Welcome to our April YFD Newsletter. At Your Family Doctors we acknowledge the last 12 months have been very difficult for everyone and with so many changes it is hard to keep up to date with what is happening in primary care. We hope our monthly newsletter will help answer some of those unknowns especially with the up and coming COVID 19 and Influenza vaccine rollouts. You can also like us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date and see what the YFD team have been up to!
We have a lot to catch up on, so this addition will be a long one, but if you do not wish to receive our monthly newsletters in the future feel free to unsubscribe.
COVID 19 VACCINATION UPDATE 💉
Your Family Doctors has been selected to participate in the government funded Covid-19 Vaccination rollout for Phase 1b. Due to limited supplies of the vaccine our practice will not be commencing vaccination until Week 4 of the program (mid April)
Phase 1b priority population groups include:
– People aged 70 years of age or older;
– Health care workers;
– Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 55yrs;
– Younger people with an underlying medical condition, including people with a disability; and
– Critical and high risk workers, including Australian Government officials about to be deployed overseas
You can check if you are eligible for the 1B rollout through the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker;
We are not taking booking until supplies are received so please don’t phone the surgery so we can keep the phone lines open for our patients needing to seek medical care. 😊.
At this stage we have only been allocated 40 – 50 vaccinations per week so it is going to be a slow process and patience will be required. Initially we will be contacting our patients over the age of 80 to make an appointment to receive the vaccine, followed by our 70 – 79 year old patients. There will be limited flexibility with these appointments as there will only be a few set Covid Vaccination clinics per week. Contact will be made via telephone or via sms. In Australia, we are placed in a fortunate position that there is limited community spread of COVID-19 which gives us the luxury of time in the COVID 19 vaccine roll out. However if you are eligible for Phase 1b and are eager to get your vaccination earlier than we can offer you there is the option of booking online into the Coast and Country Respiratory Clinic COVID 19 Vaccine clinic just up the road from our practice https://www.hotdoc.com.au/medical-centres/erina-NSW-2250/erina-respiratory-clinic/doctors
- The vaccination is free for patients with a valid medicare card, but is not compulsory
- Bring your medicare care and other form of ID to your appointment
- Your appointment is for consent and vaccination only. If you have any questions, concerns or hesitancy about the vaccination please book an appointment with your regular GP prior to your vaccine appointment.
- Common reactions to the COVID-19 vaccination include a sore arm, headache, lower level fever, muscle pain, chills, tiredness or joint pain. Most side effects are mild and don’t last for long.
- When we contact you to make an appointment please let us know if you have a past history of anaphylaxis or if you have any immunisation in the past 2 weeks (including the influenza vaccine)
- A consent form prior to vaccination will be sent to your via sms or available in hard copy at our practice to be completed prior to your appointment. Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete this form if you haven’t completed it online.
- At the appointment of your first dose, we will book you in for your second dose (and for your influenza vaccine if you wish)
- Please do not attend our practice for vaccination if you are experiencing a sore throat , cough, fever, shortness of breath or runny nose.
- For the safety of patients and staff we ask that you please wear a face mask.
For more information on how you can prepare for your Covid-19 Vaccine …….
HOT DOC ONLINE APP AND BOOKING SYSTEM
We recommend downloading the Hot Doc app which is our online booking system. By downloading the app not only can you book appointments online but you can receive notifications on when it’s your turn to have the covid vaccine or influenza vaccine and when other health checks are due. https://www.hotdoc.com.au/
Not only do we have Covid Vaccines arriving in April but we have 2021 influenza vaccinations available also. It is recommended that everyone six months and older get immunised against the flu. Please note the influenza vaccine must be given at least 2 weeks apart from your COVID-19 vaccine.
We will have both government funded and private flu vaccination.
Just a reminder that government funded flu vaccines are available for;
* the over 65’s
* children aged 6 months to 5 years,
* pregnant women
* those with chronic health conditions
* all Aboriginal and Torres straight islanders over 6 months.
Please note the enhanced quadrivalent vaccine FLUAD QUAD is specifically designed for patients over the age of 65. It has been specifically formulated to create a greater immune response amongst the elderly and are only available through your GP clinic.
Private flu vaccinations are available for $20.
Flu clinic bookings will be available online and will be dependent on supplies (which can come in dribs and drabs!)
We will keep you posted on our website, Facebook and in our next newsletter on how the flu vaccine rollout is travelling.
If you have more questions about the flu vaccine please discuss with your doctor or follow this link on frequently asked questions. … https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/seasonal-flu-vaccination-faqs.aspx
TO COVID OR FLU VACCINE FIRST? THAT IS THE QUESTION!
Australians are being advised to wait two weeks between getting the flu jab and COVID-19 vaccine — but it doesn’t matter which one you have first, according to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).
Experts say if you are eligible for the COVID-19 jab and it is available, get that one first. Just make sure you don’t have the flu vaccine until 2 weeks after the Covid Vaccination. If there is a long wait for the Covid Vaccination then get the flu vaccine first – you will then have to wait at least 2 weeks until you have your Covid vaccination .
ELIGIBILITY FOR TELEHEALTH
We are so excited to be welcoming our patients back for face to face appointments. At present the government has extended the availability of Telehealth appointments until June 30th.
For Telehealth services private fees still apply, but you will still receive the government Medicare rebate if you have attended our practice for a face to face appointment in the last 12 months. Many of our patients have been enjoying the safety and convenience of telephone consultations since March last year so that 12 months is almost up for some of our patients. If you are unsure when you last attended our practice our reception staff are happy to check for you. If it has been greater than 12 months then your last face to face appointment you will have to attend in order to receive a medicare rebate.
For Face to Face appointments with our doctors and nurses the following measures in place to keep you and our staff safe.
* All patients will be screened by staff when they call to make an appointment or attend our practice for any flu like symptoms, positive COVID 19 contacts or recent travel to any hotspots. Please be honest with your answers to avoid putting others at risk – the doctor can still assess you initially with a telehealth appointment. If you need a face to face review and have respiratory symptoms your doctor may book you into our Respiratory clinic (called the Check Clinic) at the end of the day.
* Please wear a mask when attending our practice
* Please use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the practice
* Please adhere to social distancing guidelines. This means we can only fit 14 people in our waiting room so if things are getting a bit crowded you may be asked to wait outside in our garden or in your car.
We look forward to caring for you soon! 😊
Are you sick of losing your scripts? Finally Electronic Prescriptions are here! Yes – now we can send you a QR barcode via sms or email instead of printing out your scripts. This is particularly handy for Telehealth appointments! 😀
This is how it works…..
- During your consultation your doctor will send you and sms or email or your script. It will appear as a QR barcode called a ‘token’. Your will get a seperate token for each medication prescribed.
- Take the token (on your smart phone) to your pharmacist for them to scan (please ensure that are electronic prescription ready). You may also be able to email it to your pharmacist also.
- If your scripts have repeats a new sms or email we be sent to you when you get your medicine.
For more information check out the following link …..
ACTIVE INGREDIENT PRESCRIBING
Some of you may have noticed the medication listed on your scripts look a little different!
Prescribing medication by its active ingredient became mandatory from February 2021. This means the generic or active ingredients will be listed instead of the brand name.
Active ingredients are the substances that cause the medication to work. When you get your medication it may have a different brand listed but it will have the same active ingredient. 💊
The aim is not to only improve patient understanding of the medications you are taking but it is more cost effective. 😊
For more information please follow this link …
2020 was also a year of farewells to some much loved members of our team. We have been very fortunate at YFD to have had incredible staff that have been with us for over 10 – 20 years. However when retirement comes calling we had to say goodbye. A big thank you to our receptionists Lyn Brown and Patricia Guiliano and our nurse Katrina Handley for their many years of service . We wish you all the best in your retirement. Farewell to our Office Manager Deb Watson and nurses Kylie Le Strande and Alaina Rowe who have moved on to exciting new ventures. You will be greatly missed by all of our patients and staff.
We welcome our New Practice Nurse Manager Jodie Tuffy who joints the YFD team with many years of experience. Jodie graduated from UTS in Sydney in 1991. After working many years in Medical and Surgical wards she came across to work in GP land in 2010. Jodie has had extensive experience working in New Zealand and the UK as well as locally. She has her Well Women’s and Immunisation certificate and is also passionate about aged care. She enjoys conducting over 75 health assessments and ensuring they receive optimal care, maintain independent living in their own homes and that their preventative health needs are met.
We also welcome the lovely Elise Anabel, Melissa Leonard, Kiara McDonald and Fiona Woods to reception and Stephanie Pickard to our nursing team. We are very excited have such wonderful additions to the YFD family.
Well that’s it for now! We hope you found our newsletter informative and we will be back in a month with more exciting YFD news! In the meantime don’t forget to like us on facebook and Instagram to keep up to date. Stay healthy!
Love the YFD team xx