COVID-19 Statement 01.04.20

Dear Community,

The COVID 19 pandemic is currently putting NHS services under considerable pressure with an increasing number of patients who have contracted the virus. General Practice across East Lancashire has been working tirelessly to ensure that systems and processes are in place to protect those who are most vulnerable whilst also maintaining a good quality service for patients who have medical problems unrelated to the pandemic.

General Practice services in the Ribble Valley have been curtailed in the last few weeks in line with government policy to help reduce patient contact and hopefully reduce the spread of COVID 19. Routine appointments have therefore been affected most and medical problems which are not deemed urgent have been postponed. Currently any enquiries into General Practices are vetted initially by our care navigators but if necessary is then passed on to GP’s who either utilise a video or telephone consultation.

A ‘Hub’ has been set up at Clitheroe Community Hospital in the last 9 days which houses core staff along with the treatment room service. If patients are deemed to require a face to face consultation or indeed if there is an urgent need for a home visit for someone that is housebound, then this will be facilitated by the doctors based in the Hub.

Dispensing patients will have noted in the last few days that their medications are either being delivered to their door or a centralised community location. The Clitheroe Dispensary has also utilised Clitheroe Pharmacy as a drop off location for repeat prescriptions and for collection.

I appreciate that these are hugely stressful times with the forthcoming weeks likely to place further strain on our health care system and community. Rest assured that if you have a medical problem, this will be addressed albeit perhaps in a slightly different way initially but if you need to see a doctor, this is still possible!

Dr Russell Robb

Clinical Director, Ribblesdale Primary Care Network

GP Principal, The Castle Medical Group


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.