Residents in North Lincolnshire experiencing minor illness or ailments, are being encouraged by their local NHS to speak directly to a community pharmacy online first.
The Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership is running a pilot project across North Lincolnshire initially, to trial online pharmacy consultations. The aim is to encourage patients and their carers to contact a pharmacy first using online consultations, before their GP, for conditions and enquiries that a pharmacy can help with.
Patients can visit northlincspharmacies.nhs.uk and search for their specific problem or medicine. The search results will display self-help material, and if further information is needed, the patient can:
Contact a local pharmacy directly online at a time to suit, without the need to attend in person.
Attach relevant photos if needed (for example for cuts, burns, acne and more). The pharmacy will respond and can advise online, or in person if they feel it’s necessary.
Pharmacies will be able to contact the patient online using secure online messaging or video consulting.
Paul Robinson, Chair of Community Pharmacy Humber said: “We’re excited to be piloting this online scheme in our local area and hope that our residents find that it’s useful and saves time. The pilot extends the normal pathways for patients to access advice about their healthcare needs from community pharmacy teams and it will be interesting to see how the public respond to online consultations in community pharmacy.”
Erica Ellerington, Head of Primary Care Transformation, NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Online health care solutions have been vital throughout the pandemic to reduce the spread of the virus. The NHS is looking to continue with online solutions wherever possible. Providing support online from pharmacies is a fantastic next step for creating even more easily accessible local health care.”
As qualified healthcare professionals, pharmacy teams can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.
If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure patients get the help they need. They will advise a patient if they need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.
Patients entering GP surgeries across the Humber are being reminded they should continue to wear a face mask and follow social distancing rules.
Covid restrictions will end in most settings in England from Monday, 19 July.
However, as infection rates rise significantly across the region, health bosses in the Humber are reiterating the message that both staff and patients must continue adhering to Public Health England’s infection, prevention and control guidelines to ensure optimum safety. As well as GP surgeries in North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire, these rules will apply across other health settings such as hospitals, pharmacies and dental practices.
Dr Faisel Baig, Chair of the NHS Humber Clinical and Professional Leaders Board, said: “COVID-19 is still very much with us.
“Both infection rates and hospital admissions are once again on the rise – with more than 50,000 new cases of the virus being reported each day in the UK. We have also seen sharp rises in each of the four areas of the Humber.
“The delta variant of the virus is highly transmissible and this is why we must continue to act cautiously to slow the spread. Health settings such as GP surgeries are a higher risk environment and it’s so important we all continue to wear a mask, remain socially distant and wash our hands regularly.
“I urge everyone to play their part and think of those more vulnerable than them when visiting their local GP surgery. Acting responsibly will undoubtedly save lives.”
The number of people getting vaccinated continues to rise across the Humber – with the vast majority of adults now having received at least a first dose of protection. A number of special pop-up vaccination clinics will take place across the region over the next fortnight as the local NHS aims to vaccinate as many Humber residents as it possibly can.
And Dr Baig is urging those who have not yet had the vaccination to do so soon: “We can be really proud of our vaccination uptake figures in the Humber,” he said. “I know many people are working hard to ensure a vaccine is as accessible as it can be for every single eligible person.
“Uptake is slightly less amongst our 18-39 year-olds and I would especially urge anyone in this age bracket to come forward and get their vaccination as soon as they can. Vaccinations really have broken the chain between contracting the virus and becoming seriously ill from it.”
North Lincolnshire continues to make good progress vaccinating as many people as possible in our communities against coronavirus.
More than 2,000 flyers, detailing important coronavirus vaccination information, have been delivered across central Scunthorpe.
The multi-language leaflets were distributed across both Crosby and Town wards – where vaccination uptake has been high but where NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group aims to increase figures even further.
CCG staff, members of Safecare Network (a federation of North Lincolnshire GPs) and community volunteers came together to spread the word that vaccines save lives.
Pop-up COVID vaccine clinics
Almost 70 coronavirus vaccinations were administered in a special ‘pop-up’ clinic at The Islamic Centre in Scunthorpe on Saturday 3rd April.
The initiative was organised by West Primary Care Network and NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, in a bid to boost uptake in the area’s culturally diverse communities.
More than 90 per cent of all eligible adults over the age of 50, and those above the age of 18 with underlying health conditions, have now received their first dose in North Lincolnshire.
Sayful Ahmed, Imam, said: “We were delighted to get two local GPs into The Islamic Centre and vaccinate 68 people.
“The clinic followed a conversation during Friday prayer and we had the doctors come in to do an awareness session. It gathered really good interest so we worked together to organise a clinic.
“The more people we can get vaccinated the more people feel confident coming to the mosque. It gives everyone that reassurance.”
Dr Rumman Afsar and Dr Abdul Butt teamed up to deliver and administer the vaccines. Dr Afsar said: “Coming into a familiar setting for a community, that accessibility to healthcare is much easier and you find it helps break down any barriers there may be.
“This was a real team effort and I’d like to thank the community leaders who have made this possible. Hopefully we can do more of this moving forward.”
Dozens of North Lincolnshire’s Sikh community received the Covid-19 vaccination at Guru Nanak Gurudwara in Scunthorpe on Sunday 18th April.
Collaborative work between NHS North Lincolnshire CCG and Safecare Network saw a number of the area’s nurses and GPs attend the Temple in Frodingham Road to administer the life-saving jab.
Dr Satpal Shekhawat, Medical Director at NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, said: “Pop-up clinics like this can make a huge difference.
“Coronavirus does not discriminate and we won’t overcome this virus until we are all vaccinated. Working together like this, and bringing services into our communities where there has been slightly lower uptake so far, is really important.”
The CCG is now planning further pop-up clinics in specific communities. If you believe a pop-up vaccination clinic would be helpful in your area, please contact email@example.com
May Bank Holiday pharmacy opening times in North Lincolnshire
Residents of North Lincolnshire are being asked to take the next step safely now restrictions are being eased.
People can now meet in groups of six (or two families) – but this must be outdoors. The Government guidance reiterates the importance of sticking to the rules, in order to stop the spread of the virus.
meet outdoors either in a group of six (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible)
take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities are able to reopen)
take part in childcare, and supervised activities are allowed outdoors for all children
join formally organised parent and child groups outdoors for up to fifteen attendees. Children under five will not be counted in this number.
With the infection rate in North Lincolnshire among the highest in the country, it is vital that people stick to the rules to protect themselves, their families and the community.
Dr Faisel Baig, Chair of NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, and local GP, said:
“We all welcome the relaxing of restrictions, especially being able to meet some of our loved ones outdoors. This does however remain a crucial time in the battle against coronavirus, especially when we consider very high infection rates across parts of Europe.
“We have had a very successful start to our coronavirus vaccination programme in North Lincolnshire and that needs to continue. Please do accept your vaccine invitation when it arrives and have faith in the vaccine regulators, who are advising us to come forward and have any one of the UK vaccines.
“The vaccine is hopefully our way out of this pandemic, but for now, people who have been vaccinated should still continue to follow the same guidance as those who haven’t been vaccinated, to protect others.
“This includes strictly adhering to the national restrictions and following the key messages around Hands (regular and thorough hand hygiene), Face (wearing facemasks where applicable), Space (social distancing) and Fresh Air (meeting outdoors with social distancing), and isolating and arranging a coronavirus test, where appropriate.”
A large vaccination centre is set to open in the heart of Scunthorpe.
Each week, thousands of people will be offered vital protection from COVID-19 after the site opens at The Baths Hall, Doncaster Road, on Friday, 19 March.
The centre is being managed by Safecare Network and will eventually see a team of vaccinators administer up to 1,000 jabs a day – as North Lincolnshire bolsters its fight against the pandemic.
The vaccination, which is free, will be offered to those who live within 45 miles of The Baths Hall and will be in the priority order as identified by the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI).
Dr Satpal Shekhawat, Medical Director at NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is brilliant news for North Lincolnshire – and comes following weeks of hard work, planning and strong partnership working with colleagues from across the area.
“The vaccination programme in our region is progressing really well and we are pleased to note that more than 500,000 vaccinations have already been provided to the most vulnerable groups in the Humber, Coast and Vale area. Having another large centre in one of our towns will enable us to reach an even greater number of people as we continually expand our programme.”
Dr Shekhawat added: “I would urge everyone to take up the offer of this free vaccination when you receive your invitation from the NHS. Whatever your background and wherever you live, this vaccine is a life-saver and there are many options for you in terms of where to get your vaccine.
“We not only have the large-scale site but vaccines are also being administered from community pharmacies and GP surgeries too. As a result, it is possible some people will be contacted by multiple sites but please only book one appointment slot, most convenient for you, to ensure available slots elsewhere can be taken up by others. We are focused on getting everyone vaccinated in North Lincolnshire as quickly and as safely as we can.
“Please remember, this will take several months and we politely ask for people to remain patient. Everyone in North Lincolnshire will be offered a vaccination and when it is your turn you will be contacted by the NHS to attend an appointment. Please wait for your appointment letter and don’t turn up at the vaccination centre or ring your GP.”
The site, which will operate between 8am-8pm, seven days a week, will launch with one pod of six vaccinators. It is hoped this will increase to two pods in the coming weeks.
The Baths Hall has been transformed into a large vaccination centre
Dr Mubark Jajja, Chair of Safecare Network, said: “We are extremely proud to be playing our part in the national effort to protect people from this virus. We have been living under national restrictions for a year now and so the quicker we get as many people protected, as safely as possible, the quicker we can return to a more normal way of life.
“I want to thank everyone involved in setting up the vaccination centre. We are committed to making sure this site operates seamlessly and that patients receive both a comfortable and convenient service.”
People receiving the letters are invited to go online to the national booking service to arrange a jab at a time and location that is convenient for them. If they are not able to go online, they can call 119 free of charge.
People aged between 56 and 59 are currently being invited to book their appointment, with those aged 50-55 due to be invited in the coming weeks.
People can use the national booking service to reserve a slot at a NHS vaccination centre or one of the pharmacy-led services across the country.
Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are being asked not to turn up early to avoid creating queues. Everyone will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they have their jab.
Alex Seale, Chief Operating Officer at NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, said: “The vaccines are both safe and effective, so if anybody who is eligible but hasn’t been vaccinated yet, I’d urge them to go online or call 119 and get themselves booked in.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in setting up the vaccination centre in North Lincolnshire – in particular our colleagues at North Lincolnshire Council. It shows the power of partnership working and co-operation in the fight against Covid-19 and I am personally very proud of North Lincolnshire’s excellent response since the very start of the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, more than 130 volunteers have come forward to help with the running of the site to undertake duties both inside and outside the venue.
Nicki Chatterton, Chief Operating Officer of Safecare Network, said: “The response from volunteers has been fantastic and this would not be possible without them. We are all keen for patients to have a positive experience.
“Many of the volunteers have helped out at other vaccination centres across North Lincolnshire and have found the experience rewarding and a great way to make a positive contribution during the pandemic.
“The Safecare team has worked amazingly hard behind the scenes and we are really looking forward to vaccinating our population after what has been an incredibly challenging 12 months for us all.”
Dan Harris, General Manager at The Baths Hall, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to work alongside the NHS and its partners to deliver a large vaccination centre for Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire.
“The Baths Hall is the perfect space, located in the centre of Scunthorpe, for local residents to be able to safely get their vaccinations. The venue and our staff are delighted to be back to work on such a crucial project.”
Local GPs encourage coronavirus vaccine confidence amongst culturally diverse communities
General practitioners (GPs) across the region have filmed an important message in multiple languages to encourage vaccine confidence.
Across England, GPs have raised concerns over a lower uptake of coronavirus vaccination among patients from ethnic minority backgrounds – warning that misinformation has left some patients reluctant to come forward.
NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across the Humber, Coast and Vale area, have come together to coordinate video messages from GPs, and are working to promote them to enhance confidence in the vaccine and to dispel any vaccine myths.
Dr Faisel Baig is a GP in North Lincolnshire, and Chair of NHS North Lincolnshire CCG. He explained how reaching out directly to different cultures in our communities is important.
He said: “Coronavirus is a very serious illness that continues to take the lives of many people, and is still causing suffering and sadness across the world.
Across our region we have a diverse range of wonderful languages spoken. We want to reach out to our culturally diverse communities to ensure everyone has the opportunity to hear and understand factual information about the vaccine from their local doctors and thus encourage vaccine confidence.
We aim to continue to reproduce our vaccine confidence message in as many languages as we can, to enable us to help as many people as possible in our communities to understand the importance of this vaccine, and what it can do to help protect us and our loved ones.”
The Humber, Coast and Vale coronavirus vaccine information videos in different languages can be viewed on their YouTube channel here.
Congratulations to Riverside Surgery – runners up in Professor Keri Thomas Award for Team of the Year
The team at Riverside Surgery in Brigg have been recognised nationally as runners up for the Team of the Year award in the Professor Keri Thomas Awards, run by the Gold Standards Framework (GSF).
This recognition was based on important work to improve end of life care for Riverside patients, such as becoming the first surgery pilot site for the System Led Interoperability Project (SLIP). SLIP allows real time visibility of patient entries between two systems, which has since been rolled out nationally.
Their nomination also referred to their heavy involvement in the roll out of the Electronic Palliative Care Coordination System (EPaCCS), with Dr Avinash Pillai, a GP at Riverside Surgery, being part of the clinical design team of the EPaCCS project. EPaCCS is a palliative care shared record, which enables different health and care organisations to share information about a patient’s end of life preferences and care plans. The blueprints of the EPaCCS system have been shared online as best practice, as part of the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) Blueprinting programme, you can read more about this here.
Dr Pillai is also a supporter and clinical representative of the Humber CCGs’ Local Digital Roadmap Board, the strategic group which steers large scale IT developments across the area.
The GSF commented that: “Your obvious passion, commitment, IT innovation and effective communication were particularly noted, plus the spreading of your innovation beyond your borders. It’s good to hear how you shared the digital developments as an example of best practice with others, including the SLIP and global digital examples, thereby supporting many more practices to improve their communication.
You are a great exemplar as an innovative compassionate team, striving for the best for your patients, working as one unit, and I hope you continue to thrive and flourish. Well done to all your staff – they are all frontrunners and you all should be greatly applauded for the high quality of your work.”
The team were named joint-runners up for the Team of the Year award, alongside a team in Northamptonshire. Congratulations for this national recognition, and thank you to the team at Riverside for your continued hard work to support patients in North Lincolnshire.