Surgery Update 22 September 2021

Apologies – a long update. Please take a moment to note the content

  1. Stansted Surgery staff welfare
  2. Flu vaccination and Covid booster update
  3. Clinical staffing update
  1. Staff welfare

Our staff have worked relentlessly since the onset of the pandemic. We are very grateful to our patients who have been super supportive and understanding of the ongoing situation. I am sure you can all agree that we have never been closed. We have embraced the Covid-19 vaccination programme and continue to do as much as we can to support our patients and local community.

To say we are tired, is an understatement. To add to our fatigue, there now seems to be a co-ordinated attack by some media outlets against GP Surgeries. This seems to be based around the restarting of face-to-face GP appointments. This campaign is fuelling an increase in abuse of GP Surgery staff, all over England. Last week, GP surgery staff in Manchester were hospitalised following a violent attack by a patient. A GP from that surgery is still in hospital with a fractured skull. Understandably, GP Surgery staff are getting scared.

Please make no mistake – this media campaign is soul destroying to GP Surgery staff. Yes, patients can still not book a face-to-face appointment with a GP, but this has very little to do with the pandemic. It has much more to do with demand outstripping supply. Therefore, we must use our supply as carefully as we possibly can, so we can meet the increasing demand for our service. This is not the fault of GP Surgeries – we can only supply a service for which we are funded.

I do not want to be political, but please remember – there is a Health and Care Bill going through parliament at the moment… We are all lucky to have healthcare that is free at the point of care and does not involve shareholders who seek to make a profit.

“That’s the standard technique of Privatisation: Defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, and then you hand it over to private capital” Prof Noah Chomsky

 Please understand that we still need triage patients virtually or by telephone. If you need a face-to-face assessment, this will be arranged for you.

Our GP Partners will not tolerate any abuse towards staff – whether it is over the phone, in person, via email, text message, or social media. Our NHS Zero Tolerance Policy covers all these areas, and allows us to issue warnings to patients, or depending of the nature of the abuse, remove offenders from our register without warning. We are working on increasing our clinical capacity (see clinical staff update below), to ease the situation for us, and for our patients.

2. Flu vaccination and Covid booster update

Flu vaccinations:

Our walk-in clinics for those aged 65 and over have been successful. We want to focus on our Care Homes next week, to make sure all our Care Home Residents and staff receive their flu jabs and Covid-19 booster vaccinations as soon as possible. We will hold another flu vaccination walk in clinic on Saturday 2 October 2021, to focus on those aged 64 and under.

We are still planning our home visits and children’s flu clinics and will update you all when we are ready to proceed.

In addition, there is some pre-bookable flu clinic appointments available on Wednesday 6 October, and Thursday 14 October. Please contact the surgery to book an appointment in one of these clinics.

Covid 19 Boosters:

We will be following the same order for booster vaccinations as we did for Phase 1 in the programme. We will contact those eligible when their clinic date is due.

  • 3. Clinical staffing update

We have a few changes happening over the next few months.

  • The first change has already happened – Dr Henderson has cut his Friday morning session as his work as Primary Care Network Clinical Director for South Uttlesford Primary care Network has increased dramatically over the last few months
  • From 1 December, we are getting a new salaried GP. Dr Gail Davidson is joining us for 5 sessions a week, and will work all day Wed, Thursday and Friday mornings.

From Jan 2022 – Dr Bata is cutting his Wednesday afternoon session

From mid-March 2022 Dr Beroccal will be back from maternity leave. She will continue the same working patterns as before her maternity leave – Mondays and Thursdays and Friday mornings

From April 2022 – Our Advance Nurse Practitioner Sally Kaemer is retiring (almost!) after 40 years in the NHS, and will be cutting from 5 days a week, to 3 days a week

We are hoping to recruit another GP soon, so we hope that come Easter next year, we have   some extra capacity to help look after our growing surgery.


Surgery Update 4 September 2021Flu vaccination season 21/22 is upon us!

We have ordered plenty of flu jabs for all those who qualify… but have deliberately decided not to plan clinics until the vaccine reaches our fridges. We are rather pleased about our decision now, as like most surgeries in the UK, our flu vaccination delivery has been delayed by up to 2 weeks… Once the vaccine is in the fridge… fingers crossed… on 16 September – we will let you know our plans. We have become very efficient with running vaccination clinics since the onset of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, so we feel confident that we can complete the fly campaign by the end September.

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

Still going strong! So far, South Uttlesford has delivered 36 700 vaccines! We are getting ready for the booster programme and will let everyone know our plans when the final guidance is ready from Public Health England. Our current plan is to deliver the Covid-19 boosters separate to the annual flu jab.

Supporting the refugees from Afghanistan

Stansted Surgery have been commissioned to provide urgent medical support during the working week to those refugees who have arrived from Afghanistan, and in accommodation around Stansted Airport. This involves daily visits to the hotels by a GP and a member of the Management Team. We have been very careful to ensure this additional workload does not affect access to our surgery for our usual patients. We are very honoured to help and have witnessed the aftermath of a very scary ordeal for these individuals. We have also seen the tremendous gratitude from the refugees for all the donations from local people. 

Thank you again to all our volunteers still supporting us with the Covid-19 vaccination programme, and to our patients for your understanding and support over the last 18 months.