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Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), a new illness that affects your lungs and airways.
Check if you have coronavirus symptoms
Find out about the main symptoms of coronavirus and where to get medical advice if you think you have them.
What to do if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus
Advice about not leaving your home (self-isolation) and looking after yourself if you or someone you live with has symptoms.
Testing for coronavirus
Information about testing to check if you have coronavirus.
People at higher risk from coronavirus
Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women.
Coronavirus in children
Advice about symptoms of coronavirus in children, including when to get medical help if your child seems unwell.
Social distancing advice and changes to everyday life because of coronavirus
Advice about avoiding close contact with other people (social distancing), looking after your wellbeing and using the NHS and other services.
Links to more information about coronavirus
Links to government advice, information for health professionals and advice for other parts of the UK.
Firs Surgery87 Kempson RoadCastle BromwichBirmingham, B36 8LRTel: 0121 747 3586
Development checks for babies are carried out at Hodge Hill Clinic, Shawsdale Road every Thursday between 09:30 – 11:00. Baby (6week) checks by appointment only every Thursday from 12noon.
Held every second Wednesday with the practice nurse.
Held in surgery every week on Tuesday between 13:00 – 15:30 with the midwife.
If you require any vaccinations relating to foreign travel you need to make an appointment with the practice nurse to discuss your travel arrangements. This will include which countries and areas within countries that you are visiting to determine what vaccinations are required.
There is further information about countries and vaccinations required on the links below
It is important to make this initial appointment as early as possible - at least 6 weeks before you travel - as a second appointment will be required with the practice nurse to actually receive the vaccinations. These vaccines have to be ordered as they are not a stock vaccine. Your second appointment needs to be at least 2 weeks before you travel to allow the vaccines to work.
Some travel vaccines are ordered on a private prescription and these incur a charge over and above the normal prescription charge. This is because not all travel vaccinations are included in the services provided by the NHS.
Travel Health Questionnaire
To help us offer the appropriate advice, please fill out the online form before coming to see the nurse.
Travelling in Europe
If you are travelling to Europe a very useful booklet has been published with advice and guidance to help you get the most out of your holiday. To visit please click:- http://ec.europa.eu/publications/booklets/eu_glance/86/en.pdf (this is a large document and may take a minute or two to view)
Some services provided are not covered under our contract with the NHS and therefore attract charges. Examples include the following:
The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales and our reception staff will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability.
Why do GPs charge fees?
Isn’t the NHS supposed to be free?
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions: prescription charges have existed since 1951, and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged. Sometimes the charge is made to cover some of the cost of treatment, for example, dental fees; in other cases, it is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports for insurance companies.
Surely the doctor is being paid anyway?
It is important to understand that GPs are not employed by the NHS, they are self-employed, and they have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting, etc – in the same way as any small business. The NHS covers these costs for NHS work, but for non-NHS work the fee has to cover the doctor’s costs.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company or employer wants to be sure that information provided is true and accurate.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their NHS patients are:
* Certain travel vaccinations * Private medical insurance reports
Examples of non-NHS services for which a GP can charge other institutions are:
* Medical reports for an insurance company * Some reports for the DSS/Benefits Agency
I only need a doctor’s signature – what is the problem?
When a doctor signs a medical certificate or completes a report, it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true. In order to complete even the simplest of forms, therefore, the doctor might have to check the patient’s entire medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council or even the Police.
What will I be charged?
The BMA<http://www.hawthornsmcsmethwick.co.uk/pages/Non-NHS-Fees#> recommends that GPs tell patients in advance if they will be charged, and how much. It is up to the individual doctor to decide how much to charge. Please contact the surgery if you would like to know the fee for a particular service.
What can I do to help?
* Not all documents need signature by a doctor. For example, you could ask another person in a position of trust, who may be willing to sign a passport application free of charge. * If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask the receptionist/GP if he or she is prepared to complete them all at once as a ‘job lot’ at a reduced price * Do not expect the GP to process forms overnight; urgent requests may mean that the doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly, and this will cost more.
You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website<http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/sc2.pdf>.
Evidence that you are sick
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).
Your employer can ask you to confirm that you've been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called self-certification.
If you're sick and off work for more than seven days, your employer will probably ask for proof of your illness. Most employers ask for a fit note from your GP.
However, this will also depend on your employer's company policy on sick leave (or sickness absence). This policy should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need to provide proof of illness or a fit note.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
Please make sure you complete the back of the sick note with your details such as name, address and NI number before submitting to your employer or to the job centre.
Statement of Fitness for Work - ’Fit Note'
You do not need a fit note with the current sick notes as you can go back to work when your sick note finishes, as per the date put on the note.
The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.
For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced)
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