There is a great video here from the BBC which can help people understand the symptoms of cold, flu and Covid-19.
The annual flu vaccination is more important than ever this year due to Covid-19 and the national programme has been expanded significantly.
At Latham House Medical Practice we will be working to enable additional vaccination clinics across both of our sites and at weekends or in extended hours to be able to meet local demand safely and efficiently.
About the Flu vaccine
The flu virus typically peaks during the winter months and the best way to help protect yourself and others from catching and spreading flu is to have the flu jab every year.
Flu strains can change from year to year, which means last year’s jab may not protect you from this year’s strains. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of that year’s flu season.
To ensure the vaccine is targeted and effective against the current flu strains circulating, the vaccines usually go into production only months before the vaccination season.
The vaccine developers are anticipating a high demand in 2020 and have warned us that there could be potential delays to the vaccine delivery as a result. We expect to receive a phased delivery of all available vaccines to our Practice.
Cancelled or late delivery of the vaccines may result in patient vaccine appointments being changed at short notice. If this is necessary we will re-schedule all impacted appointments. We appreciate your understanding on this issue.
Flu vaccinations at Latham House Medical Practice.
We will be following national guidance to support our most vulnerable patients (shielded) as a priority and we will begin providing vaccinations to this group of patients in September and October.
• Patients in this category will be contacted to inform them that they can now book their vaccinations on available dates.
• Patients in this group can also call or contact us online to book their flu vaccinations
Following this delivery of our priority programme we will then be offering the vaccine to all other eligible patients from October onward.
Priority Vaccination Programme
• All shielding patients – in line with vaccine availability across all age groups
• People living with someone who is at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielding patients list)
• Adults 65 and over
How can I book my Flu vaccination?
Initially patients will be contacted regarding priority clinics and asked to telephone our dedicated flu clinic telephone line . The number will be provided in your text or letter.
Book an appointment online via Engage Consult
If you are contacting us via Engage Consult for the first time you will need to follow the ‘sign up’ instructions on the site.
Process for Engage Consult vaccination requests:
- Click Request help from the surgery
- Click Admin query and anyone can help you with this request
- Click Something else when prompted to describe what your query is regarding.
- From here please type in your request eg Please can I book a Flu appointment for myself, specify preferred time range if you would like to.
- Before you submit your query please make sure the secure online message is ticked so that we can reply to you.
- That’s it! We will then reply to you via the secure online messages in your Engage Consult account to confirm your appointment booking.
Call our main number on 01664 503000
If an appointment is not available to you you will be added to our flu vaccination waiting list.
What will be different about flu vaccine clinics in 2020?
Flu clinics will be different this year, but they will be safe.
We will be spacing out appointments and operating a one way system in order to maintain social distancing and enable strict cleaning practices.
There will be plenty of staff available on the day to assist you, so please don’t hesitate to ask if you need help in any way.
Important information when attending you flu vaccination
• We will be asking patients to come prepared and only attend at the time given.
• Please don’t attend if you feel unwell or you have a temperature, new persistent cough, flu like symptoms or new loss of sense of smell or taste. You should book a Covid-19 test if you have symptoms (via the NHS website or by calling 119).
When attending our flu vaccination clinics – How you can help
• Wear a face covering
• Remove coats and handbags before you enter the Practice
• Wear loose clothing to allow quick and easy access to your arm
• Arrive at the time you have been asked to only
• Don’t attend if unwell
• Attend alone if possible
• Don’t drive if you can avoid it
• If you are driving, please park offsite – allowing the elderly and immobile to use our surgery car park spaces
Information from ELR CCG
Getting vaccinated is important each year but this year more than ever people are urged to have the vaccine in order to protect themselves, and the NHS, this winter.
Children aged 2 and 3 years old, plus all primary school aged children and school year 7 in secondary school, will be offered the nasal spray vaccination. The adult flu vaccine is offered free to those in groups at particular risk of infection and complications from flu (for more details see the list at the end of this page).
The groups being offered the adult flu vaccine are:
• Pregnant women
• Those aged 65 or over
• Those aged under 65 with long-term conditions (see list below)
• Shielded patients and those in the same household aged 18 or over
• Pending supply, 50 – 64 year olds will be invited no earlier than November
Due to the pandemic, flu vaccination clinics may be held in a slightly different way this year. Clinic logistics are still being finalised and updated information will posted on our webpages when confirmed.
Flu vaccines will be released in batches, according to both availability and also the need to prioritise those most at risk. This means flu clinics will be staggered in the months ahead.
For those who are eligible, GP surgeries across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are gearing up to provide special clinics to offer patients their annual flu jab.
GPs are asking their patients to book a place in forthcoming flu clinics as soon as they are advertised. Alternatively, you can visit your nearest participating pharmacy. If you are housebound, please speak to your GP practice.
Those who do not fall within the eligible categories for a free NHS vaccination will be able to buy a flu vaccine from their local participating pharmacy.
This year eligibility for the flu vaccination has been extended to those aged 50 to 64 years. Please note that people in the 50 to 64 year old age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccine, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first. If you are 50 to 64 and you are in one of the other groups which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from flu, you will be invited earlier.
The flu vaccination offers an important health protection. Flu can lead to existing health conditions getting worse or the development of an illness such as bronchitis or pneumonia, or it could even be fatal. A vaccination helps protect the health of a pregnant mother and her child.
You can see the full list of those eligible for a flu vaccination below.
Common symptoms of flu include a high temperature, fatigue, headache, general aches and pains and a dry, chesty cough. If you are generally fit and healthy you can usually manage the symptoms at home yourself without seeing a doctor. The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Paracetamol or ibuprofen may help lower a high temperature and relieve aches. A pharmacist will be able to provide advice on medication.
People suffering with a cold or flu should avoid going into hospital, GP practice or other health setting to reduce the chance of vulnerable people catching the virus. The flu virus can be very dangerous for the elderly and the infirm particularly if they are already sick. This is a message that applies to people coming into hospital seeking treatment and to people coming to visit relatives.
Help to stop spreading colds and flu.
Colds and flu are caused by viruses and easily spread to other people. Germs from coughs and sneezes survive on hands and surfaces for up to 24 hours. You are infectious until all symptoms are gone which usually takes a week or two.
You can help prevent colds and flu spreading by using tissues to ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’. Washing your hands regularly with soap and water destroys bugs that you may have picked up from touching surfaces used by other people, such as light switches and door handles. It is also important to keep household items clean, including cleaning such items as cups, glasses and towels, especially if someone in your house is ill.
People with worsening symptoms or respiratory problems are advised not to visit a GP surgery or a hospital but to call their GP first or call NHS111 for further advice.
Who is eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine?
In 2020/21, flu vaccinations will be offered under the NHS flu vaccination programme to the following groups:
• chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
• chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
• chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five
• chronic liver disease
• chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease,
• learning disability
• splenic dysfunction or asplenia
• a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
• morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)
• all children aged two to eleven (but not twelve years or older) on 31 August 2020
• people aged 65 years or over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2021)
• those aged from six months to less than 65 years of age, in a clinical risk group such as those with:
• all pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season)
• household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, or of immunocompromised individuals, specifically individuals who expect to share living accommodation with a shielded patient on most days over the winter and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable
• people living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality. This does not include, for instance, prisons, young offender institutions, university halls of residence, or boarding schools (except where children are of primary school age or secondary school Year 7).
• those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
• health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza.
• health and care staff, employed by a voluntary managed hospice provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza.
• health and social care workers employed through Direct Payments (personal budgets) and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants, to deliver domiciliary care to patients and service users. 2. Additionally, in 2020/21, flu vaccinations might be offered under the NHS flu vaccination programme to the following groups:
• individuals between 50-64 years, following prioritisation of other eligible groups and subject to vaccine supply