COPD

Information for patients who have COPD during this time of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

In line with Government advice, The Castle Medical Group and all GP practices in Clitheroe, Slaidburn, Sabden and Whalley have reduced face –to-face contact with patients to reduce the risk of spreading the viral illness COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

For this reason, we have not been arranging routine face-to-face reviews. However, we very much want to support you over this difficult period, and our doctors and nurses are available for advice over the telephone, and we can also arrange video consultations. If, following assessment, we feel you need a face-to-face assessment then we can arrange this. We are currently conducting face-to -face appointments at Clitheroe Community Hospital.

You will have read information that certain groups of patients are at increased risk of being ill from Covid-19 and this includes patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The best ways to look after yourself are:

• Maintain social distancing or shielding as appropriate, and follow the guidelines regarding handwashing and reducing the risk of infection in general.

• Make sure you are taking your inhalers and other medication as prescribed.

• Make sure you have an action plan in place for if your COPD symptoms were to worsen. This could be calling the GP for advice or using any “rescue medication” that you and your GP have previously discussed and arranged. As long as they are used appropriately these medications are still safe to use during the coronavirus pandemic.

• Avoid smoking, or try to reduce or stop completely. This can be difficult at times of stress, but stopping smoking will reduce your risk of complications of COVID-19. Contact your practice to speak to a Practice Nurse if you need support with this.

• If your COPD is under good control we would not recommend changing or adding to your inhalers as this will not alter your likelihood of getting COVID-19.

• You may wish to consider purchasing an oxygen saturations monitor online. These cost from around £20 and can add really useful information when we are trying to assess patients via video-link.

• Telling the difference between a COPD exacerbation and coronavirus can be tricky. If you feel your breathing is worsening please contact your GP surgery for a telephone appointment and we can advise you from there.

• In the event of severe breathing difficulties please call 999.

For further advice on managing COPD during COVID-19, please visit:

https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus/people-living-with-lung-condition

13.12.21

Message to our patients – update on the COVID-19 booster programme.

The NHS and its partners are working extremely hard to roll out the COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to our communities.
All adults are eligible from Monday 13 December, and you will be able to book via the National Booking System from Wednesday 15 December.

Please do not contact the practice over any vaccination queries or try to book through the practice as this will stop patients with medical conditions being able to get through.

You can book your booster for 3 months from the date of second vaccine, and you can access the National Booking System to book the appointment from 2 months.

We are working at pace to increase the availability of appointments so that there are plenty of options for people on the National Booking System. Some local vaccination services will also contact patients directly.

New appointments are being added every day across our vaccination services. Further availability will come online from Wednesday 15 December.

We will be working with all our sites to take further steps to increase what they can offer again, including opening later and on more days.
All these appointments will be added to the National Booking System. We encourage everyone who is aged 18 and over, is yet to have their booster and who is approaching 3 months from your second vaccine to use the National Booking System to arrange your appointment when you are able to do so.

In terms of any planned appointments with The Castle Medical Group, there are no changes at the current time, and everyone should attend your planned appointments as normal. If we need to make any changes, we will contact you directly.

See more about the vaccination programme or to book:

Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS

Or call 119.