COVID 19 VACCINE UPDATE
22nd February 2021
We will be in contact with patients to arrange appointments as per guidance (see below for further information).
The practice has been in contacted or tried to contact all patients over the age of 70. If you have not received a telephone call or letter from the practice please contact us on
028 686 21212.
Please do not contact the health centre with vaccine enquiries unless you are aged over 70.
We are currently contacting patients in the 'at risk' group aged 60 - 65 to arrange appointments for the vaccine.
Housebound Patients - District Nurses have started to vaccinate in the Community. Patients will be contacted prior to the District Nurse going out to the home.
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable patients aged 16-64 who have received shielding letters and who have not already been vaccinated can now book their Covid vaccination online (or via helpline 0330 200 7813). Carers in receipt of Carers Allowance can also now book their vaccine online (or via helpline 0330 2007813).
Appointments will be offered for the regional vaccination centres (Enniskillen or Omagh)
Information taken from the Department of Health Website:
Department of Health Guidelines -
Phase 1 – direct prevention of mortality and supporting the NHS and social care system
JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. The order of priority for each group in the population corresponds with data on the number of individuals who would need to be vaccinated to prevent one death, estimated from UK data obtained from March to June 2020:
- residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- all those 65 years of age and over
- all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- all those 60 years of age and over
- all those 55 years of age and over
- all those 50 years of age and over
Link attached for further information:
Vaccination is the most important thing you can do to protect your community against serious illnesses. When enough people get vaccinated, it’s harder for a disease to spread to those who can’t have vaccines.
We know many people are interested in the COVID-19 vaccination and want to assure you that we are working through a priority list set by the Department of Health. Please do not contact your GP about getting the vaccine. We will contact patients in order of priority.
COVID 19 Update
The Health Centre would like to take this opportunity to thank you the patients for your ongoing co-operation and support as we all try our best to navigate through these uncertain times.
For your information we are updating you with our current working procedures.
We continue to run a telephone triage system in the morning and afternoon where patients can avail of a telephone consultation with a GP or nurse (or video consultation where appropriate). Only where it is deemed necessary and safe, a patient may be asked to come into the surgery for a face to face consultation with a GP or nurse who will be wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
The telephone slots for the GPs or nurse can only be made by a patient via a telephone call to the reception staff. No patient is currently being allowed access to the Health Centre unless an appointment has been arranged. To help maintain minimal footfall and social distancing in line with Government guidelines, patients must telephone the Health Centre rather than present in person.
The prescription box has been moved to the main foyer. Patients can leave prescription requests into the box without having to enter the main Health Centre building. Hospital discharge letters should also be placed in this box.
The GPs and nurses would appreciate your co-operation when booking a telephone appointment, the reception staff will ask for details of your query or medical problems - this is so that your telephone consultation can be directed to the most appropriate person.
The demand on our telephone system has increased as GPs and nurses are telephoning patients as well as the telephone calls received by reception staff. We are aware that this demand will increase the waiting times on our phone system and would appreciate your patience and understanding as we all adapt to the new challenging times we are facing. Please be assured that every member of staff is working their hardest to maintain a high level of care in this rapidly changing environment. Patients can help alleviate the pressure on our telephone system by staying close to their telephones once they have requested a telephone triage slot. This will reduce the amount of telephone calls the GPs/nurse makes for example if a patient answers the telephone on the first telephone call instead of the second or third (as is the case at the moment), this will free up the telephone lines for other patients.
We have installed an intercom system on the back door and are restricting access to only allow those patients with a pre-arranged appointment entry to the building. We ask that patients present only a few minutes before their appointment time and press the buzzer. Patients should present for their appointment unaccompanied. Reception staff will ask who the patient is and the reason for their visit. This is again to reduce footfall and maintain social distancing. Appointments times have also been staggered to reduce footfall, this is to reduce the risk to patients and staff. Patient who present for their appointments will also be asked if they have COVID 19 symptoms before entering. Please be advised patients with symptoms should not present to the Health Centre.
We trust this provides some clarity about our current working procedures in these challenging circumstances and will provide further updates if our procedures change in line with Government or Health Service advice.
Irvinestown Health Centre
The staff at the Health Centre would like to thank the following for donations made to date during the Corona Virus Pandemic:
Castlederg High School
Crazy Face Painting www.crazyfacepainting.vpweb.co.uk
Deane Public Works
Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, Elizabeth Armstrong & Helen Keane
Fermanagh Loyal Orders Front-Line Health Support
Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland
Head Quarters, Enniskillen
Hunter Electrics, Castlederg
Lowry Construction, Castlederg
Noleen Devlin Salons in support
Omagh Food Bank
ScrubsNI - Margaret Houston and her team
Siobhan McNulty, Melvin Pharmacy
South West College, Enniskillen
St Mary's College
WS Transportation, Trory
If you have a discharge letter during the COVID-19 Pandemic please either post into the Health Centre or drop the letter into the prescription box in the front foyer of the Health Centre.
The Doctors and staff at Irvinestown Health Centre in Irvinestown are proud to offer the highest standard of patient-centred healthcare. We run many clinics for the management of chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes and offer a wide variety of other medical services including antenatal and postnatal care, minor surgery, childhood vaccinations and well-person check-ups.
In addition to everything you need to know about the practice you will also find a wealth of health-related information in the menu on the right hand side. Please have a look around and do send us some feedback if you like.
We have recently set up a Facebook page which can be accessed by seaching for 'Irvinestown Healthcentre'
Thank you to all the patient who have completed our 'Patient Satisfaction Survey'
We have been informed that callers, claiming to be linked to the patient's GP Practice, are seemingly using private patient details and are using this information trying to either sell products to the patient, or to extract financial information, including bank details.
Please be assured that under no circumstances are these people contacting you on behalf of your GP Practice. Therefore, do not disclose any information to them. Please contact our GP Practice, or the PSNI, if you are aware of any of these incidents, so we can assist you from becoming victims of these callers. Thank You.
A new video that shows women what to expect when they attend for breast screening has been produced by the Public Health Agency. It covers the whole process of screening - from receiving the invitation letter to getting the results. The video is aimed at women who have never attended for breast screening or who have been invited for the first time. To view please follow the link below.
A new video that shows women what to expect when they attend for cervical screening has been produced by the Public Health Agency. It covers the complete screening journey including the invitation, the smear test, laboratory processing, results and attendance for colposcopy. the video is primarily aimed at women attending screening for the first time. To view please follow the link below.
Don’t be left out in the cold, understand how to look after your winter ailments
During Self Care Week Irvinestown Health Centre want to support you to self care for life and understand how to take better care of yourself and your family members, especially during the winter months, when seasonal illnesses increase.
Preventing ill health is important during winter and so choose lifestyle options that will impact positively on your physical health, mental wellbeing and self esteem. To beat those winter blues and keep healthy make sure you eat well, drink in moderation, stop smoking and stay active.
It is usual for adults to have two to four colds a year while children are likely to have three to eight as their immune system is more susceptible to viral infections. If you do catch a winter ailment such as a cough, cold or sore throat, treat yourself better by keeping warm and drinking plenty of fluids. Over the counter medicines can help with symptom relief and a pharmacist can offer advice if you need it.
As well as pharmacy support, NHS Choices and the Self Care Forum can provide helpful information on common winter ailments such as coughs, colds, sore throats and fever in children. Generally, symptoms last longer than you might think and it is helpful to know what is normal and what isn’t, Self Care Forum fact sheets http://www.selfcareforum.org/fact-sheets/ can help with this. It is worth remembering also that antibiotics don’t work on most winter illnesses like colds and flu as these are viral infections.
If you have a long term condition, prepare for winter by ensuring you don’t run out of your medication, many pharmacists offer repeat prescription services without the need to see your GP.
Before you visit A&E, remember what it’s there for. It provides vital care for life threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. If you have a winter ailment, ask yourself, do I want to spend 4 hours waiting for someone to look at my sore throat?
Be healthy this winter.
(Site updated 22/02/2021)