This page has been set up to provide St Mary’s patients with all they need to know about important announcements and surgery changes during the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic.
You can also find more information on our FAQ page – see tab above.
Please see our latest workplace COVID-19 risk assessments below (July 2020):
The COVID-19 vaccination is free
Please remember the COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out by the NHS
and it is FREE.
You will only be contacted by legitimate NHS bodies when it is your turn and at no point will you be asked to pay anything.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you have received a text message you think is suspicious, please forward it to the number 7726, which is free of charge and reports the text.
If you are suspicious about an email you have received, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you believe you are the victim of a COVID related fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040.
Message from Dr Katrina Young – second lockdown
As we begin a second national lockdown, my GP colleagues and I want to say to all our patients that St Mary’s Surgery is, and will remain, open. We understand that things are difficult and people may be worried about accessing health services but we want to reassure you that St Mary’s is open for business.
All our normal GP services will continue to run including dressing changes, flu vaccinations, family planning clinics, baby clinics, cervical smears, blood tests and annual reviews. Many appointments will continue to be over the phone or via video link, but if your doctor or nurse asks you to come to the surgery, please do so.
Safety and infection prevention and control remains our highest priority – for patients and staff alike. Therefore, all patients coming to the building will be screened at the door, including having their temperatures taken. We also encourage you to wear a face covering if possible.
If you have a health concern or need the support of your doctor or nurse, please do not hesitate to contact us. We do not want anyone to feel they cannot be cared for by their healthcare professional at this critical time. We are here for all who need us.
Launch of NHS COVID-19 app
The government has launched the NHS COVID-19 app as part of the nation’s fight against coronavirus.
The app has a number of tools to protect you including helping to notify you if you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, allowing you to report symptoms or book a coronavirus test and supporting the NHS in local areas so authorities can respond quickly and stop the virus spreading.
The app does NOT track you or your location. It does what it needs to while protecting a user’s anonymity. You can delete it from your phone at any time.
You need to have a smart phone – Apple iPhone 6S or newer or an Android phone running version 6 or newer – and can download the COVID-19 app from the App Store or from Google Play.
You need to be over 16 years to use it and the app is available in a number of languages.
Read about how the new NHS app works, how your privacy is protected and find further help and support here.
Instructions for downloading the COVID-19 app for iPhone
Instructions for downloading the COVID-19 app for Android
Date created: 28.9.20
Changes in rules regarding face coverings
The law on the wearing of face coverings in England changed on Friday 24 July 2020. As well as on public transport, people are required to wear a face covering in shops and other enclosed public spaces.
For your own protection and safety, that of other patients and the NHS staff who are caring for you, we encourage anyone attending the surgery to wear a face mask or face covering.
Thank you for your cooperation with this.
We know that some people are unable to wear a face covering because of a disability or severe distress, and the government has made provision for people not to have to wear a face covering if they have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:
• young children under the age of 11
• not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
• if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
• if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate• to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
• to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
• to eat or drink, but only if you need to
• to take medication
• if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering.
More details on government advice about face coverings can be found here.
There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:
• If asked to do so by shop staff for the purpose of age identification
• If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication.
If you think you may be exempt or are unable to wear a face covering for health reasons, you can download and print off exemption cards to put on your mobile phones or to carry with you.
PLEASE NOTE: St Mary’s Surgery is not obliged to provide you with a letter exempting you from wearing a face mask due to certain health issues. This is because a letter is not needed. Any patient can download their own exemption card.
St Mary’s is supporting key COVID-19 research study
St Mary’s practice is supporting vital COVID-19 research. As part of this, we are helping to carry out a national priority research study called PRINCIPLE.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, are aged 65 or over, OR are aged 50-64 and have an existing health condition, you may be eligible to join this important study.
If you’d like to discuss taking part in PRINCIPLE, please contact us.
If you’d like to know more about COVID-19 research and how you can contribute, please visit the Be Part of Research site, which is run by the National Institute for Health Research.
Date created: 20.5.20
Coronavirus testing for key workers showing symptoms
The Government has announced that all key workers in England and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus / COVID-19 will now be able to get tested.
Essential workers will be able to book a test directly for themselves or members of their household who are experiencing symptoms – a high temperature or new continuous cough.
Find out more about the self-referral test here.
Date created: 24.4.20
Minor Injuries Unit remains open
The Minor Injuries Unit at the Princess of Wales Hospital remains open for patients with injuries that need attention but are not critical or life threatening.
From Sunday 27 September, Ely Minor Injury Unit returns to its usual pre-covid opening hours of 8.30am-6pm seven days a week, with x-ray services available from 9am-5pm. The unit will see injuries up to two weeks old.
Minor injuries include:
• sprains, strains, cuts and grazes
• arm, foot and leg injuries
• bites, minor burns and scalds
• broken bones
• minor head injuries
• eye problems, such as scratches and foreign bodies in the eye.
Date updated: 30.9.20
Advice for parents worried about children’s illness during coronavirus
Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.
Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured.
Remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done.
Use this poster from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to find out what to do if your child is unwell.
Date created: 20.4.20
Local support for those self-isolating or in a vulnerable group
Are you self-isolating? Are you in a vulnerable group? Do you need help with shopping or simply a friendly voice to talk to?
East Cambs District Council has set up a COVID-19 coordination hub. The hub is there to support people who need it. You can call them on 01353 665555 from Mon-Fri between 9.00am-4.00pm oremail if that’s easiier for you.
The hub will also connect those who want to volunteer in Ely and our local communities. Find out more here.
Date created: 8.4.20
Order your repeat prescription online
It’s easy to order your repeat medication online. If you are already registered with SystmOnline, order that way. If you are not and wish to order online, please download the NHS app and follow the on screen instructions to register. Use the App Store for I phone or Google Play for android.
Please note you have to be aged 13 or over to be able to register for the NHS app.
If you are unable to order your repeat prescription online, click here to download a request form.
You should complete the form and return it to us – either by post or by email. Please allow a minimum of five working days before collecting your medication.
Date updated: 2.4.20
Childhood immunisations in the light of Covid-19
It’s important that if you’ve received a letter inviting your child for their vaccinations that you ring the surgery to arrange an appointment. Please remember routine childhood vaccinations save lives.
Childhood vaccination appointments will now take place between 12 noon and 2.00pm.
In the light of COVD-19 if you, your child or a member of your family has a NEW persistent cough or raised temperature (above 37.8 degrees), please follow the stay at home guidance and DO NOT come to the surgery. However, once the 14 days have passed, it is important you do contact St Mary’s to arrange your immunisation appointment.
Please remember routine childhood immunisations boost your child’s immunity against multiple diseases.
Date updated: 13.3.20
Coronavirus / COVID-19 guidance
A link to the easy read version of the government guidance on Coronavirus / Covid 19 is available here.
The government’s coronavirus guidance has been translated to help those whose first language is not English. Read it in your own language here.
Date updated: 3.4.20
Coronavirus / COVID-19 – Information for all patients
If you have a NEW persistent cough and / or a high temperature, however mild, stay at home and self isolate for 7 days – See gov.uk for information on how to self isolate.
The surgery does NOT need to be informed and you do NOT need to contact 111 if your symptoms are mild. Patients will NOT get tested and GP surgeries cannot arrange testing.
If your symptoms continue to worsen, you should use the NHS 111 online symptoms checker. If you do not have online access or feel more unwell, contact NHS 111 and NOT St Mary’s Surgery.
Only come to the surgery if you have a confirmed appointment or are collecting medication from Lloyds Pharmacy or our dispensary.
Repeat medication can be ordered online or by posting your repeat slip through the letterbox at the front of the surgery
Read the full statement from the surgery here.
See below for more information from the NHS on coronavirus/COVID-19:
NHS 111 Online – https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19
Date created: 19.3.20