I hope that you have not noticed too much change to the service that you get, and this is because of the incredibly hard work of all of surgery staff over the last 12 months.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone. It really has been a huge effort.
We are operating a pretty full service now. We have not yet however yet set a date for restarting fitting contraceptive coils and implants. We will align with other local providers and hope to start again soon.
Can I encourage anyone who is under an Addenbrookes consultant and requires regular blood tests to sign up to the excellent Mychart service on (if you are not already): https://mychart.addenbrookes.nhs.uk/MyChart/signup
Once signed up you will be able to access all hospital blood results and also send direct messages electronically to your hospital team. This is particularly important if you have a Rheumatological or Gastroenterology diagnosis that requires you to take tablets or injections that suppress your immune system. Don’t sign up to it if you are not under a Consultant at Addenbrookes please….
Our ‘Primary Care Group’ have employed new staff who have been working closely with us. We have had pharmacists and ‘Social prescribers’ for some time. ‘Social prescribers’ work to maximise the potential of ‘non clinical services’ for patients including community, voluntary and charitable services. We now have a health coaching service and from next month we will be having a physiotherapist working in the surgery one day a week.
We are excited to see what opportunities that these new staff may bring to help improve the service that we can give you all.
The days are getting longer, Spring is coming and like everyone else, I am really looking forward to the prospect of some aspects of life returning nearer to something like normal.
Best wishes to you all.