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Covid-19 Urgent Eyecare Service

If you are experiencing any of the following:

  • red eyes
  • flashes or floaters in your eyes
  • recent or sudden loss of vision
  • Foreign body in the eye

you can access free NHS appointments at local opticians as part of the urgent eyecare service (CUES). To find your nearest practice and information on how to access it, please visit Find a Practice – Search for your nearest participating optical practice (primaryeyecare.co.uk) Please be aware this is not a sight test.

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Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

Join us this week (17th – 23rd) to promote the importance of cervical screening, did you know that one in three don’t attend cervical screening? However, cervical cancer prevention doesn’t stop at screening.

220,000 women and people with a cervix every year are told they have cervical cell changes after their screening, and many more are given an HPV diagnosis. This can mean more tests and treatments.

Find out more about cervical screening, why its important and what happens at your appointment at nhs.uk

More information and support can be found at Jo’s Trust

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January is Love Your Liver month

January is Love Your Liver month, you only have one liver so it’s important to know how to look after it. Your liver is the largest organ inside your body and does hundreds of essential jobs like:

  • Fighting infection and disease
  • Destroying poisons and drugs (including alcohol)
  • Cleaning the blood
  • Controlling the amount of cholesterol
  • Processing food once it has been digested

Three steps you can take to love your liver is

Cut down on alcohol
The liver has the job of processing alcohol you drink. If you drink over the recommended daily guidelines, your liver will not be able to process the alcohol you consume quickly enough, which damages the cells in your liver.

Keep to a healthy weight
A healthy liver should contain little or no fat. But in some people fat builds up in the liver. This leads to a condition called non-alcohol related fatty liver disease. If fatty deposits build up over a long time they can damage the liver and stop it working properly.

Protect yourself from viral hepatitis
Blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C can cause permanent liver damage and increase the risk of liver cancer. Hepatitis A and E are spread by poo that carries the infection (usually through contaminated food or water).

If you want to find out more information keeping your liver healthy, visit https://britishlivertrust.org.uk/

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Get your COVID-19 booster vaccine

Every adult in the country now needs to get a COVID-19 booster vaccine, because two doses does not give you enough protection against catching Omicron.You can now book your booster vaccination through the text invitation from the practice or you can also book using the national booking system:

Book your booster

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Important information regarding the Covid-19 Booster Vaccines

It was announced on Sunday, 12 December 2021, that the NHS will offer a booster vaccination booking to every adult by the end of December in response the Omicron variant.

Please note that you should not contact your GP Practice to book your booster jab, you should use the National Booking Service or call 119. Some vaccination sites may offer a walk-in service but the best way to ensure you get a jab is to make an appointments through the nationals booking service.

General practice is working hard to support the covid-19 vaccination programme, but we are still here for you but the way you access care may be different:

  • Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients where there is a clinical need. You will be asked to first discuss your conditions over the phone or online with a member of the healthcare team to assess what would be most appropriate for you and which practice member would best provide it.
  • Most common conditions can be assessed and diagnosed by your doctor by telephone or video consultation. They are experienced and skilled in doing this. Using technology like this will help to protect you, your family and loved ones – and GP practice staff from the potential risk of the virus.
  • General practice services are extremely busy and are working hard to treat as many patients as possible.
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Proof of Medical Exemption – Covid-19 Vaccination

Some individuals are unable to be vaccinated and also, in some cases, tested for medical reasons. You can apply for proof that you have a medical reason why you should not be vaccinated or why you should not be vaccinated and tested.

If you get this proof of medical exemption you’ll be able to use the NHS COVID Pass wherever you need to prove your COVID-19 status within England.

Until 24 December 2021, you can self-certify that you’re medically exempt if you work or volunteer in a care home.

Some businesses in England choose to use the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry. Until 24 December, businesses can decide whether to allow in people who self-declare that they’re medically exempt.

From 25 December, if you’re unable to get vaccinated, you’ll have to use the NHS COVID Pass in the same way that people who are fully vaccinated use it.

For full information on the requirements for proof regarding being exempt from Covid-19 vaccination please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-medical-exemptions-proving-you-are-unable-to-get-vaccinated

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Clarification on Covid Face Covering Exemption Cards/Certificates

With the new legal requirements regarding face coverings coming into effect in England, we thought it might be useful to explain when and who requires a covid exemption card/certificate.

If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering:

  • You do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this
  • You do not need to show an exemption card

This means that you do not need to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about your reason for not wearing a face covering.

However, if you feel more comfortable showing something that says you do not have to wear a face covering, this could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or sign. Carrying an exemption card or badge is a personal choice and not required by law.

If you wish to use an exemption card or badge, you can download and print out or show these templates: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Exemptions from face coverings

In settings where face coverings are required in England, there are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear them, so please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances.

Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • children under the age of 11 (The UK Health and Security Agency does not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
  • people speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • to avoid the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public

There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering:

  • if asked to do so in a bank, building society, or post office for identification
  • if asked to do so by shop staff or relevant employees for identification, for assessing health recommendations (for example by a pharmacist) or for age identification purposes, including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
  • in order to take medication
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In line with the new government guidance, we ask that you please continue to wear a face mask or face coverings when attending the practice.

If you are not wearing a mask you will be asked to prove exemption otherwise you will be asked not to enter Balance Street Health Practice.