Monthly Archives: April 2021

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Pharmacy opening times for 2021 May Bank Holidays

Please click here for details of which pharmacies will be open, and their operating hours, across the NHS Buckinghamshire CCG area during the 2021 May Bank Holidays.

This includes Monday, 3 May, and Monday 31 May.

Where possible, please also plan ahead to make sure you get any repeat prescriptions ahead of the Bank Holiday weekends.

If you do go to a pharmacy, please follow the social distancing guidelines and any other measures that are being taken to protect both you and any members of staff.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should stay at home.

If your symptoms worsen, please refer to the NHS111 online coronavirus service.

Please note – pharmacy opening hours on Bank Holidays are voluntary and are, therefore, subject to change. Patients are advised to check if pharmacies are open by telephone before making a journey.

Local pharmacy details can be found at www.nhs.uk under ‘NHS Services’.

If you are still not sure what health service option to use, and it is not an emergency, you can go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for advice.

You can also view details of pharmacy opening times for Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

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Live webinar will share the facts on COVID-19 vaccinations

Buckinghamshire residents who have questions about COVID-19 vaccinations are invited to sign up to a live online session where a panel of specialists will cover topics such as COVID-19 vaccine facts and how the vaccine is being delivered in Buckinghamshire. There will also be chance to ask questions about the vaccine.

The live event takes place on Wednesday 28 April between 5:30pm – 6:45pm, and members of the public can join the event for free by clicking here: http://bit.ly/BucksVaxWebinar

Jane O’ Grady, Buckinghamshire Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

“The delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination is the largest immunisation programme ever undertaken in the UK, and progress has been very positive in Buckinghamshire, with over 60% of all adults so far having been vaccinated.

“However, while this is an encouraging start, for vaccination programmes to work, they need high coverage or the virus can continue to spread. That’s why I would ask anyone who is unsure about whether to have the vaccine or not to join our live online session. It’s a chance to find out more about the vaccine and to have your questions answered by a panel of health specialists.”

Buckinghamshire Council’s website also has a dedicated COVID-19 area which includes a vaccine FAQ page and local testing information which is regularly updated.

There is also news on local vaccine sites, weekly figures and other updates. This information can be accessed by going to: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus 

 

 

 

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New home for Buckinghamshire’s large COVID vaccination site

Large-scale COVID vaccinations in Buckinghamshire are moving to new site from Monday, April 26.

Operations in Aylesbury are switching from the Bucks New University (BNU) campus, where 22,000 first dose vaccinations have taken place,  to the indoor bowls centre at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Guttmann Road.

Members of the public who were scheduled to receive their second doses at the BNU site are being notified to attend the bowls centre instead on their original date and time.

Nicola Leavesley, the Deputy Covid Operations Director for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs two other large scales vaccination centres, said: “If you have not yet been contacted by phone or email, please do not worry.

“Our team is automatically switching your appointment to the new venue and notifying people where we have contact details, so please come to the bowls centre on your original date and time. We are expecting you and there is no need to rebook or call 119.”

The bowls centre site which has dedicated free parking, is already home to a GP-led vaccination site which is carrying out second doses on Fridays and Saturday. This is separate to the Oxford Health run operations which run are being supported by teams from Buckinghamshire Council.

Nicola added: “We are really grateful to the team at Stoke Mandeville Stadium for their support, and for the patience of the public who use these facilities while the vaccination rollout continues.”

Where is the new vaccination centre?

Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 9PP.

Marshals will direct you to the parking area which is separate to other bays for the use of people using the sports facilities.

First dose appointments

First dose appointments for those over the age of 45, frontline health workers and other eligible groups – including the clinically vulnerable and carers – will be available at the bowls centre site over the next two weeks.

Please check the NHS website here to check if you can have the vaccine.

If eligible you can follow the links to the national booking system to make your appointment at either the vaccine centre – identified as the Guttmann centre – or a pharmacy. You can also make a booking by calling 119.

If you have your NHS number (a 10 digit unique number used on any NHS communications with you including prescriptions) this will help speed up your booking.

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Castlefield Community Centre hosts pop-up vaccination clinic

The latest of several pop-up vaccination clinics across Buckinghamshire came to the Wycombe area over the weekend, this time setting up in Castlefield Community Centre to make it easier for members of the local community to get their jab.

The pop-up centre on Sunday (11 April) gave 81 jabs to those who attended. The clinic was operated by local GPs with support from organisations including Wycombe Mosque, Wycombe Islamic Society (WISE), Karima, MEC and Jamia Rehmania.

The clinic follows others held in recent weeks, at the Wycombe Islamic Centre – which was aimed at residents in the Micklefield, Bowerdean and Totteridge areas – and before that at Wycombe’s Jubilee Road Mosque. A pop-up clinic has also operated at the Aylesbury Mosque, and more are planned in Bucks for the future.

Pop-up clinics aim to encourage greater uptake of vaccinations with the support of trusted local figures. They also offer a more convenient location to be vaccinated for many people, alongside the nine GP-led vaccination sites across Bucks, one national vaccination site in Aylesbury, and eight pharmacy-led sites in the county.

Dr Sajid Zaib, Clinical Lead for the Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre and GP at Oakfield Surgery in Aylesbury, is one of the GPs running these pop-up clinics. He said: “The success of these clinics highlights how important it is to go into the community to reach people who still need to be vaccinated. Making the location and environment comfortable for people who may have some hesitation about getting the vaccine can make a real difference, and we have had great engagement with these patients.

“To date we have attracted people with very diverse backgrounds at these clinics, including members of the Philippinian, Sri Lankan, African, Turkish, Arab, Indian and Pakistani British communities.

“Having female vaccinators available to give jabs in a culturally comfortable, familiar environment has also helped to give a positive experience to female members of the community who may prefer this. I would like to thank all our colleagues and partners in the community who have given their tremendous support and cooperation to make these clinics such a success and I would encourage all members of the community to come forward and have their jab when called.”

GPs from across the county were actively involved in arranging and running this initiative together with Dean Elliot, Group Commander for Resourcing and Projects from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service who are supporting the vaccine roll-out.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This health initiative continues to be a fantastic example of collaboration between our local communities and the GPs and healthcare professionals who serve them.

“We would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make these clinics happen and we look forward to continuing to work with local communities across Buckinghamshire as the vaccination rollout progresses.”

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Ramadan during COVID-19 – vaccinations and changes to lockdown restrictions

Many Muslims across Buckinghamshire will be celebrating Ramadan from 12 April, just as the country takes its next step out of lockdown.

But while some of the rules are easing, many restrictions will still be in place, affecting the way Ramadan is celebrated for the second year since the pandemic began. During this month of prayers, fasting and good deeds, people are asked to please follow the rules to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe.

If you’re attending prayers during Ramadan, please follow the guidelines in place at your local Mosque. One in three people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms. If you want to be fully confident you aren’t infectious you can take a rapid test by dropping into one of Buckinghamshire Council’s sites in Amersham, Aylesbury, Buckingham or High Wycombe. Alternatively, you can pick up testing kits to use at home. Click here for further details.

Avoiding large gatherings will also help you and all other worshippers to pray safely. To find out what the guidelines are, click here  or contact your local place of worship.

The rules in place during the next phase of restrictions include:

  • Continue to follow the rule of six (this includes children under five)
  • Avoid meeting in larger groups or mixing more than two households
  • Please meet people you don’t already live with outdoors – and stick to the two-metre rule.
  • If you’re meeting in a private garden, please don’t go indoors, even if the weather becomes bad – this is not allowed yet.
  • Don’t share items, wash your hands often, wear a mask covering nose and mouth and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • You must follow the guidance even if you have been vaccinated – no vaccine is 100% effective and it takes two doses and time to build good immunity.

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has said that, as advised by Muslim scholars, taking the COVID-19 vaccine during Ramadan will not affect your fasting. If you have an appointment for a vaccination jab over the coming weeks – whether for a first or second dose – please make sure you attend it.

While taking precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, its important if you’re fasting to also manage any existing health conditions such as diabetes or a heart condition. If you’re worried about taking medication while fasting, please speak to your GP for advice.

Guidance on fasting during Ramadan for people with diabetes and heart conditions are available from Diabetes UK (www.diabetes.org.uk) and British Heart Foundation (www.bhf.org.uk).

It is important to drink plenty of fluids before fasting to reduce the risk of dehydration. Additional information on healthy eating during Ramadan is available from the British Nutrition Foundation (www.nutrition.org.uk).

Dr Rashmi Sawhney, Clinical Director for Health Inequalities at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Ramadan is an incredibly important time for Muslim communities and it is a great shame this celebration has been affected again by COVID-19. But we would please urge everyone to make sure they follow the rules to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe. While we are moving in the right direction, it is vital we follow these rules to stop cases from rising sharply again.

“I would also like to remind anyone observing Ramadan that Muslim scholars have said that having a vaccination does not invalidate your fasting. So if you have a vaccination appointment, or are invited to arrange one, please make sure you attend it. And please take every effort to stay safe and well throughout Ramadan. There is some excellent advice available for anyone with health concerns.

“Finally, I would like to wish everyone Ramadan Mubarak – I hope that this holy month brings you peace and good health.”

For more information on vaccinations in Buckinghamshire, click here.