Issue 31 - 1 November 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.
In this issue
- Happy Diwali
- Cases are rising so get your Covid-19 jab now
- Vaccines for 12-15 year-olds
- Covid-19 vaccines for young people
- Get the flu vaccine
- GP practices offering appointments in the best way for everyone
- Breast cancer awareness month: screening is essential and saves lives
- Celebrating Black women’s births
- Local Healthwatch shortlisted for award
We wish a very happy Diwali to everyone across north east London who is celebrating the festival of lights over the coming days.
Cases are rising so get your Covid-19 jab now
There are still more than 600,000 people aged over 18 in north east London who are risking their own lives and the health and safety of their closest loved ones by not getting fully vaccinated. Infection rates are rising and between 1 September and 25 October, more than 150 Covid-19 patients were treated in intensive care in our hospitals – 85% of these people had not received two doses of the vaccine. The need to use these beds for unvaccinated people holds up other life-saving treatments.
Boosters provide vital extra protection against Covid-19 so it is crucial to come forward for the vaccine when invited. But anyone aged 50 or over who had their second Covid-19 jab more than six months and one week ago (before mid-April) can now simply walk in to any one of the sites on the ‘Grab a Jab’ NHS online walk-in finder. You can also book using the national booking service or calling 119.
Vaccines for 12-15 year-olds
Parents or guardians of children aged 12-15 attending school will receive a letter from Vaccination UK (the organisation which provides vaccinations in schools across north east London) with information about the Covid-19 vaccine, when it will be available and asking for parental consent.
At present, one dose of the vaccine will be offered to most children in this age group. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, or live with someone who is immunosuppressed, will be offered two doses and will be contacted by their GP to arrange this.
Further information is available here, including a video on vaccination for 12-15 year olds and details of Q&A sessions on Covid-19 vaccination for children. Children do not need to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to be vaccinated.
If you've had a positive Covid-19 test, you need to wait 4 weeks (28 days) before having the vaccination - this starts from the date you had the test.
Covid-19 vaccines for young people
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 or can book an appointment at a local centre through the national booking service.
Get the flu vaccine
Everyone aged 50 and over is eligible for a free flu vaccine, as well as a Covid-19 booster.
More information on the flu vaccine is here. It 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.
All children aged 2 to 17 are also eligible for the free flu vaccine and you can find out how to get this here.
GP practices offering appointments in the best way for everyone
In the past year, GPs across north east London have provided over 10 million appointments, most of which were face-to-face, and satisfaction levels remain high despite all the challenges of the pandemic. The latest figures show north east London is in the top ten nationally for increasing the number of face-to-face GP appointments, with nearly 58% of all appointments in September 2021 being face-to-face.
This article by NHS North East London CCG Chair, Dr Jagan John explains how the pandemic has dramatically changed the way that GPs have had to work and that they are now seeing a big rise in demand for appointments.
GPs are committed to seeing everyone who needs to be seen in the best way for them, so please be kind to yourselves, others who have been badly affected by Covid, and your NHS and social care services.
Breast cancer awareness month: screening is essential and saves lives
If you have an appointment for breast screening, it is important that you attend. It is unlikely that we will find any cancer, but catching any sign early is key so that it can be treated. To find out more, watch our short, animated video (translations are available on our cancer alliance patient information web page). See the NEL HCP website for more information including breast screening facts, eligibility and links to further information.
Celebrating Black women’s births
The north east London local maternity system is launching Celebrating Black Women’s Births – a webinar that celebrates births in Black African and Black Caribbean communities and explores the role of the Covid-19 vaccination in ensuring safety in pregnancy and fertility. Find out more here including details of how to join the webinar.
Local Healthwatch shortlisted for award
Local Healthwatch across north east London have been shortlisted for an award at the Healthwatch Network Awards. The eight north east London Healthwatch are praised for providing fast, regular and comprehensive insight into people’s experiences of care, as well as helping to develop services that meet the needs of their diverse populations.
You find out more about how the NHS and social care is changing on our website.