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February 2021 - Looking Forward

Dear Patients of AshLea Medical Practice,

Hopefully the worst of this Covid-19 wave is now behind us, and we can keep new variants at bay as we look forward to spring. As has been widely reported, the vaccination programme seems to be going well with good uptake from the first four priority groups. For those still waiting for appointments, here are some updates which you might find useful as well as some non-virus related news. 

NHS Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group has updated its website so that there are now regular posts on the vaccination programme. The website link is here for those who are interested. In particular please note the information on HOW you may be contacted for an appointment, this is different from what we were advised previously by the Practice. Some information from the website as follows:
Calling all patients 70+ and those clinically extremely vulnerable
If you fall into either of these two categories and if you have yet to receive an appointment, please contact the NHS as soon as possible. 
You can do this 
• online through the national booking service, click here 
• or by calling 119 any time between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. 
These options above provide access to the large vaccination site at Epsom Racecourse.
• Alternatively, you can phone the practice and they may be able to  book you a vaccination at one of the GP led vaccination sites. 
Announcement for patients 65+
Patients from this cohort are being invited for appointments as of this week.
If you have a question which is not answered on the website, you can contact Surrey Heartlands’ Vaccination Enquiry Service:
• 0300 561 2500 lines are open 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday
Please note that this Service cannot book appointments for vaccinations, nor can they advise likely dates for vaccinations.  

One of our patients has been in contact with Mole Valley District Council about transportation to the vaccination centre at the Epsom Hub. There is some availability provided by the Community Transport team. Anyone who has difficulty getting to an appointment due to being vulnerable or housebound, having mobility issues or suffering financial hardship, can call the Community Helpline on 0300 123 7749.

Waiting Room
Some patients have raised a concern regarding access to GP practice waiting rooms. The advice from Surrey Heartlands is that all practices are required to minimise the amount of time patients spend inside buildings in order to protect patients and staff. In addition, with limited space inside, it is often the case that patients will be required to wait outside until they can be seen. Please therefore do not arrive too early for your appointment.

Child Mental Health
The Practice has some new information on its website as part of Children’s Mental Health Week earlier this month. There are some useful resources to support young people, children and their families there. 
Especially over half-term, do visit the practice websites via
New Practice Facebook Page
For those who use Facebook, the Practice has launched its own Facebook Page. This will complement the PPG’s Facebook page.


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