Our Clinicians are starting to introduce video consultations to our various methods of communication with patients.
Airmid is the new health management app from our clinical system provider that provides more functionality that the SystmOnline app for example, booking/cancelling appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and online access to your medical record. One of the functions available that we will be looking to use in the near future is video consultations. Airmid is now available to download from your app store:
To log in, you simply use your existing SystmOnline username and password. If you aren’t already signed up to this, please contact reception on 01670 511393.
Covid-19 symptom self-management below – Patients can now be provided with expert information and advice on how COVID-19 impacts their specific palliative or long-term condition and how they should manage it during the pandemic. These conditions are listed below:
- HIV and Aids
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sickle cell disease
- Kidney Disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Motor Neurone Disease
- End of life care
- End of life care: Changes in the last hours and days
As you will be aware patients with symptoms of Coronavirus can now access testing. If you wish to do so please visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or ring 119. Please follow the link to access guidance as to how the tests work and what they mean.
Diabetes Befriending Service – please see link: Diabetes Befriending Service
Please find attached letter which may be of use to our patients, focussing on health, well-being and practical help:
Sick children: There have been concerns raised that parents are not presenting ill children (other than COVID) to 111 service, A&E or primary care. The following information has been produced by the Royal college of Paediatrics and Child Health to assist parents https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/covid19_advice_for_parents_when_child_unwell_or_injured_poster.pdf
Local & National helplines : –
NDAS – 01434 608030, website – http://www.nda.services
DASSN – 01670 820199, 24 hr help line
GRACE – rape crisis services, 0191 2220272, http://www.gracenrc.org.uk
Police – 999 or 101.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
Mental wellbeing and keeping safe during the coronavirus outbreak: sources of advice and support : COVID-19 suicide prevention and mental health support March 2020
COVID 19 AND SAFEGUARDING
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/
NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000 If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, contact NSPCC professional counsellors for help, advice and support.
Childline 0800 1111: Offers free, confidential advice and support for any child 18 years or under, whatever the worry.
MIND: Mental Health Support with specific advice on ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’. www.mind.org.uk
YoungMinds: Supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing. Specific advice on managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus.
ICON: Babies cry: You can cope. http://iconcope.org/
SafeLives: Specific resources for domestic abuse and COVID. http://safelives.org.uk/news-views/domesticabuse-and-covid-19
IRISi interventions: irisi.org/iris/find-your-local-iris-site/
North East Regional Special Operations Unit Notification
Numerous phone call scams are circulating. Scammers use these calls to steal your money and other information from you. Please see link: Scam-phone-calls-
Patients at highest risk of COVID – Patient enquiries
NHS Digital has identified and has already written to a number of patients considered at highest risk of Covid.
Patients who think they should be considered ‘High Risk’ are invited to self-refer using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
NHS Digital is collating these registrations nationally and will inform all practices of those patients directly, by providing a list for practices to consider adding.
24 Hour All Age Mental Health Crisis Response
As of Monday 30 March the CNTW Universal Crisis Team has moved to 24 hours for all ages (including Children and Young People) in need of an Urgent Response.
The contact number is: 0303 1231146
B12 Injections – All patients who receive B12 injections will be sent the following letter:
As I am sure you are aware, for the public’s safety, all routine work in the NHS has been stopped during the Covid-19 crisis. Every clinical contact between a healthcare worker and patient is being reviewed to assess if the risk it brings to all parties is justified.
We have received guidance from specialists about vitamin B12 injections. It is based on research that has shown that if any patient who has been having regular B12 injections stops receiving them they have enough B12 stored in their liver to last at least 2 years. You can, therefore, come to no harm if a B12 injection is deferred.
As a result, you will appreciate that we are unable to justify any appointments for B12 injections during the crisis, apart from for patients with a new diagnosis of B12 vitamin deficiency who have not had the required injections before.
Across the Well Up North primary care network, GPs have agreed to defer all vitamin B12 injections for 6 months.
We must, please, ask you to respect this decision and not to telephone the surgery requesting ‘exceptional circumstances’ as our specialists inform us that there are none. Please allow your GPs and nurses to spend their time instead caring for the seriously ill patients they must treat.
Your recall date will be moved 6 months on from when your next injection is due and we will contact you at that time.
Finally, please do note that evidence shows the majority of patients receiving B12 injections in Northumberland can still absorb B12 from oral vitamin supplements. We suggest you speak to your pharmacist about obtaining these. The recommended dose is cyanocobalamin 50mcg 3 daily.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
LINKS – PATIENT INFO CORONAVIRUS – please click here
Please follow link to access isolation note – patients to complete and download themselves – many thanks
Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
The Chief Medical Officer has announced that the country is moving into the ‘Delay’ stage of the response to coronavirus from Friday, 13th March 2020.
The new advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer is as follows:
Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
- a high temperature
- a new continuous coughDo not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 daysOnly call 111 if you cannot get help online.Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Stay At Home advice can be found here
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- More information can be found on the NHS website here
COVID-19 Northumberland Community Response
Please follow this link for local support: https://bit.ly/39fvDgs
LINKS – PATIENT INFO CORONAVIRUS
General NHS advice
Pituitary/ adrenal insufficiency (including steroid sick day rules)
Underlying lung disease (British Lung Foundation)
People with Asthma
People with Diabetes
Sick day rules T1 diabetes
Sick day rules T2 diabetes
People affected by Stroke
Children/young people T1 diabetes
People with Heart/circulatory disease
Young people with anxiety
Adults with anxiety
People with Rheumatoid Arthritis
People with cancer
Children and Young People with Cancer
People with inflammatory bowel disease
People with Parkinson’s disease
People with Multiple Sclerosis
People with Motor Neurone Disease
People with liver disease and liver transplant
People with kidney disease including dialysis
People with epilepsy
People living with HIV
Improving Childrens Mental Health: https://www.place2be.org.uk
How are you? – Get a FREE personalized health score when you complete this 10 minute quiz
Healthwatch Northumberland are keen to hear what patients would do to give people more control of their care and what they would do to give people better support. They can provide you with hard copies of the survey upon request: https://healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk/nhs-long-term-plan-what-would-you-do/
The memory handbook – Alzheimer’s Society
The memory handbook is for people with mild memory problems. It contains information about memory problems and practical strategies on how to live well with them. please find link below:
Prescribing of over the counter medicines is changing
Your GP, nurse or pharmacist will not generally give you a prescription for over the counter medicines for a range of minor health concerns.
Instead, over the counter medicines are available to buy in a pharmacy or supermarket in your local community. The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns and if your symptoms suggest it’s more serious, they’ll ensure you get the care you need.
Please help the NHS to use resources sensibly. Leaflet with specified items attached 1a-over-the-counter-leaflet-v1
Patients are encouraged to contact Healthwatch Northumberland, if you would like to feedback about any social care or health care service. Also, should patients have any queries about aspects of health or social care, they are able to signpost to a wide variety of services across Northumberland. Please see following link: www.healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk
Northumberland IMATT Service (Physio)
Patient Information Guide and new telephone number: 0191 250 4235. N’Land IMATT patient guide 2018
Get Safe Online
The following link https://getsafeonline.org and poster below contain free expert advice for keeping children and young people safe online this Christmas.
Getabout is a free information and advice service aimed at solving transport needs for patients who have difficulty in accessing essential services in Northumberland. Further information is below.
New Patient leaflets / guides on:
There are many excellent sources of advice on the internet, for example a simple google search for your symptom. Two sites that are especially useful for patients are NHSDirect and Patient.co.uk.
Some basic advice we offer:
Colds and Flu
These usually start with a runny nose, cough, temperature and aches. Viruses cause them and antibiotics are of no use in their treatment.
Treatment consists of taking recommended doses of Paracetamol for the temperature and aches and drinking plenty of fluids. Do not worry if you do not eat for a few days, you will come to no harm.
Diarrhoea and Vomiting
In adults and older children, diarrhoea and vomiting will usually get better on its own. Treatment consists of replacing the fluid that you have lost and resting the digestive system by having no solids to eat for 24 hours. Sachets of powders such as Dioralyte and Rehidrat, which can be made into a drink, are available from the chemist.
If the diarrhoea contains blood or there is severe pain or high fever, you should discuss it with your doctor. Diarrhoea and vomiting in small babies and young children should be treated with caution and the doctor will be happy to see them if the parents are worried.
Backaches and Strains
Many acute strains and sprains will respond to a few days rest and Paracetamol taken for the pain. Backache will usually respond to a few days gentle mobilisation. If the symptoms continue, you should consult your doctor.
Sit in a chair (leaning forward with your mouth open) and pinch your nose just below the bone for about ten minutes by which time the bleeding usually stops. If the bleeding continues consult your doctor.
First apply a cold compress containing ice for fifteen to thirty minutes to reduce the swelling. Apply a firm crepe bandage and give a sprain plenty of rest until all the discomfort has subsided.
On the first day a rash appears with small red spots about 3-4mm wide. Within a few hours these develop small blisters at the centre. During the next three or four days further spots will appear and the earlier ones will turn crusty and fall off.
Calamine lotion may be applied to help the itching. The most infectious period is two or three days before the rash starts. Children may return to school as soon as the last blisters have crusted.
A temperature occurs commonly even with mild infections. In small children it is important to stop the temperature rising too quickly and children should be given Paracetamol syrup, which may be bought from the chemist, Clothing should be removed and the child sponged with tepid water or cooled by giving them a lukewarm bath.
If a temperature is very high and does not come down with the above treatment or you are concerned you should consult your doctor. A child or adult with a temperature will not come to any harm being wrapped up and brought by car or by pram to the surgery.
Apply large quantities of cold water to the affected area as soon as possible and maintain this for at least fifteen minutes. If the burn is greater than 4-5 inches in diameter or the skin is broken you should consult one of the doctors.
These powerful drugs only work on bacteria and are without effect on viruses. Unfortunately this means that the common infections such as coughs, colds, flu and sore throats will not be helped by them at all.
The correct treatment is the simple remedies outlined above and we only use antibiotics when they fail, and we suspect that there is a secondary bacterial infection. Otherwise overuse of antibiotics may lead to their not working in future and more complications like thrush, skin rashes, etc.
Many conditions get better on their own and can be treated successfully at home. Your pharmacist may be able to help you with these and advise about medicines you can buy over the counter.