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Patient News

Royal Free out-patient appointments call centre
28 Apr, 2022

If you have any questions about your out-patient referral or appointment at the Royal Free London, please contact the out-patient appointments call centre. The team will be able to answer your questions including if you’re waiting to be booked and about your upcoming appointments. The call centre can be contacted by calling 020 7443 9757. 

If you have queries about an in-patient / day-surgery appointment contact the relevant admissions team, depending on where your procedure is due to take place: -

Barnet Hospital or Chase Farm Hospital: 020 3758 2011

Edgware Community Hospital: 020 7830 2849 ext. 38279

Royal Free Hospital: 020 7830 2849

Please note all lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm (excluding bank holidays).

You must wear a mask in all NHS healthcare settings
9 Mar, 2022

Although regulations regarding mask wearing have relaxed, you are still required to wear a mask when visiting any NHS healthcare setting. This includes GP practices.

Patients who have received COVID-19 vaccinations overseas
9 Mar, 2022

If you live in England and have had one or more of your COVID-19 vaccinations administered overseas, you can have your vaccination details added to your NHS Record. You can then generate an NHS COVID Pass for domestic use and international travel if you meet certain certification requirements.

Eligible vaccines

You can use this service if you’ve had one or more of the following vaccines:

  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer
  • Janssen

There will remain a small number of countries and territories where this service will not be enabled. However, international COVID-19 certification accepted at the UK border is also accepted at events and venues in England.

Book an appointment to register your overseas vaccinations

To register your overseas vaccinations, you’ll need to book an appointment at a selected list of vaccination centres across England.

Book an appointment to register your overseas vaccination with the NHS.

Staff are not able to register your overseas vaccinations unless you book in advance.

Details of your overseas vaccination will then be recorded in the National Immunisation Management System.

If you’re registered with a GP in England and were vaccinated in Scotland, Wales or the Isle of Man, you do not need to book an appointment at a vaccination centre. Those registered with a GP in England who received Novavax, Valneva and Medicago vaccinations administered in the UK can also access an NHS COVID Pass.

If you need help using this service, contact the NHS COVID Pass service by telephoning:

  • 119 from the UK
  • 0151 905 0119 from overseas (you’ll be charged according to your carrier’s rates)
Covid-19 Booster Vaccination - Update 13th Dec 2021
13 Dec, 2021

The NHS vaccination programme will offer every adult the chance to book a covid-19 booster vaccine by the end of the year to protect the nation against the Omicron variant.

As part of the biggest and fastest vaccine programme in health service history, online bookings are available for all those in their 30s and above from today.

The best way to get your vaccine is by booking online at www.nhs.uk or by calling 119 – please do keep checking availability as appointments are loaded onto the system every day. The website and phoneline are understandably very busy and we thank you for your patience when booking.

The national booking service will then open up to everyone aged 18 and over from Wednesday this week.

The NHS is prioritising bookings for boosters and is urging people to book a slot to guarantee their vital jab. Some sites offer walk-in appointments where no appointment is needed. Please check here for clinics with walk-in availability and their opening hours www.happyhealthylives.uk/vaccinationdrop-ins

GP teams have been asked to clinically prioritise their services to free up maximal capacity to support the covid-19 vaccination programme, alongside delivering critical appointments such as cancer, urgent and emergency care. This might mean that for some people, routine appointments are postponed as part of the national mission to roll out boosters.

Scientists are very concerned about the spread of Omicron due to the speed with which it spreads and because two doses do not appear to provide much protection but thankfully, a booster dramatically improves this.That is why the Government has asked the NHS to prioritise boosters over other routine care.

We appreciate your support and understanding – and urge you to come forward for your vaccination as soon as possible.

Proof of vaccination for 12-15yr olds
9 Mar, 2022

Please find below current information and guidance from NHS England and the UK Government on proof of vaccination for 12-15yr olds, as of the 22/11/21:

“Only citizens aged 13 years and older can access the NHS App.

If you're aged 16 or over, you can get a digital NHS COVID Pass for travel.

If you're 18 or over, you can also use your digital NHS COVID Pass for domestic events and venues.

People under 18 do not have to show proof of their vaccination or test results for domestic events or venues in England.

You can get a COVID Pass Letter if:

  • you're aged 16 or over
  • you're fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine used in the UK
  • you had your vaccination in England or the Isle of Man
  • you’re registered with a GP in England or the Isle of Man

A GP is NOT able to issue a pass or any form of documentation that is valid for travel.

Persons travelling should always consult the ever changing requirements for entry into countries they intend to travel to.  Some countries for example will allow children access if they are travelling with fully vaccinated adults with no requirements for testing, other countries insist that children have PCR tests prior to travel.

There is no current planned change to citizens under the age of 16 being able to access a COVID Pass for travel."

Patient Access Emails
9 Mar, 2022

EMIS Health have received reports from both Patient Access users and people who have never registered for the service, that they have received Covid passport emails purporting to be from Patient Access. 

They would like to share the following guidance from Patient Access: -

  • EMIS Health advise users of Patient Access to check the name and email address of the sender; all emails from Patient Access will come via an email address that ends in @patientaccess.com.
  • EMIS Health advise users never to click on any log in links that you receive via email but to visit the site via the address bar of your browser instead so that you know you are on the genuine Patient Access log in page. You can find more information and guidance on our information security page here: https://www.patientaccess.com/security
  • EMIS Health strongly advise users to set up their Memorable Word security feature, as well as using biometrics (fingerprint ID) if they use the app.
  • Email addresses used to register for Patient Access account are secure. They do not share any data and no data is ever saved or stored on any device you use to access Patient Access.
Why are GP practices working differently?
9 Mar, 2022

At Pennine Drive Practice we have face-to-face, video and telephone appointments to make sure you get the right care from the right person. 

We remain open and are grateful for your patience as we continue to deliver the largest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS whilst supporting our patients.

Our staff are here to help and abuse will not be tolerated.

We know these are challenging times for everyone. As restrictions ease – please be kind as we work differently to protect our patients and staff and help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Why are GP practices working differently? - Leaflet

Blood Tests – Supply Issue
9 Mar, 2022

A supplier to the NHS has advised us of a shortage of some equipment used for taking blood tests.

Anyone who needs a test for urgent health problems will still get one but only where your clinician recommends that it’s safe to do so. You may be asked to come back for a test at a later date if your need is not urgent. 

Given the nature of the shortage, we cannot give an exact date for when any non-urgent tests will begin to be scheduled, but please be assured that if your condition or symptoms require it, then you will get a test, and we will be scheduling less urgent tests when supplies become more easily available. 

If your condition or symptoms change or get worse, please contact the practice by submitting a PATCHS request.

Recent events in Afghanistan
9 Mar, 2022

We are conscious that some patients may be affected by current events in Afghanistan.

If you are a member of the Afghan community or a military veteran (including family members) and recent events have affected you, please seek help by completing a referral form for yourself on the IAPT website.

Short term changes to Phlebotomy services in North Central London
9 Mar, 2022

Please check this leaflet to see details on changes to the phlebotomy services.

Infection prevention control guidelines to remain in place
9 Mar, 2022

The highest priority for the NHS remains the safety of staff, patients and visitors. While COVID restrictions will end in many settings in England from 19 July, everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering (unless they are exempt) and follow social distancing rules.

Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are therefore set to remain in place for all staff and visitors and across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dentists, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Read the infection prevention control guidance for further details.

End abuse in GP Practices
9 Mar, 2022

The below video gives examples of abuse some GP practice reception teams have experienced first-hand, in their own words. Although most of our patients might find it unthinkable, our team have had to deal with similar comments and abuse, both over the phone and face-to-face. This is unacceptable and we will not hesitate to call it out when it occurs. 

By sharing this we would like to highlight the issues faced by GP practice staff across the country but also to be thankful that, in contrast, most of our patients are generally gracious and courteous when speaking to our team. We are always trying to help, including when signposting patients to the most appropriate healthcare resource, and we thank our patients so much for being kind to us as it helps us to help you.

It is not in anyone’s job description to be abused or threatened in the workplace.

Watch Video

Supporting your recovery after COVID-19
9 Mar, 2022

As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind.

These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help.

The “Your Covid Recovery” website is designed to help you understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.

Further information is available here.

Opting out of sharing your confidential patient information
9 Mar, 2022

You can tell us if you do not want your confidential patient information held in your GP medical record to be used for purposes other than your individual care. This is commonly called a type 1 opt-out.

To opt-out please use the form below and send/hand it in to reception (not electronically).

Type 1 Opt-Out Form

Further information is available here.

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Status
9 Mar, 2022

From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. Vaccine status will be available from: 

  • the NHS App which you can download from app stores
  • the NHS website
  • 119 - by requesting a paper letter

You will need to register to use the online services, if you have not already. It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified.

If you cannot access the online services, and you have had both doses of the vaccine, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel outside the UK in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take up to 7 working days for the letter to arrive.

This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status. Please do not contact the practice about your COVID-19 vaccination status unless you have been advised to by the 119 service.

When you're planning your travel, you should check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is enough time to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status before you are due to travel.

PATCHS to Replace eConsult
9 Mar, 2022

In response to our patients’ feedback we have commissioned a new online consultation service called PATCHS which is more user-friendly, and when you need our help it only asks 4 questions to be submitted for triage.

From Thursday the 29th April 2021 you can access PATCHS via the home page of this website. 

  • You’ll be asked to enter your email address and set a password.
  • Once you have registered, you can access PATCHS via this website or opening the PATCHS app on your smartphone. Login by entering your registered email address & password.
  • Choose the appropriate option and answer a few simple questions to help your GP understand your problem.
  • Your answers are sent to your GP who responds as quickly as possible. Initial responses may be via online message or phone, with face-to-face or video consultation appointments scheduled if necessary.

For more information on Patchs you can visit their website

Please remember that we mainly use your mobile phone and email address to contact you, so ensure you have given us your latest contact information.

Please contact NHS 111 for any urgent, but not life-threatening, health problem
9 Mar, 2022

The NHS in London is making it easier and safer for patients to get the right treatment at the right time, without waiting for long periods of time to be seen in an Accident and Emergency (A&E) department. 

The NHS is asking patients with an urgent, but not life-threatening, health problem to contact NHS 111 first if they think they need to attend an A&E. You can either call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

NHS 111 can now book time slots in all local A&Edepartments across England for those who need them, including at North Middlesex University Hospital, Barnet Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital, UCLH and the Whittington

If you need urgent or emergency care, NHS 111 will advise you where you need to go for treatment and a timeslot will be booked for you. NHS 111 can also make direct appointments at GP surgeries and urgent treatment centres or send an ambulance if your condition is serious or life-threatening. 

By contacting NHS 111 first if you think you need to attend A&E for an urgent, but not serious or life-threatening medical need, you will:

  • speak with a health care professional earlier, and get the right treatment first time
  • be able to arrange an urgent face-to-face appointment, if needed.
  • avoid waiting for a long time in A&E waiting rooms.

More doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, dental nurses and trained health advisors than ever before are available to look after Londoners as part of the NHS 111service. 

Callers in mental health crisis who call NHS 111 are assessed with the same care as callers with physical symptoms. Once assessed, the call is transferred to local mental health crisis services to ensure callers receive timely specialist mental health support.

Arrangements will not change for people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries, who should still dial 999 immediately. If you do make your own way to an A&E, you will still receive medical care. 

However, using 111 first will help you get quicker, safer care in the right environment. These changes will help the NHS to minimise the risk of coronavirus spreading by allowing more space for social distancing in A&E waiting rooms.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
9 Mar, 2022

Advice in your region:

England | Scotland | Wales | Northern Ireland | Ireland

Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Check if you or your child has coronavirus symptom…

Find out about the main symptoms of coronavirus and what to do if you have them.

Self-isolation and treatment if you have coronavirus symptoms

Advice about staying at home (self-isolation) and treatment for you and anyone you live with.

Testing and tracing

Information about testing for coronavirus and what to do if you're contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.

People at high risk

Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women.

Social distancing and changes to everyday life

Advice about avoiding close contact with other people (social distancing), looking after your wellbeing and using the NHS and other services during coronavirus.

GOV.UK: coronavirus – guidance and support

Government information and advice.