Issue 30 - 19 October 2021

Health and care news from across north east London

Welcome to our public bulletin keeping local people informed about health and care services; and how you can stay well and keep safe.

GP practices are offering appointments in the best way for everyone

The pandemic changed the way all GPs had to work – in ways that kept patients and staff safe from Covid-19. This has meant things like asking patients to wear masks in surgeries; and assessing people over the phone or asking them to fill out online consultation forms first.

This is so the people who need to be seen fastest are seen first, in person if required; but it also means others can have consultations over the phone to avoid contacts on crowded travel or taking time off work, have prescriptions sent directly to local pharmacies, or be seen quickly by someone else in the practice like a nurse.

In the past year GPs across north east London have provided over 10 million appointments, the majority of which were face-to-face, and satisfaction levels remain high despite all the challenges of the pandemic, which is not over.

London GP

How the NHS and social care is changing from April 2022

Over recent years we have changed how we work and plan services in north east London to bring health and social care services closer together for the good of our communities. This has been really visible in our ongoing, coordinated response to Covid-19 where the NHS, local councils and community groups have all worked together to provide the care our communities need in an efficient, effective and joined up way. This approach will continue in 2022 with the creation of new NHS organisations.

While the organisations that plan and run NHS services in north east London are changing, how you access the NHS either at your GP, pharmacy or hospital is not. You will be able to see the same doctors and healthcare professionals when you need to, and we hope these developments will make all our services work even better for the people that need them.

You can find out more about what is happening and opportunities to be involved on our website and we will continue to keep you updated as we make this transition.

Boost your immunity with the flu jab and Covid-19 booster

Everyone aged 50 and over is eligible for a free flu vaccine and a Covid-19 booster, as well as other vulnerable adults.

More information is here on who is eligible for a free flu vaccine and on the vaccine itself. The flu vaccine is available at GP surgeries, at a hospital appointment, at a pharmacy offering the service or from your midwife if you are pregnant. Pharmacies offering the flu vaccine can be found here.

Flu alone kills around 11,000 people a year in England and a recent national survey found that nearly a third of people were unaware that flu and Covid-19 can circulate at the same time, and over a quarter did not know that flu can be fatal.

Eligible vulnerable adults (and all frontline health and social care staff) can also get their Covid-19 booster to make sure they have a high level of protection as we head into winter. See who is eligible here – people must also have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, with the second one at least six months ago.

All over 50s and vulnerable adults will be contacted by the NHS and invited to book a booster appointment. Frontline health and social care workers can go ahead and book their booster on the national booking system now. If you are eligible and if you had two doses at least 6 months ago you can book a booster directly with a local vaccination centre and you can find the booking details here.

Third doses of Covid-19 vaccine for immunosuppressed people

If you're aged 12 and over and have a condition which affects your immune system, you will be entitled to a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine eight weeks after your second dose. You can get your third dose at a hospital service, GP or participating pharmacy. Find out more.


Vaccines for children and young people

The NHS is visiting schools to give flu vaccinations to young people as usual this year. Parents or guardians of children will be contacted with information about the vaccine and when it will be available. Children who are yet to start school can have their flu vaccine at their GP practice.

We are also vaccinating 12-15 year olds against Covid-19 in schools. This page has a wealth of resources including general information on the vaccine for those aged 12-15, how to get one, eligibility, side effects and safety, as well as information for schools, easy-read guides, checklists, translations, videos and more.

Parents or guardians of children will be contacted with information about the vaccine and when it will be available. Plans are in place for sites outside of school for 12-15 year olds to get a Covid-19 vaccine.

Anyone aged 16 and over can easily find their nearest high street, walk-in vaccination centre through the ‘Grab a Jab’ NHS online walk-in finder. There is no need to pre-book and no need to bring a parent or guardian if you are 16 or 17. This link has an informative video for young people, as well as details of where to get vaccinated, how to book a jab, frequently asked questions and more. Those aged 12 to 17 and 9 months are currently only being given one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

You can also book appointments at a local centre through the national booking service. This map shows where all north east London vaccination sites are.

Get vaccinated against Covid-19 if you are pregnant

Pregnant? Make sure to have both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to protect you and your unborn baby. Thousands of pregnant women in the UK have already been safely vaccinated. Book your appointment today.

Pregnant COVID

BSL-interpreted Covid-19 events

A Covid-19 event for people who are deaf or hard of hearing is being held on Friday 22 October at St John’s Deaf Community Centre, 258 Green Lanes, N4 2HE from 6.30pm – 8pm. This BSL-interpreted event will provide an opportunity to learn about the Covid-19 vaccine programme, including a Q&A session with medical professionals and the chance to grab a jab afterwards.

BSL interpreter-supported walk in appointments for people aged 16 and over will be available on Friday 22 October from 5pm – 9pm at John Scott Health Centre, 220 Green Lanes, N4 2HE.

Safe Connections: helping reduce the risk of suicide in north east London

We have launched a new range of support services for people in north east London to help reduce the risk of suicide. These services include an app, community support hubs and bereavement services. More information is available on our Safe Connections web page. 

Updated: 19/10/2021