Local Covid19 Support
National Covid-19 vaccination website now live
You can book your vaccination appointments online if any of the following apply
- you're aged 18 or over
- you'll turn 18 before 1 July 2021
- people at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- people who live or work in care homes
- people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- people with a learning disability
- people who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or a pharmacy that provides COVID-19 vaccinations.
You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS, just click this link Book a coronavirus vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Last updated Friday 18th June 2021.
Supporting Your Recovery after Covid-19
NHS England and NHS Improvement’s 5-Point plan for Long COVID support
In October 2020, Sir Simon Stevens announced a five-part package of measures to boost NHS support for patients experiencing long-term effects of COVID-19. The package includes:
- New guidance commissioned by us from NICE on the clinical case definition of Long COVID. This includes patients who have had COVID who may not have had a hospital admission or a previous positive test. It will be followed by evidence-based NICE clinical guidelines on the support that Long COVID patients should receive, due to be published by the end of the year.
- The second phase of the Your COVID Recovery platform – an online, tailored rehabilitation programme that enables patients to be monitored by their local rehabilitation teams to ensure that they are on track with their care.
The Your COVID Recovery public facing information website launched in July 2020, providing general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19 including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing, advice on recovery and information for families and carers.
- Designated post-COVID assessment services. Additional funding of £10 million is to be invested this year to set up specialist post-COVID assessment services across England, to complement existing primary, community and rehabilitation care.
- National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded research on Long COVID to better understand the condition and refine appropriate treatment.
- An NHS Long COVID taskforce which includes patients with Long COVID, medical specialists and researchers.
Help now available in Kent and Medway for ‘Long Covid’
People suffering with Long Covid, also known as Post-Covid Syndrome, can now be referred to a Post-Covid Assessment Service in Kent and Medway.
The Post-Covid Assessment Service opened on 14 May 2021.
NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group have contracted Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust, who are working in partnership with West Kent Primary Care GP Federation, to provide this service for people diagnosed with Post-Covid Syndrome.
Post-Covid Syndrome is obviously a new condition but the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidelines in identifying, assessing and managing the long-term effects of Covid-19 in December 2020. The NHS has also published national guidance that has been followed in setting up the new service.
Symptoms of Post-Covid Syndrome can include fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety and depression, joint or muscle pain, chest pains, and not being able to focus or think straight.
Once referred to the service, the Post Covid Assessment Service will make contact with the patient and an expert team of professionals will assess their condition and then provide support in accessing services that can support their recovery.
Dr Navin Kumta, GP and clinical lead for the NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“I am pleased that the Post-Covid Assessment Service is now open. I have seen many patients suffering with Long Covid and know how difficult it is for those experiencing longer term effects of a Covid infection.
“GPs will now be able to refer patients with a diagnosis of Post-Covid Syndrome to this new service where they can get a specialised assessment from relevant professionals and the support they need.”
If the effects of a Covid infection last for more than 12 weeks, patients should contact their GP practice so any alternative diagnosis for the condition can be ruled out and to decide if the Post Covid Assessment Service would be suitable.
More information to help with Your Covid Recovery in Kent and Medway is available here.
As this is a new condition, the NHS is also collecting the experiences of people with Long Covid to find out more about how it affects people and their families to make sure the patient voice is heard to shape the development of the service.
Almost 500 people have already either completed a survey or attended an online meeting.
The CCG is still organising interviews with patients and families who have experienced the longer term effects of a Covid-19 infection. If people can spare half an hour to tell us about their experiences, please visit this page on our website.
Improving Services for people recovering from Covid-19
We want to hear from anyone in Kent and Medway who has had Covid-19 and has continued to experience symptoms after four weeks.
If you feel you had Covid-19 and it took you longer than expected to recover, we would like to hear from you. Even if you have now completely recovered sharing your views and experiences will help others.
You don’t have to have been to hospital, had a diagnosis of Covid-19, or even have had a positive test.
We also want to hear about the impact on families and carers and what support would help them.
To give us your views and get involved you can:
- Complete a short online survey here.
- Join us at an online patient experience workshop on either Thursday 8 April 6pm – 8pm or Wednesday 28 April 10am – 12:30.
The workshops will be led by Cathy Finnis, Independent Lay Member for Patient and Public Engagement and Dr Neil Banik, Respiratory Lead for Kent and Medway. The purpose of the events is to hear about your experiences and about what types of support would work best for patients and families.
Register your interest for Thursday 8 April here.
Register your interest for Wednesday 28 April here.
The events will be held via Zoom and we will send details on how to join nearer the time.
The engagement team would also be happy to hear your views over the telephone. Please email us at email@example.com or phone 07767 870207.
To find out more about existing advice please visit www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/your-health/coronavirus
If you have any queries about how we are involving people in planning Covid-19 support services please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthwatch Kent and Medway are also gathering experiences of Long Covid and are working with the CCG and partners to improve services. A report of a recent focus group with patients can be found here.
Kent's first large scale vaccination centre opens it's doors in Folkestone
The Folkestone site will be open to members of the public aged 75 years and over, including the over 80s who have not yet received their vaccine and who have received a letter from the NHS and been invited to book. Nobody needs to contact the NHS, as people will be invited when it is their turn.
People who book in to a vaccine centre will receive a pre-vaccination assessment before they receive their vaccine.
Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues. You can find out more about the Folkestone centre and nearest car parking at www.kentcht.nhs.uk/service/kent-vaccination-centres/
Last updated 27th January 2021