Good morning to all of our patients. This post is to update you on the recent headlines regarding NHS Digital and their plans for using general practice data for planning and research purposes (GPDPR). We do apologise for the length of the post, but we feel it is very important to keep you all updated.
Firstly, we want to reassure you all that Peel Group Practice has raised this issue with Manx Care a couple of weeks ago now. I am sure other practices across the Island have done the same. The Information Commissioner is also aware of GP practices' and patients' concerns.
In order for your data to be shared for this purpose, our clinical system (EMIS) will be updated with a data sharing agreement which we would have to 'tick' to activate it. As yet, this HAS NOT appeared on our clinical system. We are unclear if the Isle of Man is going to be included in this and we are still awaiting clarification from Manx Care.
Peel Group Practice are the guardians of your personal data and we take this extremely seriously and patients should be kept informed every step of the way so there is transparency and more importantly, the option to opt out if they so wish.
Although the situation is still not clear to us we wrote the following email to Manx Care this morning. Many GP practices in the UK have written the same letter to their Health Authorities, we have adapted this include the Isle of Man:
"We remain unclear as to the position the Isle of Man are going to take on the GPDPR issue and it would have been really helpful to us and patients if some media had gone out to help alleviate the fear that our patients have over this.
We have received numerous complaints about it and are at a loss what to tell our patients except we have raised our concerns with Manx Care and we are doing all we can to seek advice to reassure them. GPDPR will be covered by UK law, will it be lawful to do this on the Isle of Man? We are also unclear whether we will be getting this update from EMIS.
We are just writing to inform you that we will not be enabling data harvesting for the purposes of GPDPR under the current plans (if we receive the update). Along with our colleagues in the UK, we believe that it would be both inappropriate and illegal to do so as it would mean releasing potentially identifiable health data without the data subjects' consent. Furthermore, these data would, we understand, be held for an indefinite period of time which would also seem to breach the laws governing the processing of sensitive data.
The purpose to which this information might be put is unclear, as are the circumstances under which the records might be de-anonymised. We are therefore unable to obtain informed consent from our patients prior to release of the data and in any case, it is not our role to seek consent on behalf of a third party who wants to access the records - that role lies with NHS Digital who should contact each patient to obtain specific informed consent for the use of their data.
I ask that you consider advising all GP practices to withhold the records from the GPDPR (if the Isle of Man is to be included) until the points above have been satisfactorily addressed and I also ask that Manx Care could put out some media for our patients to alleviate their concerns"
We will of course keep you updated as and when we hear anything further. We know lots of our patients have been worrying about this but please be assured we are doing all we can to establish if the Isle of Man is going to be included.
Again, apologies for the long post, but we felt it was important to inform you all. We would be grateful if you could pass on this information to those who don't use social media.
Single Antibody testing is not available at the surgery. For further information ring 111.
Blood tests for chronic conditions or investigations.
If you are requested to have general blood tests by GP or consultant then you will be asked if you wish to have the antibody test. If you do wish to have the test the sample will be taken. Results will be sent to you by letter from Nobles Hospital.
The surgery are doing limited blood tests. After each test the room requires cleaning, before next patient comes in. This means appointments are taking longer, so we are currently unable to do as many.
Ordering your prescription-only medicines
Please do not ask for additional supplies of your regular prescription-only medicines from the GP. DHSC Policy is NOT to allow this.
The GPs have been instructed NOT to supply additional volumes of medicines and NOT to supply medicines earlier than they are due to be ordered.
This is in keeping with advice in the UK and to protect all the members of the community and make sure we have enough stock of medicines on island for everyone.
Analgesics and self-care items for potential Covid-19 infections.
We always advise that each home has a small supply of medicines kept in a secure place for the treatment of minor illness.
It is understandable that families wish to keep a stock of medicines should they become ill or need to self-isolate.
The current advice is to use Paracetamol for the headaches and fever associated with Covid-19 infections, but you may wish to purchase other items in case you need them.
Your pharmacist will be able to advise you on some practical items you can keep in.
Please be mindful of the shortage of ‘over-the-counter’ medicines and please do not stockpile.
Many pharmacies are restricting the amounts that can be purchased to one pack per patient of Paracetamol (tablets and liquid). Please respect this to protect our community.
- a high temperature of more than 37.8C (100F) or shivering (cold) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new and persistent cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
Emergency warning signs
If you develop any of the following emergency warning signs for COVID-19 please seek medical attention immediately by calling 999.
Emergency warning signs include*:
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- new confusion or inability to rouse
- bluish lips or face
*This list is not exhaustive.
Please consult your GP or MEDS out of hours service for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning
When to have a test?
If you experience any of the symptoms above, you are encouraged to take a lateral flow test.
You are also encouraged to do an LFT before visiting vulnerable people or attending any health or care setting.
If you test positive you are encouraged to report the result online – this helps us monitor the level of COVID-19 infection on Island.
Find out what to do if you test positive.
You should only need a PCR test for the following reasons:
- You require a PCR in order to receive anti-viral treatment (eligible patients only) – these PCR tests are organised by your GP
- You require a PCR test prior to travelling to the UK for Manx Care funded treatment – these PCR tests are organised by 111
- You require a test prior to travelling across to the UK for private hospital treatment or for a private patient transfer – these are organised through 111 and cost £50
- You require a test as part of international travel requirements – there are booked through 111 and cost £50
How to get a test?
You can order your LFTs online using the below form, or you can collect them from participating pharmacies. Please contact your local pharmacy to see if they have kits available and any collection restrictions they have in place.
You will be asked for your full name and postal address. Orders will normally be delivered next day if the order is received prior to 4pm. This may vary depending on the resources and supplies available at the time.
Stay at Home Guidelines - self isolation
This advice is intended for people with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), WHO MUST remain at home until they are well.
The main messages are:
- By staying at home this action will help protect others in your community while you are infectious
- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure you can successfully stay at home
- ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
- stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible
- sleep alone, if possible
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water
- stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible
- you do not need to call your GP/MEDS to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 14 days, contact your GP/MEDS. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Stay at home: guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
There is no longer a legal requirement for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to self-isolate, however if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have returned a positive LFT, the advice is to stay at home.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 you should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until 48 hours after symptoms have subsided and you feel better, just like you would with any other respiratory infection, like a cold or flu.
If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still pass on the infection to others. In this case, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you have a negative LFD test result or until five days after your first positive result.
You should also follow guidance to avoid specific settings (e.g. health or care settings) if requested to do so and consider testing if you are visiting vulnerable friends and relatives.
Bridge the Gap
The BtG POD is a haven for young adult patients to relax, spend time with family or friends, away from the wards or to meet with a Youth Worker when at Nobles Hospital for outpatient appointments.
For young adults 16-24 who go in to Nobles hospital who are undergoing extended or repeated hospital admissions or regular outpatient appointments.
Further details can be found: www.btg.im
Privacy Notice Patients
PGP Childrens Privacy Information Leaflet
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