COVID Restriction Update For Beckington Family Practice Surgeries

Infection prevention control guidelines to remain in place

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 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.

Practice Announcement From Dr John Beaven (Senior Partner)

We would like to thank all of our patients for your patience and your expressions of support during the pandemic so far. Although it is not currently possible to directly book a face-to-face appointment with a GP, we have continued to provide face-to-face, telephone and online support and our nursing team have been working hard to provide essential care and investigations. We are also performing large numbers of blood tests on behalf of the local hospitals.

Thank you for being patient. We’re very busy, with many people contacting the surgery for medical advice and treatment. We are doing all we can to answer your queries as quickly as we can – this may take longer than usual. Now that lockdown is lifting, our GP practices are experiencing very high numbers of patients trying to contact them. In response we have been providing almost 20% more consultations than two years ago but this is proving very challenging. Please be patient and understanding if it takes a while for us to answer the phone or for you to be seen for an appointment.

Don’t forget your highly qualified, local community pharmacist can provide health advice and over the counter products or help with a wider range of minor illnesses and injuries like backache, bites, coughs and colds, sunburn, hay fever and diarrhoea. For urgent care, or after our GP surgery has closed, call or click NHS 111 to be directed to the local healthcare you need.

With new variants circulating, only half of the adult population fully vaccinated, some very vulnerable patients and with scientific advice to minimise numbers indoors (including waiting rooms) and limit face to face contact time we cannot safely return to ‘service as normal’ yet.

While face-to-face appointments continue to be offered to those based on clinical need, many issues can be resolved during a phone consultation without patients having to travel to a surgery.  The practice team will direct you to the most appropriate healthcare team for your needs.  We can also conduct video consultations and receive images by text or email, if the GP requests this. We are certainly not ‘phone only’, as some have feared, but we are likely to be ‘phone first’ for the time being.

Dr John Beaven June 2021

General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) And Opting Out (Type 1)

There has been a lot attention in the media lately regarding Patients information being extracted from GP surgeries and you, the patient being able to opt-out of having any of your personal identifiable information being collected and used.

NHS Digital have produced a notice on why this information will be collected and the option to exercise a type 1 opt-out, please click here for more details and a letter from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jo Churchill is here, there is additional information regarding your data at your-nhs-data-matters and the Privacy Notice here.

Alternatively, you can download and print out a Type 1 opt-out form here and return to the practice reception.

Please see the following extract of the letter from Jo Churchill regarding Opt-outs below.

"We want to make the position around opt-out much simpler. While 1 September has been seen by some as a cut-off date for opt-out, after which data extraction would begin, I want to reassure you that this will not be the case and data extraction will not commence until we have met the tests.

We are introducing three changes to the opt-out system which mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time:

  • Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1 September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded
  • NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out
  • The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running, and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian

Together, these changes mean that patients can have confidence that they will have the ability to opt-in or opt-out of the system, and that the dataset will always reflect their current preference. And we will ensure it is easy for them to exercise the choice to optout."


Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccinations


National Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccination Programme

We are vaccinating patients based on the priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in collaboration with the other practices in our local primary care network. Most of the vaccinations take place at Shape Centre Mendip District Council Offices, Shepton Mallet. National guidance and vaccine deliveries control when each priority age group can be invited.
Please do not contact the surgery directly – we will contact you when it is time to have your vaccination.
Please note: If you are awaiting a call from us regarding the vaccine, our phone number will show as withheld when we call. We are sending some text messages to patients with a booking link.                             
For more information on the NHS Vaccination programme please visit: Somerset CCG
Thank you for your patience.

For general advice and guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit the NHS website: NHS UK