Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Get the latest advice about coronavirus from nhs.uk

Please also see our COVID-19 information page

Welcome to Heathfield and Firs Surgeries

COVID-19

VISITING YOUR GP SURGERY

PLEASE WEAR FACE COVERINGS

COVID-19 PROTECTIONS ARE STILL IN PLACE IN THIS SURGERY

In line with current Government guidance patients are required to continue to wear a face covering in all healthcare settings.

Face coverings primarily protect others, so doing so – unless exempt – is key to preventing spread of infection.

Continue to respect (2m) Social Distancing

TEST AND ISOLATE IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS

If you have symptoms you must get at PCR test as soon as possible & before visiting your GP. Rapid lateral flow tests should not be used to confirm infection.

It’s vital that you and anyone in your household isolate until you receive your test result, and for 10 days thereafter if the result is positive.

WASH/SANITISE HANDS REGULARY

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Flu Vaccination Clinics

We are pleased to inform you that we have started the flu vaccination clinics. All our clinics are currently full, we will be arranging another clinic soon so please keep checking back with us. 

 

Covid Booster Programme

We are pleased to announce the Heathfield & Firs surgery will start providing Covid Boosters to those at most risk from Covid-19.

Further to the government announcement regarding Covid boosters, we have been given national guidance on how they wish us to prioritise patients. As a result, we will contact the following groups first. All patients will be contacted according to the risk groups and ensuring it is six months since their 2nd dose.

Third primary doses for patients who are immune-suppressed (according to strict criteria of what constitutes significant immunosuppression). If you are immunosuppressed, you will be eligible for a Third primary dose, as well as a booster dose- four injections in total. You will receive your booster dose six months after your third dose.

Booster doses for care home residents and housebound patients

Booster doses for Those over 80 years of age

Booster doses for Those over 75 years of age

Booster doses for Those over 70 years of age

Groups 1-5 will be contacted by the surgery inviting them to attend for their Covid booster/third primary dose at the Heathfield surgery. The NHS will be supplying us with Pfizer vaccine only. This is irrespective of which vaccine you had for your first two doses. Therefore, if you had the Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine you will still receive the Pfizer as a booster. This means there is still a 15-minute observation wait required after each vaccine. Due to limited space within the GP surgery, we are unable to run large clinics and therefore will be running smaller, more regular clinics, whilst continuing to deliver our normal healthcare services to all our patients.

We appreciate that some eligible patients may not wish to wait and so can make an online booking elsewhere using the Covid national booking system or by phoning 119. If you receive a text, email or letter invitation from NHS England and you are able to travel to a pharmacy site or mass vaccination centre, we encourage you to follow the link they provide or telephone 119 to book an appointment for your Covid booster. Alongside the above information, we are also dependent on vaccine supply.

Groups 6-10 below will be contacted by the NHS booking service to attend for their booster at another vaccination centre. Currently only frontline health and social care workers can book online using the national booking service and those who have received an invitation; all other eligible patients will need to wait until the NHS contacts them before booking their booster.

All those 65 years of age and over

All individuals aged 16 years to 64 with underlying health conditions, which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.

All those 60 years of age and over

All those 55 years of age and over

All those 50 years of age and over

Please do not contact the surgery to request an appointment for your booster. Our staff are extremely busy and it is important that you wait until we invite you. We will begin vaccinating our care homes as of next week and our first booster vaccine clinic will be on the 25/10/2021 at the Heathfield Surgery. We are currently contacting those in groups 1-5 first.

Please see the links below for more information on the booster programme.

Information on Phase 3 booster programme and FAQ

https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/phase-3/

Information on the Third primary dose for people who are immunosuppressed

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/third-primary-covid-19-vaccine-dose-for-people-who-are-immunosuppressed-jcvi-advice/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation-jcvi-advice-on-third-primary-dose-vaccination

Further information on Covid booster vaccine

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-booster-vaccine/

Information on Free Transport for east Sussex residents who have no means to get their Covid vaccine appointment

https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/community/emergency-planning/coronavirus/residents/covid-19-community-support/transport

We kindly ask you to not contact us at this stage. We are awaiting further details and will provide more information when we can.

Please follow the link for further information regarding the Covid Booster and Book or manage a booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

 

Comment

The Heathfield and Firs Surgeries received a comment about not being able to book a blood test in the afternoon. We would like to explain why this is. 

Unfortunately the Surgery are unable to offer blood tests in the afternoon because of the courier and laboratory services. Bloods are collected from our Surgery at lunch time to be processed by the laboratory in the afternoon. Processing of blood samples needs to be done in a timely manner as otherwise no results can be taken from the blood sample. 

Please note that our phone calls are recorded for training purposes. 

Recording are deleted after a period of time.

In line with current guidance, patients are required to continue to wear a face mask in all health care settings, unless exempt. Please help us protect our vulnerable patients and staff. Thank you!

 

CQC

Overall rating: Requires Improvement

The Heathfield and Firs Surgeries are pleased to inform you that CQC have rated the Surgery "good" for 3 out of the 5 indicators, giving the Surgery an overall rating of "Requires improvement". As a Surgery we are working hard to improve on the areas CQC have indicated that need improvement. To read more please click here.

Hailsham Food Bank 

Heathfield and Firs Surgery are proud to become collection points for Hailsham Foodbank. They very kindly looked after the isolated families in Heathfield over the Lockdown. The collection bins are located in the reception areas, please donate if you can, it is much appreciated. 

Hidden Hearing

We are delighted to let you know that Hidden Hearing now has clinics available in Heathfield 92. Please ask your GP to refer you to Hidden Hearing: "If you sometimes have difficulty hearing people clearly, often ask people to repeat themselves or struggle with conversations on the phone, you might be suffering from some degree of hearing loss. This happens as we get older and can affect our mental health and general well-being.

Your GP can refer you to Hidden Hearing, one of the UK’s leading hearing healthcare providers. They also provide NHS-funded hearing aids, which could help you get back to hearing the sounds you enjoy the most."

 

REGISTER YOUR TYPE 1 OPT-OUT PREFERENCE 

This is an objection that prevents an individual's personal confidential information from being shared outside of their general practice except when it is being used for the purposes of direct care, or in particular circumstances required by law, such as a public health emergency like an outbreak of a pandemic disease.  

To register your opt-out preferences please download this form Type 1 Opt Out Form,  fill it out and bring it to the Surgery. Alternatively please collect a form from the Surgery.  

NATIONAL DATA OPT OUT

The national data opt-out enables patients to opt-out from the use of their personal confidential data for research or planning purposes.  To find out more or to register to opt out, please visit nhs.uk - Your Data Matters.

Patients can also make or change a choice relating to their personal Data by phoning the NHS Digital Contact Centre. The phone number is 0300 303 5678 - Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Email: enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk

Further information and to register for National Data Opt Out

 

How the NHS uses your Patient Data

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR PHONE CALLS ARE RECORDED FOR TRAINING PURPOSES.

Recording are deleted after a period of time.

 

Covid Status on the NHS App

You can view and download your COVID-19 vaccination status using the NHS App.

You need to create an NHS login to use the NHS App if you do not have one already. NHS login registrations may take longer than usual when there are high numbers of requests. You will need to register at least 2 weeks before your departure date.

The information on a patient's Covid-Status will be drawn from the NIMS (National Immunisation System of Record) and not from the GP Record. This will be a national programme, using national data. 

You can call 119 and ask for a letter with your COVID-19 vaccination status to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you complete your course of the vaccine. You do not need to know your NHS number to get a letter, but the process to request a letter may be quicker if you do.

 

Covid Champions

The Board of the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group has recognised the work of the Vaccination Champions. They were praised for all of their work to date in our communities. There are approximately 100 Champions, who are volunteers working with the programme to share the latest information and updates to encourage uptake and support communities. 

Heathfield Surgery is delighted to be working with the Vaccination Champions and can inform you that they have set up a special email service to answer any questions you may have: heathfieldvacschamp@gmail.com

The email will be checked on a regular basis and the Covid champions will endeavour to answer any COVID vaccine issues as soon as possible, depending on capacity and volume. 

 

Sexual Health Services

Pleae note that the Surgery offers sexual health services. Please ask your clinician or reception for more information. 

 

First Contact Physiotherapist

We are delighted to welcome Chris, our First contact physiotherapist, to our team as a part of our primary care network. If you have bone, joint or muscle pain, you can see Chris. The First Contact Physiotherapist will assess you and provide you a management plan for your condition or refer you on to the Horder center for further treament.

 

COVID 19 Vaccinations

The next AZ Covid clinics are on Wednesday nights. Do phone the Surgery to book your second AZ vaccination. If you are over 40 and require a first vaccination, please contact The Heathfield Surgery as well.

The Greater Wealden Primary Care Network comprising Bird in Eye Surgery, Buxted Medical Centre, Heathfield and Firs  Surgeries, Herstmonceux Integrative Health Centre, Meads Medical Centre and Mid Downs Medical Centre are delighted to announce that we will be offering Covid vaccinations as part of the Phase 2 of the vaccination programme. 

This means that as our patients who are aged under 50 become eligible we will be offering local vaccination appointments with the majority taking place at each surgery's own premises. 

Currently anyone aged 40-49 is eligible, as well as those from the initial priority groups - those aged 50 and above, those clinically extremely vulnerable, those with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. 

We are really excited to be taking part in the futher roll out of the vaccination programme for our patients and will post futher news once we are able to announce details of our first phase 2 clinics. 

In the meantime patients are able to book their first appointments at any of the large vaccination centres online phoning 119 or via the NHS.uk Covid vaccination booking page.

If there is anyone in the initial priority groups who has not yet had their first dose, please contact us as soon as possible so that this can be arranged quickly. There will only be Astra Zeneca available for first vaccinations.

We are also all currently working to invite patients for their second vaccination. 

Thank you for your support. 

You can find out more about the vaccination programme, including a Frequently Asked Questions at the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.

 

Covid 19 Vaccination Scams

Heathfield Surgery would like to warn you about Covid 19 vaccination scams. NHSE has this advice for patients:

An official NHS text message will include details of your GP practice. It will also include details of the local vaccination service and its location;

Scam text messages and emails are not including local information such as your GP practice details or where you are invited to attend;

The COVID-19 vaccination is only available by the NHS and it is free – you will never be asked to pay for it or your bank details.

If you are worried about a text message you have received, please be assured you will remain on your GP practice list for vaccination if you don't respond.

 

Face Masks

Please wear a facemask when visiting the Surgery, even if only to collect your prescription. The Surgery cannot supply face masks.

When visiting the Heathfield and Firs Surgeries, as per national guidance, we now request that patients over 5 years old wear protection over their mouth and nose. This can be a mask, face covering or scarf. We appreciate your support and understanding.

 

Online appointments

As a pilot, the Heathfield and Firs Surgery are carefully releasing a small number of TELEPHONE online appointments. These get released the night before.

Please note that these are TELEPHONE consultations, NOT face to face, as the Surgery needs to follow NHSE advice to telephone-triage appointments. Please also note that we may need to close down the online appointments again, depending on NHSE guidance. 

 

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NHS App

 

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

As of 25 May 2018 a new Data Protection Policy has come into force on 25 May 2018. It is an EU wide regulation that will remain part of the British Law after Brexit. It replaces the Data Protection Act of 1998 and 2003.

Privacy Notice

How we use your information:

Medical confidentiality is the cornerstone of trust between doctor and patient and we keep your records secure and confidential.

For your direct care either from the practice or within the NHS hospital service we imply your consent to pass on relevant clinical information to other professional staff involved in your direct care.

Only when there is a legal basis for the transfer of data we may pass limited and relevant information to other NHS organisations to improve the efficient management of the NHS or to aid medical research.

If you wish to see more information about this subject please visit our website: www.heathfieldsurgery.nhs.uk

If you wish to object to the use of your data for these ‘secondary’ uses please ask reception for a form to dissent.

Also see our detailed Privacy Policy, which also covers GDPR.

 

Other News and Information

Prescriptions Advice

Please note that the surgery has been advised by the CQC that we are ONLY permitted to take requests for medication in WRITING and not over the telephone. Please be aware that you can request your prescription online if you are signed up for surgery online booking. For further details please contact your reception team.

 

Blood tests at the surgery

Please also note that all blood tests are now carried out every weekday morning at the Firs Surgery in Cross in Hand.  If you are unable to get to the Firs Surgery, you are welcome to take your blood test form to the Phlebotomy Department at Eastbourne District General Hospital instead. 

 

Online access for booking appointments and re-ordering repeat prescriptions

If you have not already signed up for online booking, and have access to a computer, please be aware that the surgery is releasing more GP appointments to book online.  Please bring photo ID with you to your surgery and the reception team can issue you with an online user name and password.

This will generally allow you to be able to book appointments online over the weekend for the next week, often for the next morning, and during the day too. However, please note that appointments are subject to availablity, issued on a first come first served basis, and for selected GP appointments only.

Online access for children under 10 years of age can be managed by a parent or legal guardian.  Again please bring in photo ID (for the adult) to the surgery and we can generate log-in details.

Unfortunately we cannot offer on-line access to children over 10 years old and under 16 years of age.

 

Mobile numbers and text messaging

Don't forget to inform the surgery if you have changed your mobile number, as we when we book appointments for you we automatically send out text confirmations.  Similarly, if you haven't already provided us with your mobile number please let us know so we can update our records.

 

Friends and Family Test (From April 2016 up until August 2021)

Would you recommend our GP Practice?

95% of our patients would recommend our Surgery to their friends and family.

Thank you for filling in the Friends and Family test. Your comments and recommendations have been noted!

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