COVID Information

Latest Information

We have now started inviting those patients in priority group 6 for their vaccine, this will be via a text message link unless we do not have a mobile number for you in which case we will be in contact shortly.  Please do not contact us for an appointment, we will contact you as quickly as we can.  For more information about the texting service please see the question and answer section below.

All Practices in Torbay are in the process of delivering the COVID-19 vaccine at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay.  In line with current government guidelines we are currently administering the  first dose. The second dose will be arranged for 12 weeks after the first. When we move onto the next group we will update the website to let you know.   

The vaccination programme will continue for many months and eligible patients will be invited to attend by their practice.  The schedule of future vaccine deliveries is not known. 

If you would like further information about the vaccine and what to expect after vaccination please check out the links below for patient guides. 

Guide for older adults: COVID-19 vaccination: guide for older adults - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk

What to expect after vaccination: COVID-19 vaccination: what to expect after vaccination - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE PRACTICE TO ASK WHEN YOU WILL RECEIVE VACCINATION. 

Instead please check the Priority grouping guide below. 

Please be patient when trying to contact us.  Practice staff are needed to work at the vaccine centre, placing additional pressures on resources at all of the practices. 

Thank you for your understanding and support at this time.

Torbay COVID-19 Vaccination Update 11/02/2021

Thank you very much for your patience and allowing us the time to complete all our calls to patients in priority groups 1-4. We know it’s confusing when the BBC and MPs announce to contact your surgery and we ask you to wait, but we needed to do this due to the large number of patients locally in these priority groups.

Vaccination Centres across the Country are at slightly different stages, with some areas having already called all their patients in priority groups 1-4, whereas only a few days ago we still had hundreds of patients we needed to contact in those priority groups. If even half of these called the surgery on the same day this would stop those patients requiring medical assistance getting through and being given the help they need. With your cooperation we avoided that situation and have been able to complete all our calls alongside providing our usual high level of care to our patients.

We have attempted to contact all our patients in priority groups 1-4 to offer them a vaccination appointment. If you are in these priority groups  and we haven’t been able to reach  you, or if you’ve previously declined and have now changed your mind and  would like a vaccination, please call the practice after 11am and we can arrange this for you over the next week. This only applies to those patients in priority groups 1-4 which is those patients aged 70+ or those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have a shielding letter.

We have now completed over 80% of our housebound visits, with the majority of those left due to the patients not currently being at their home address and we will continue to mop these up over the coming weeks.

At the moment external services such as 119 cannot book directly into our clinics at The Riviera Centre in Torquay, but we are working as hard as we can to get through the lists quickly, sometimes in only a matter of days.  Alternatively you can contact 119 who will book you in to one of the mass vaccination centres at Plymouth, Exmouth or Exeter but please be aware wherever you attend your 1st vaccination is where you will need to attend for your 2nd vaccination.

covid chort1

FAQ - Text message invites for Covid-19 vaccination

In order to be able to offer a more flexible booking process for the Covid-19 vaccination program, we are now sending a text message to patients who have a mobile phone listed on their records. This page has some Frequently Asked Questions about this process.

Who does the text come from?

The text will come from “Chelston Hall Surgery” and will invite you by name.

How do we know the text is genuine?

The text will include a link to this page, and also the booking link includes “nhs.uk”. If you do receive a link you’re unsure about, please remember, we will never ask for your bank details or take payment for the vaccine.

I share a mobile number with my partner and children – how do I know who the invite is for?

The invite will say your name, but if there is more than one person with that name and the incorrect person tries to book, they will not be able to get through security. 

What if I can’t click the link, or don’t have internet access?

Don’t worry, we can also book you by talking to you. If you receive a text but cannot book using the link, we will contact you. We will be running searches to see who hasn’t yet booked, and we will call people. Don’t worry – you won’t miss out.

Where are the clinics?

The clinics are at the Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC) in Torquay . When you book, you will get a confirmation text with the address details.

Do I need to wear a mask?

Yes, please wear a face covering if you are able to. If you have a medical exemption, please wear a face shield instead. This is for your protection, as well as other patients and staff on site.

What if I get a temperature, a cough or loss of taste or smell?

If you are currently isolating, please do not book an appointment yet, wait until you have a negative test result. If you develop symptoms after booking, you can cancel your appointment using the same link.

What if I’ve had Covid recently?

Current advice is not to have the vaccine if you’ve had a Covid positive test in the last four weeks. We will be contacting all our patients that have been invited and not booked an appointment. If you cancelled your appointment and would like to book again please call the surgery after 11AM.

What if there are no appointments when I click the link?

Please keep trying every day or two over the next week as new appointments will be added as we get new vaccines delivered.

What about my second vaccination?

The current guidance is your second vaccine will be 12 weeks after your first. You will be invited to book this at a later day prior your 12th week.

What if I’ve booked through the National Booking Centre or a Local Pharmacy Service?

That’s fine – we are just pleased you are getting vaccinated! There is no need to tell us, we will get notified automatically.

What if I can’t make any of the appointment times offered?

You will be offered a range of appointment times, but if you can’t make any of them, check back in a day or so for the next release of appointments. 

Can my partner use my text link to book?

The link is only valid for the person it is sent to. Your partner will get a text of their own, or a telephone call, to book them in.

My partner is in the same cohort as me, why haven’t they had a text?

The most likely reason is that we are sending text invites out in batches as we only have a certain amount of vaccines to give at once, they will get an invite when their batch has been included. It could also be because we have the wrong number recorded on their medical records. If you think this might be the case, please contact us either by phone (after 11AM) or e-mail to update.

Do I need to bring anything with me on the day?

As well as a mask, please make sure you wrap up warmly as the queue starts outside. We hope not to keep you waiting for too long. If it is raining, please bring your umbrella.

Is there parking on site?

Yes, there is a car park, and marshals to help keep traffic moving.

I need a carer to support me in accessing the appointment – am I allowed to bring them?

Yes, please ask them to wear a mask.

I have a carer and want them to have the vaccine with me – can they book?

Carers will be invited by NHS when we get to this group.

I am a single parent and don’t have childcare for my children, can I bring them with me?

We encourage everyone to come on their own where possible for everyone’s safety. If this is not possible, you can bring your child(ren) with you, if they are able to wear a mask, please do get them to do so.

I have a question about side effects – who can I ask?

All the up to date information about the vaccines can be found here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

I want to choose the vaccine I have – how do I know what is being given?

At the moment, we have been allocated both the Pfizer and the Astra Zeneca vaccines, and each clinic will have one or the other. We do not offer the choice of the vaccine. If there is a medical reason why you cannot have one of the vaccines, please ring the practice (after 11AM) to discuss.

I cannot get to the Vaccination Centres as I don’t drive – how can I get help?

Please see the below information on a couple of local volunteer organisations that might be able to assist you with transport:

KARING is a registered charity operating in the Preston district of Paignton, Devon providing transport run by volunteers. They can be contacted on 01803 524799. Website: https://sites.google.com/a/karing.org.uk/karing-voluntary-group/ 

TORBAY Community Helpline is a community helpline, started initially for those affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Tel. 01803 446022 Website: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScXfCikatEQtW2Gpesn5qjdlacx5-WUSxh0r9XrKNDB_j9QDA/viewform

I am housebound and not able to get to the Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC) in Torquay – can I have the vaccine at home?

If you are genuinely housebound, please call the surgery to discuss.  Please note, if you are able to attend hospital appointments you will be advised to attend for the vaccination, we have limited resources in regards to housebound visits.

I’ve recently had the vaccination but still got a text invite, is this an error?

It can take a few days for the system to record your vaccination onto your medical record. As a result, you may receive an SMS invite following your vaccination appointment. If it is more than a few days since you had the vaccine, please contact us using the admin pathway on eConsult or e-mail us.

How can I be confident that my data is secure using this link?

The system we are using to offer these appointments is called “accuBook” which is run by “accuRx”. This is the same company we use to send text messages to our patients. accuBook is an NHS Digital assured appointment management solution, and more information on this service can be found at https://support.accurx.com/en/articles/4794856-i-have-been-invited-to-book-my-covid-19-vaccination-through-a-book-nhs-me-link-is-this-legitimate?fbclid=IwAR1NOj3ALaK6SKZAtaCGoDGXVmtvs9v26-_m01aJGHRVcVyH38gu1OjGspc

covid letter

Guidance Regarding Exemption Letters And Wearing Face Masks

We are aware that some patients might be understandably anxious about around the use of face masks in various public settings.  GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face mask, whether in regard to their use on public transport or in any other setting as required by legislation.

The Government guidance on exemptions suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption therefore it is sufficient for an individual to self-declare this.

In the case of face mask use on public transport, the responsibility for issuing exemptions lies with the transport provider not your GP. Similarly, practices are under no obligation to provide letters of support for anyone who does not fall under the list of exemptions but considers them to have another reason to be exempted.

Government advice on the use of face coverings on public transport can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#face-coverings

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. Some staff may not wear a face covering if it is not required for their job.We hope that this guidance provides some reassurance for you on this issue.

Online Advice For COVID-19

If you want general advice regarding Coronavirus please go to :

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response 

If you need advice regarding your employment or a sick note for Coronavirus please visit:
 
 
For the latest news and guidance including information regarding Coronavirus please go to: