Practice News and Updates! Please Read!
Pharmacy First Service
What is Pharmacy First?
The Pharmacy First scheme provides professional health care advice, treatments, and medicines for common illnesses from your local pharmacy, without the need for an appointment.
Community pharmacies can offer treatment for seven common conditions without patients needing to see a GP, as part of a major transformation in the way the NHS delivers care.
Highly trained pharmacists at more than nine in ten pharmacies can now access and treat patients for conditions below without the need for a GP appointment.
- Insect bites
- Sore throat
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) for women aged 16-64
Available on the high-street, community pharmacy teams have the right clinical training to give people the health advice they need, with no appointment necessary and private consultations available. Community pharmacists will signpost patients to other local services where necessary.
By expanding the services community pharmacies offer, the NHS is aiming to help free up GP appointments and give people more choice in how and where they access care. Don't wait for minor health concerns to get worse – think pharmacy first and get seen by your local pharmacy team. For more information, visit nhs.uk/thinkpharmacyfirst
- Pharmacists are highly qualified health care professionals who are experts in medicines. They can give the same advice and treatment for common illnesses as the GP.
- Pharmacies are open during normal business hours, and many are open late, on Saturdays and on Sundays.
- It may be quicker to see your pharmacist than wait for a GP appointment.
- You don’t need an appointment.
- Medicines offered are free of charge if you are normally exempt from prescription charges. If you usually pay for prescription charges, you can still receive advice and can pay the cost of any medicine issued or the standard prescription charge, whatever is cheaper.
- Anything you say to the pharmacist is treated with confidence.
If accessing the Pharmacy First Scheme you must tell your pharmacist if:
- You are pregnant and/or breastfeeding
- You think you might be pregnant
- Other medications you are taking
- Any allergies that you have
Please check with your local pharmacy to see if they are participating in the Pharmacy First scheme.
LloydsPharmacy Transition to Sparks Pharmacy
We would like to inform you that LloydsPharmacy will be undergoing a transition and will be taken over by Sparks Pharmacy on Saturday, July 1st. We want to assure you that necessary updates, including the name and pharmacy code, for the electronic records we hold, will be automatically processed by the Spine.
However, as this transition is a new process for both our team and the pharmacy, we anticipate there may be some delays and confusion. We kindly request your understanding and preparedness for possible delays, particularly with batch prescriptions.
Significant percentage of our registered patient population have nominated LloydsPharmacy as their preferred pharmacy. We understand that this transition may cause some uncertainty, but please be assured that we are taking proactive steps to minimize any disruptions.
We greatly appreciate your flexibility and cooperation during this process. We will provide further updates as soon as we become aware of any important information.
Thank you for your continued support.
Spring Covid Booster
We will soon be holding our Spring Covid Booster programme shortly. The vaccines will be provided from both of our sites, Chalfont St Peter and Chalfont St Giles. As soon as we have further details we will let you know but below is some general information for you.
Eligibility cohort for the spring People boosters are
aged 75 years and older
residents in care homes for older people
those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system
We will be prioritising our care home residents and housebound patients as soon as we start delivering the boosters.
Spring booster eligibility
COVID-19 is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions. For these reasons, people aged 75 years and over, those in care homes, and those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system are being offered a spring booster of COVID-19 vaccine.
Timing of the spring booster
You should be offered an appointment between April and June, with those at highest risk being called in first. You will be invited to have your booster around 6 months from your last dose but you can have it from 3 months.
If you are turning 75 years of age between April and June, you will be called for vaccination during the campaign; you do not have to wait for your birthday.
Vaccines in use this spring
You will be given a booster dose of a vaccine made by Pfizer, Moderna or Sanofi and approved in the UK. These vaccines have been updated since the original vaccines and target different COVID-19 variants. For a very small number of people another vaccine product may be advised by your doctor.
These updated vaccines boost protection well, and give slightly higher levels of antibody against the more recent strains of COVID-19 (Omicron) than the vaccines you would have received previously.
As we cannot predict which variants of COVID-19 will be circulating this spring and summer, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has concluded that all of these vaccines can be used and that no one should delay vaccination to receive a different vaccine.
The Sanofi vaccine contains an adjuvant (a chemical used to improve the immune response to the virus). This vaccine will only be offered to older people, who may respond less well to vaccines. The adjuvant in the COVID-19 vaccine is similar to the one used in the flu vaccine which is routinely given to over 65 year olds. The NHS website has more information about vaccine ingredients.
Please accept the vaccination that is offered to you as soon as you are able to – you will be offered the right vaccine for you at the right time.
You will be invited for your booster, your GP may offer you the vaccine or you can book using the NHS app for Apple or Android. You can also find your nearest walk-in vaccination site from the NHS website.
Who cannot take up the offer of a spring booster
There are very few people who should not have this booster. If you have had a severe reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine you should discuss this with your doctor.
Common side effects
As with your previous dose, the common side effects are the same for all COVID-19 vaccines, including the updated vaccines being used this spring and include:
- having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection – this tends to be worst around 1 to 2 days after the vaccine
- feeling tired
- general aches or mild flu-like symptoms
You can rest and take paracetamol following the dose advice in the packaging, to help you feel better.
Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, you can call NHS 111 or text or phone 18001 111.
Serious side effects
Cases of inflammation of the heart (called myocarditis or pericarditis) have been reported very rarely after both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. These cases have been seen mostly in younger men and within several days of vaccination. Most of the people affected have felt better and recovered quickly following rest and simple treatments.
You should seek medical advice urgently if, after vaccination, you experience:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart
If you had a serious side effect after a previous dose you may be advised to avoid or delay further vaccination. You should discuss this with your doctor or specialist.
Reporting side effects
You can report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines through the Yellow Card Scheme:
- online at Yellow Card Scheme
- by downloading and using the Yellow Card app on Apple or Android
- by calling the Yellow Card scheme on 0800 731 6789 (9am to 5pm)
If you are unwell on the day of your booster vaccination
If you are unwell, wait until you have recovered to have your vaccine. You should not attend an appointment if you have a fever or think you might be infectious to others.
You may still catch COVID-19 after having the booster
The COVID-19 booster will reduce the chance of you becoming severely unwell from COVID-19 this spring and summer. It may take a few days for your body to build up some extra protection from the booster. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but any infection should be less severe.
Catching up with missed doses
If you have not yet had either of your first 2 doses of the vaccine (or a third dose for those with a weakened immune system) you should have them as soon as possible.
If you are eligible and you have missed an earlier booster, you should have a dose this spring to catch up. You will not need another dose during the summer.
Waiting after you have your vaccine
If you have a history of allergies, or if you had a reaction immediately after a previous dose, you may be advised to stay for 15 minutes after the vaccine. Please make sure you tell the vaccinator.
Protected Learning Time
We are committed to giving our patients the best possible care and as part of this, all staff take part in a number of Protected Learning Time (PLT) sessions throughout the year.
This month, we are closed for our staff protected learning on Wednesday the 15th in the afternoon from 13:00. Should you require medical assistance during this time, please call 111 or go online at 111.nhs.uk. The practice will re-open as usual on Thursday the 16th of March.
Many thanks for your understanding.
Scarlet Fever and Strep A - What you need to know!
Call 999 or go to A&E if:
• your child has difficulty breathing: you may notice grunting noises, or their tummy sucking under their ribs
• there are pauses when your child breathes
• your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
• your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake.
Signs of scarlet fever to look out for include:
• a sore throat
• fever, along with a fine, pinkish or red body rash with a ‘sandpapery’ feel.
As a parent, and you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, trust your own judgement
Autumn Covid Boosters
We have lots of availability this week for Autumn Covid vaccines at The Chalfont and Gerrads Cross Hospital. Please note that booking is handled by National Booking Service and the link to refer for more information is https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/how-to-get-a-coronavirus-vaccine/how-to-get-a-booster-dose/ or dial 119 to book for one should you need.
2022 - 2023 Covid Clinics
We are offering covid vaccines as part of 'The Chalfont PCN' which includes us, The Allan and Hall practices. The PCN is now prioritising the housebound patients and the care home residents. Whenever possible they are also offering appointments via the National Booking Service. These appointments are delivered at the Chalfont and Gerrads Cross Hospital.
Please be aware that our staff will not be able to book an appointment for the covid vaccination as the booking is handled by the NBS. Please see the link attached or dial 119 to book for one.
May we ask that you check regularly as there will be clinics available and running at the Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross Hospital in the coming weeks and booking slots will be available online soon.
Housebound patients will be contacted directly by the vaccination team over the next few weeks.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
2022 - 2023 Flu Clinics
Flu clinics are currently being offered for all patients aged 65 or over and for patients aged 18 to 64 years of age 'at risk' i.e diagnosed with certain health conditions.
We are running Flu Clinics for the above categories on the 24th of September and 15th of October at the Gold Hill Church Lane, Gerrards Cross SL9 9RF right next door to our St Peter site.
Appointments are available to book via the patient access. If for any reason, you are unable to access these appointments online, please do ring our reception who will be more than happy to book one for you.
For the cohort of well adults of 50-64 years of age, we are planning to deliver these on or after the 15th of October. Please await the text from us or an update on our website.
We are also contacting the parents of children that are aged 2 and 3 years of age and offering appointments. Please await a call or letter from us.