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New Socially Distanced Flu Clinics

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Frome Medical Practice has announced details of their forthcoming autumn Flu Clinic programme. 

However, the practice manager, Karen Creffield, is keen to point out right at the outset that this year’s programme will be delivered in a very different way.

She said, “The safety and health of both our staff and patients is paramount. We have worked extremely hard to ensure that when our patients visit us, they do so knowing that they are entering a safe and secure environment. Social distancing will of course apply. In the months ahead, we will also be calling on our patients to help as much as they can to contribute to the success of the flu vaccination programme, so hopefully the following guidelines will help.”

When are the flu clinics

 Appointment dates start from 21st September. These Flu Clinics will include early morning appointments from 7.30am to 8.30am and also evening appointments from 6pm to 7.40pm. There will also be a series of Saturday afternoon clinics which will start on 26th September. 

How do I book an appointment?          

This year there is expected to be very high demand for the vaccine. Texts and notifications will be sent out from the practice confirming your eligibility. Once you hear from the practice, then please telephone the practice on 01373 301301 after 2pm to make your appointment. Please avoid calling for your Flu Clinic booking first thing in the morning when the call demand is at its peak.

Who Is Eligible?  

Invites will be sent out as a staged process over the next few weeks to patients who are eligible for the flu vaccination. The practice will be contacting their shielded patients first, together with others who are at high risk, including pregnant women and carers. Please be aware that the vaccines the practice has available from September will be suitable for the over 65s and under 65s with a long term condition. If patients also need a vaccination for pneumonia, the practice will not be offering this vaccine alongside the Flu Clinics this year. Instead, the practice will be holding some special clinics for this. If you are eligible for this vaccine then you will be invited to attend one of the early September clinics. The practice will also be contacting patients about childhood flu vaccinations not covered by the schools programme.  Clinics for these will be available from 12th September.

Patients Aged 50-64  

Vaccines need to be ordered by GP practices over nine months in advance of delivery dates. The practice therefore currently do not have the vaccines for the much publicised over 50s group or for anticipated additional demand due to Covid-19. It is understood that additional vaccines for the 50-64 age group are being sorted by NHS England and the practice is currently awaiting information and instructions on when and how these vaccines will be available for this specific age group. The practice do not expect this to happen till January 2021. 

Patients will be advised as and when more information becomes available. Patients are asked not to contact the practice regarding the over 50s vaccines. Instead, the practice will contact eligible patients once the practice is able to offer the flu vaccine to this group.

Arriving at the Practice-How Can You Help?                      

As is the current requirement for patients entering the building, please wear a face covering. This may be a face mask, scarf or even a bandana. Please arrive promptly ten minutes before your appointment time and do not enter the building before this time. Patients are asked to wear appropriate clothing (ie a t-shirt or short sleeved shirt under an easily removable coat if needed) so that the upper arm is ready for the vaccination before going to see the clinician. Patients should use the toilet before travelling for their appointment.

If You Can No Longer Attend Your Appointment

As the practice will be vaccinating large numbers of the town’s population, appointment times will be highly sought after. If a patient cannot attend an appointment for whatever reason, then please let the surgery know so that the appointment slot can be offered to someone else. As with all appointments at present, if any patient has a fever, cough or has lost sense of taste or smell then please cancel that appointment.

Karen added, “‘Hopefully all of the above guidelines will help all of our patients, This year more than ever we are very much relying on the goodwill of our patients and I know that this will be forthcoming. 

“During the next few months we shall of course be regularly updating our patients on developments via our own website, social media platforms and of course the local media outlets.”

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