COVID-19

COVID VACCINATION PASSPORT

Please see website information on attached link updated 10/8/21

Vaccine Passports – Powys Teaching Health Board (nhs.wales)

***www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus – for updated advice 15/4/21***

Coronavirus Testing Units open 7 days a week to protect communities from new variant of the virus. 9/2/21

Powys residents aged 70+, including vulnerable people and frontline health and care staff have passed 33,000 vaccinations, a significant milestone for the mass vaccination programme.

The mass roll out of the vaccine in Powys has been nothing short of amazing, with staff and volunteers going above and beyond to ensure people are given the opportunity to be vaccinated at the earliest opportunity. However, all this hard work could be undone if people become complacent around social distancing and personal hygiene following their vaccination.

The new variant of the virus can spread more easily, and has been circulating everywhere in Wales since early January. The new variant is significantly more infectious, and if we do not take extra care, this variant will continue to spread amongst our communities.

National and local mobile test units and staff have been tirelessly testing people all across Powys for nearly a year, ensuring residents have a fast and accurate test within 24hrs. With a new variant that can pass more easily between people, the testing teams are urging people to continue to their nearest testing unit if they become unwell with any of the signs and symptoms which are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste. Powys Teaching Health Board are continuing to engage with Welsh Government and NHS Wales colleagues to develop further testing options which aim to control the virus.

Stuart Bourne, Director of Public Health in Powys said: “Even if you’ve had your COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important that you continue to follow national guidelines. You could potentially still carry and transmit the virus to other vulnerable people, even if you are protected.

“The infection rate continues to remain high in Powys and across Wales, so it is more vital than ever that if you are feeling unwell, are showing any signs or symptoms of coronavirus, you must first self-isolate immediately, and book a test as soon as possible. Social distancing and personal hygiene is still the most effective way to avoid catching the virus.

“People should be reassured if they receive their vaccination, but like all vaccines, whether it be flu or other viruses, they offer a high level of protection, but will not be 100% effective for everyone.  People could potentially still catch coronavirus without showing any clear signs and symptoms, then pass it onto somebody who could potentially become very ill.”

Please remember, all of Wales is in lockdown (alert level 4) where people must follow national guidelines and:

  • stay at home
  • meet only the people you live with
  • work from home if you can
  • wear a face covering where required
  • wash your hands regularly
  • stay 2 metres from anyone you do not live with

Everyone should follow this guidance whether or not they have received COVID-19 vaccination.

More information about what we will all need to do at Alert Level 4 is available from the Welsh Government Website at What you need to do at alert level 4.

Appointments in Welshpool, Knighton, Newtown and Brecon can be booked through the UK Government national booking portal, either online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, by phone on 119, or 18001 119 for people with hearing or speech difficulties. This is also the way to request a home testing kit.

Residents in and around Builth Wells can make an appointment at the local testing unit by calling 01874 612228 or by emailing [email protected].

For more information about COVID-19 testing in Powys, visit the health board’s website at www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/coronavirus-testing

PATIENT INFORMATION LEAFLET JANUARY 2021

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE– 22 December 2020

“PTHB is extremely pleased that the COVID vaccination programme has begun successfully in Powys. Last week saw almost 1,000 health and care staff vaccinated and almost 3,000 more are due to be vaccinated by Christmas.  The next phase of vaccination will be to invite those aged over 80 years old for vaccination. At the moment it is NOT possible for those aged over 80 to book for vaccination and we kindly request that people do NOT call either their GP or the vaccine booking line at this time.  There is still a lot of planning taking place at the moment to ensure that this process will be as effective as possible, and as soon as we are able to we will be contacting those eligible for vaccination directly.

We urge everyone to continue to follow national guidance on social distancing and to help keep Wales safe.”

UPDATE FOR SHIELDING PATIENTS 26 OCTOBER 2020

https://gov.wales/written-statement-new-letter-chief-medical-officer-wales-those-who-were-previously-shielding

FACEMASKS

The link below also includes details to the government scheme for exemption cards.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Update 1 September 2020

Dear Patients
So much has changed since our last update, yet it is still vitally important that we continue our efforts to contain Coronavirus. We are pleased to say that we have had very few cases within our Practice population, which is largely due to everyone’s diligence in following advice from Public Health organisations.

In accordance with advice, we continue to offer predominantly telephone consultations, but are bringing in to surgery those patients who would likely benefit from physical examination. In addition, our team are carrying out nurse appointments and phlebotomy clinics. We now ask that patients who have booked face-to-face appointments at the surgery sit in their cars until their appointed clinician phones them and then meets them at the front door. If you do not arrive by car, please ring the doorbell to notify the Reception team that you have arrived. We respectfully ask that you wear a face covering whilst on Practice premises. This situation will be under regular review, and will doubtless change as guidelines evolve.

Some of you will undoubtedly be concerned by delays in being seen at hospitals after being referred by your GP; we share your concerns, but currently do not have any information as to when hospital clinics will re-open. We would suggest that you phone your consultant’s secretary for up-to-date information about clinics re-opening.

Many of us have been troubled by anxiety and low mood during these challenging times. There are numerous useful internet resources available eg Beating the Blues, Silvercloud, which are free to use and do not require referral by a GP.

Some useful points: Covid testing: If you suspect you have symptoms of Covid-19, please phone 119 to arrange a test; this can be posted to you at home if necessary.
Face coverings: It is compulsory to wear a face covering on public transport in Wales, this includes buses, coaches, trains, trams, ferries and aircraft (where they take off or land in Wales). It also applies to taxis and to tourist services, such as mountain railways and excursion buses.
Exceptions to wearing a face covering:
• Children under age 11 on any transport
• People not able to put on or to wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, or because of a disability or impairment;
• People accompanying somebody who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate; or
• People escaping from a threat or danger and don’t have a face covering.
• People needing to take medicines;
• People needing to eat or drink, and this is permitted on the type of vehicle you are on; or
• People needing to remove a face covering in order to avoid harm or injury, either to yourself or others – for example to get somebody’s attention about a danger.
Exception certificates are available from several organisations; these are not obtained from the GP surgery.

Flu clinics: These will be advertised shortly

Finally, we apologise for the difficulties in contacting the Practice by telephone at times; we are working with our telecoms supplier to try to solve the problems as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience in these trying times. Like all organisations, the Practice has had to quickly develop new ways of working in order to continue to operate. We will endeavour to restore normal working patterns as soon as this is deemed safe.
With best wishes

The Practice Team

Apply for a coronavirus test updated 29/7/20

https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-test

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Apply for a Coronavirus test

You can apply online or by calling 119 if you have at least one of the following coronavirus symptoms which include a new continuous cough, a fever or a loss of smell or taste. The 111 service CANNOT book testing

SHIELDING UPDATE ISSUED 1 June 2020

https://gov.wales/written-statement-coronavirus-covid-19-shielding-update-changes-advice

Short  Update on COVID-19 Testing for Key (Critical) Workers in Powys: 13 May 2020 Are you a key (critical) worker in Powys? Do you or someone in your household have COVID-19 symptoms? You may be eligible for a COVID-19 Test at the new mobile testing units in the county. Find out more at  http://www.powysthb.wales.nhs.uk/coronavirus-testing

Long  Update on COVID-19 Testing for Key (Critical) Workers in Powys 13 May 2020 Are you a key (critical) worker in Powys?    

Do you or someone in your household have COVID-19 symptoms? You may be eligible for a COVID-19 Test at the new mobile testing units in the county. Find out more at http://www.powysthb.wales.nhs.uk/coronavirus-testing  The Welsh Government key (critical) workers testing policy includes 8 broad categories of critical workers: • health and social care workers • public safety (emergency workers) and national security workers • local and national government workers • education and childcare workers • food and other necessary goods • transport • utilities, communication and financial services workers • key public service workers More information about the Welsh Government’s approach to testing is available from their website at https://gov.wales/testing-coronavirus

Letter to patients

Our current guidance has been updated in the news post

Update on Shielding letters, Welsh Government  5 May 2020

The cohort of patients has been reviewed and additional categories added please review the guidance available.

Update from Welsh Government on 31 March 2020

All those identified as being at a very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (due to a serious underlying health issue) will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales by no later than the end of this week. The letter advises people to stay at home for 12 weeks and contains a range of further information and advice, including how those who have no-one else who can support them can get medication and other essential items such as food. In addition we have published information on our website on support for extremely vulnerable people: https://gov.wales/get-coronavirus-support-extremely-vulnerable-person To ensure all high risk patients are contacted, GPs are being provided with a list of those who’ve been sent letters to check against their known patients. They will contact any additional high risk patients not identified to provide the advice outlined by the Chief Medical Officer. Those who are waiting for letters should not contact their GP surgery before the end of this week. There is a broader group of vulnerable people who have not been written to but have been previously been advised through published guidance ( https://gov.wales/coronavirus-social-distancing-guidance ) to rigorously follow the social distancing advice in order to help reduce the risk of catching coronavirus. People in Wales are not being asked to register as vulnerable but if you are vulnerable you should ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help. If you receive support from health and social care organisations, for example if you have care provided for you through the local authority or health care system, this will continue. The full range of guidance on coronavirus can be found on the Welsh Government website: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

What to do if you have symptoms of Coronavirus

You should stay at home if you develop either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

How long to stay at home

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
  • if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

DO NOT GO TO A GP SURGERY, PHARMACY OR HOSPITAL. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONTACT 111 TO TELL THEM YOU’RE STAYING AT HOME.

You should only contact 111 if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days.

Please see link below for further guidance.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/wuhan-novel-coronavirus/

https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

Get an isolation note

Visit https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note

Use this service if you have to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer.

Before using this service, make sure you have checked the coronavirus advice on the NHS website.

If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.

You can also use this service for someone else.