Looking after you Mental Wellbeing during Covid-19

Information on looking after your Mental health & Wellbeing can be found by clicking on the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters

We hope you find this website an additional source of help.

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CORONAVIRUS – HOW TO GET HELP

Call Torfaen

Torfaen County Borough Council can be contacted to arrange support with food, prescriptions and other essential needs. They may provide this through their staff teams and volunteers or by signposting you to other local organisations that can help.

Telephone 01495 762200 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Email: your.call@torfaen.gov.uk

Bron Afon Community Housing

Area Community Housing Officers listed below, contact 01633 620111 or visit www.bronafon.org.uk where you can complete a call back form for non-urgent requests or use Live Chat

Blaenavon

Connect with community volunteers on Facebook Blaenavon Coronavirus Help

Healthy Blaenavon Officer can support with a range of enquiries including housing, employment, food bank, mental health and loneliness. Contact Rebecca Smith through the Healthy Blaenavon Facebook page or on 07847 253617 rebecca.smith@blaenavontowncouncil.co.uk

http://blaenavontowncouncil.co.uk/media/1592/covid-19-leaflet.pdf

Bron Afon                 Community Housing Officer           claire.dullea@bronafon.org.uk                                                                                          Tel:01633 620111

Abersychan, Talywain, Garndiffaith & Varteg

Connect with community volunteers on Facebook Pontypool COVID 19 help group  

Garnsychan Partnership: 07519 581 862 or find us on Facebook

  • Free daily service, delivering medication supplies in our ward to take the pressure off Abersychan pharmacy for the foreseeable.
  • Food packs for families and elderly
  • Van delivery service for doorstop food deliveries
  • Activity packs for families with children
  • We are offering a friendly phone call service to anyone who is isolated and would like some virtual company up to three times a week to every resident who would like the service.
  • Over the phone and online support with ESA and universal credit applications
  • Foodbank and emergency fuel support

Noddfa Church provides Foodshare for anyone struggling to feed themselves and their families. Contact Pastor John on 01495 448902, find them on Facebook or www.noddfachurch.com

Bron Afon                 Talywain, Varteg,                 claire.dullea@bronafon.org.uk  Garndiffaith     Tel:01633 620111

joanne.blosse@bronafon.org.uk Abersychan    Tel:01633 620111

                                                                                   

Pontypool, Pentwyn, Pontnewynydd, Wainfelin, Trevethin, St Cadocs and Penygarn

Connect with community volunteers on Facebook Pontypool COVID 19 help group  

TRAC 2                                                                                 

tractwo@ymail.com 01495 764078 or find us on Facebook

  • Over the phone guidance on the current situation and financial advice
  • Referrals for food delivery packages
  • Emergency supplies (vulnerable individuals/families and elderly only)
  • Form filling over the phone such as PIP, ESA and LCW
  • Universal credit applications
  • Applications for emergency gas and electric
  • Discretionary Housing Payments to help towards rent payments
  • Council Tax advice
  • Help applying for free school meals (eligibility checked)
  • Forms arranging for free school meal deliveries

Disclaimer:


*TRAC2 staff and volunteers adhere to all government guidelines on safe distancing. Even in the offices, 3 metre safety distancing rules are in effect at all times.

Any deliveries will be left on the doorsteps after the door has been knocked and the deliver will wait to ensure it’s been accepted.

We cannot allow public access to our offices so all support will be given over the phone only.

New Inn

Connect with community volunteers on Facebook New Inn Coronavirus Community Support

Griffithstown

Connect with community volunteers on Facebook Griffithstown Coronavirus Community Support Group

Griffithstown Baptist Church provide a dedicated phone for people who need to talk to help combat loneliness. They are able to offer practical help where they are able and where it is safe. The Ministers Jon Dickerson and Tania Vaughan and volunteers are DBS checked and have safeguarding awareness.

Call 07539 521642.

Bron Afon                 Pontnewynydd,                                                                                    Central Pontypool     Tel:01633 620111           joanne.blosse@bronafon.org.uk

                                                                                   

New Inn & Griffithstown     

steven.wheaten@bronafon.org.uk Tel:01633 620111

                                                                                   

Trevethin

St Cadocs and Penygarn   alex.harper@bronafon.org.uk 

kayleigh.houlihan@bronafon.org.uk        Tel:01633 620111

Free School Meal Direct Payment Scheme

From the 6th April the lunch box will be replaced by a direct payment into your bank account. This will be the equivalent to the cost of your child’s free school meal and will be paid on a weekly basis. Everyone claiming Free School Meals will need to register for Free School Meal Payments (during the Coronavirus pandemic) in order to receive this payment. For more information contact:

Call Torfaen

Tel: 01495 762200

Email: your.call@torfaen.gov.uk

Age Cymru is offering a check-in-and-chat telephone service for the over 70s in Wales who live alone.

Anyone over 70 in Wales can register free of charge, to receive a regular telephone call from us in either English or Welsh. All you have to do is call Age Cymru Advice on 08000 223 444 or email us on enquiries@agecymru.org.uk. Please ensure you include the following information in your email. This will help us deal with your registration more efficiently.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Please let us know if you are over 70
  • Do you require a call in Welsh or English
  • An emergency contact – who do you want us to contact in an emergency
  • Password: our staff member will say your chosen password at the start of every call. This is to give you peace of mind so you know that you are speaking to an Age Cymru staff member

Age Connects Torfaen                                                                             01495 769264

Information & Advice Line open Monday – Friday from 10am-3.00pm.

A free independent and confidential general advice service to Torfaen residents aged 50 plus, their families, carers and professionals.

Citizens Advice provide information and advice on a range of issues including money, benefit, housing or employment problems. They are not offering face-to-face appointments during the COVID 19 outbreak but can be contacted on the following numbers:

To speak to an advisor       0300 330 2117

Help to Claim Line               0800 0241 220

Consumer Help Line           0808 223 1133

Pensionwise                         0800 138 3944

For advice about anything else call Adviceline Wales on 03444 77 2020

You can also access advice from www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales

Gateway Credit Union                                                     

info@gatewaycu.co.uk Tel: 01495 742500.

  • Still lending to new and existing members, where we are confident that they have both the ability and intention to repay any loans. Applications are being taken online and by phone.
  • For members who work for our payroll partners, we continue to offer our Fast-track Payroll Loans, with up to £500 available on production of their latest payslip.
  • Offering Change Accounts for members, which is particularly useful for people who have always drawn cash at the Post Office and are now finding that they require a debit card for the first time. The Change Account offers a prepaid Mastercard debit card with a unique sort code and account number for payments, and mobile-friendly budgeting and bill payment tools. It does require a mobile number and email address, but doesn’t need a credit check, and we can work with you to verify ID. More details and the fee structure are on our website. www.gatewaycu.co.uk
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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The Latest Update for Wales can be found here:

The NHS and Public Health Wales (PHW) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

What to do if you have symptoms

Check your symptoms in Wales

Read the advice about staying at home.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Use the 111 coronavirus service

For region specific information and advice in:

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GP OUT OF HOURS CONTACT NUMBER

As of Tuesday 13th August 2019, the contact numbers for both the GP Out of Hours Service and NHS Wales Direct have changed to: 111

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is 111 and why are you introducing it now? The 111 service will integrate two services that are currently provided by different parts of the NHS in Wales – namely NHS Direct Wales and the GP out-of-hours service when your own surgery is closed. The introduction of a simple, free, memorable three-digit number has been planned in NHS Wales for a number of years. We know people sometimes find it hard to know which service to contact and when, so introducing a free-to-call number will make it easier not just to access urgent care, but also health information and advice if you are not sure about what to do. It will also help ensure A&E departments and emergency ambulance services are used only for those patients who need them in a life-threatening emergency.

Q. Why would I phone 111? What help can I get? Do I call this number instead of my GP or 999? During the working week (8.00am-6.30pm, Monday to Friday), your own GP practice is available in the usual way and this will continue to be the main service that patients routinely use. There is no change in how and when you access your own GP during those hours. Some people don’t realise that, outside of these hours and on Bank Holidays, there are always GPs and other health professionals available to respond to urgent issues for patients who can’t wait until their GP practice re-opens. By linking NHS Direct Wales with GP out-of-hours, 111 Wales will be able to offer a range of health information, advice and urgent treatment when your condition or issue is urgent but not life-threatening. Remember, 999 should only ever be used when there is a life-threatening emergency. So if it is not an emergency, use 111.

Q. Who will I speak to? Will they know what they are talking about or will they just rely on computer software? If you call 111, you will initially speak to a trained call taker. All of our call takers undergo extensive training and education and they will ask you a series of short questions and take basic details (including your name, address, date of birth and so on) so that health care professionals such as doctors and nurses can focus on the clinical assessment. This will help us prioritise the urgency of calls so that the sickest people get treated first.

Q. Will I get the help I need straight away or a call back/doctor’s appointment/ambulance? Depending on the urgency and severity of your call, you may speak to a health care professional, who could be a nurse, pharmacist or a doctor. Sometimes it may be necessary for you to speak to more than one person to get the right treatment but we will keep this to an absolute minimum so you get to speak with the right health care professional first time. If your need is urgent and requires you to see a GP out-of-hours, you will be asked to attend a primary care centre based at our hospital sites, as is the case currently. However, for the majority of conditions, our highly skilled nurses or pharmacists will be able to deal with many cases. Our call takers are trained to recognise when there is a threat to life; if you dial 111 but do need an ambulance, you will be put through to the emergency ambulance service.

Q. What are the benefits to patients and what are the benefits to the NHS? The main benefit to patients is that for the first time, you will have access to a range of services by dialing a single free-to-call number that will make it easier for you to get the right service. This supports the wider campaign encouraging patients to ‘Choose Well’ and helps to keep our emergency departments (EDs, or also known as A&E) and 999 service for those who really need them. The other benefit is that sometimes patients think EDs are the only place available, especially at night or weekends. Ringing 111 will help to signpost patients to the right place.

Q. I live in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, but every time I try and ring the 111 number from my mobile, I’m being told that the service isn’t available in my area. Why is that? If the ‘Wi-Fi Calling’ feature is enabled on your mobile phone, it could be interfering with your location when trying to ring the 111 service. You will need to turn off Wi-Fi Calling before dialing, to ensure that we can determine your correct location. To turn off Wi-Fi Calling, you’ll need to change the settings in your phone. The process is slightly different for each phone, so please contact your service provider for help on how to do this.

Q. Will I be able to talk to someone in Welsh if I want to? Yes, the first message that you will hear when dialing 111 asks you to make a choice about whether you want to continue the call in English or in Welsh. NHS 111 employs a number of Welsh speakers, so you will usually be able to conduct the initial discussion in Welsh. There may be occasions where this is not possible, but we will always endeavour to meet your preference, and with additional staff coming into the service, we hope these occasions will be very rare.

Q. I live outside of Wales but I may need to contact the service on behalf of a relative who lives in the ABUHB area. What do I do? If you ring 111 from outside of Wales, you will be routed to your local 111 service, which will be unable to transfer your call to a 111 Wales centre. In these circumstances, please ring your relative’s GP Practice and follow the instructions on the answerphone message.

Q. I live in the ABUHB area but work in Cardiff. What happens if I wanted to ring 111 whilst at work? As the 111 service isn’t yet available in the Cwm Taf/ Cardiff & Vale Health Board areas, you should ring your GP, which will provide you with an alternative number to call (if it was outside the Monday to Friday, 8:0018:30 window).

Q. What happens if I don’t speak English or Welsh? If you don’t speak English, we will still be able to help you. We use a service called ‘Language Line’ and this enables us to have a three-way phone call with an interpreter so that we can still provide the help that you need.

Q. What happens if I am deaf? The InterpreterNow service, which is available 7 days a week, between 8am and midnight, is available for deaf (and hearing) British Sign Language [BSL] users to communicate with hearing people via an online BSL interpreter. InterpreterNow can be accessed using a computer, or via the InterpreterNow app on your smartphone or tablet. Once you have contacted the InterpreterNow service, the interpreter will contact us by telephone and relay your conversation with a member of our team e.g. a Nurse Advisor or a Health Information Adviser, depending on what the problem is. You will be asked a series of questions to assess your needs, and then will be provided with the appropriate healthcare advice or directed to the local service that can help you best.

Q. Where is the money for this coming from? Welsh Government has funded the implementation and set-up costs for the first few 111 pilot sites in Wales. Each Health Board in Wales is now directly contributing to the implementation costs of 111 and further roll-outs across Wales, but overall this represents a direct increase in funding to 111, NHS Direct and out-of-hours services for Welsh patients.

Q. Is there a website available? The current NHS Direct Wales website at www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk is available. This provides information on local services, as well as comprehensive information on health issues. There are also ‘symptom checkers’ on a range of common health problems.

Q. Where is the call centre based? Why are we ringing a 111 call centre rather than the local out of hours services where they understand the local community and local services? 111 Wales has call centres in Cwmbran, Swansea, Bangor and Haverfordwest. Each of these have access to a directory of local services and will be able to give you the same level of care and advice. NHS 111 Wales is also ensuring ongoing training and development for staff to familiarise themselves with each area that forms part of the NHS 111 service, and they already have experience of doing this in a number of Health Board areas. The out of hours services will continue to provide local care when needed.

Q. Who runs the 111 phone line? NHS 111 in Wales is run by the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Q. I have heard that 111 leads to an increase in the number of referrals to ambulance services. Is this the case? NHS 111 Wales already has significant experience of providing 111 services in Swansea, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire, Powys, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, and this has not led to an increased demand on ambulance services.

Q. What do local GPs think of the changeover? Do they support it? Local GPs have been actively involved in designing the service and quite a few have worked directly within the Clinical Support Hub. We maintain close links with primary care teams and to date there have been no concerns raised by GPs about the 111 Wales service.

Q. Who do I complain to if I have a concern about 111 and my out of hours care? If you have a concern about the service received from 111, please contact the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust Putting Things Right team at http://www.was-tr.wales.nhs.uk/Default.aspx?pageId=20 or by calling 0300 321 321 1. If you have a concern about the service received from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board GP Out of Hours Service, please contact the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Putting Things Right Team at http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/866/page/87012 or by calling 01495 745656.

The Community Health Council (CHC) exists to represent and protect public interests in NHS services by monitoring the quality of care, seeking redress where appropriate and acting as a source of information for local people. They are available to advise and provide assistance to anyone with a suggestion or concern about the health service.

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INTRODUCING CARE NAVIGATORS

Feeling Poorly?

There are lots of ways for you to get the medical advice and treatment you need without seeing your GP.

Frontline Staff in GP Surgeries across Gwent have been trained as Care Navigators.

What does this mean?

With effect from 7th May 2019, when you call your GP surgery, staff will be able to signpost you to the right care. This might not always be an appointment with the GP.

Care Navigators are here to help you choose the right support that will help you or a loved one feel better, faster.

ASK AT RECEPTION FOR MORE INFORMATION

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My Health Online (MHOL)

MY HEALTH ONLINE (MHOL)

Due to the Coronavirus we are not currently setting up MHOL to book appointments. This is because we need to ensure that everyone coming to the surgery has spoken to a GP / Practice Nurse who will go through a series of questions to ensure that anyone who does need to attend surgery has been screened.

Please however continue to use MHOL for ordering your repeat medications, ensuring that you use a nominated local chemist as the destination. This avoids patients or their family / friends from coming to the surgery to collect.

As soon as we can provide a full MHOL service to you all, we shall do so.

Stay Safe

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REPEAT PRESCRIBING

Due to Patient Safety issues, we employ a Prescribing Clerk. This person is the only person in the practice who will be dealing with all aspects of repeat prescriptions apart from our GPs. No other member of staff has the security clearance to deal with such requests.

We strongly advise that you give our prescribing clerk 48hrs notice to enable her to re-issue the prescription via our GP’s. You must ensure that your request is done via the white page of your previous prescription, simply by ticking the boxes of the required items. Failing that, you must put the request in writing. If need be, you can send your request via the post (or posted through our door, or left in the box in Reception) using a Stamped Adressed Evnvelope (SAE) to ensure that we can post the prescription back to you. This will then be sent to our prescribing clerk whose responsibility it is to deal with the request. Under no circumstances can we accept a request over the phone.

If using a chemist to order your prescription, we advise that you give them 5 days notice to ensure the order is ready to collect.

We politely remind patients that it is their own responsibility to ensure they order repeat medication in time before they run out. We ask that you do not take your frustrations out on our staff because of something that you have forgotten.

Prescriptions will be ready for collection after 2pm on the due day (48hrs later).

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YELLOW FEVER VACCINES

With immediate effect, this surgery is no longer a designated Yellow Fever (YF) vaccination centre. This means that although we can still administer travel vaccinations, we are no longer allowed to administer the YF vaccine. Our Practice Nurses can still advise on Travel vaccines but it is now the travellers responsibility to receive the YF vaccine from another vaccine centre.

As the YF vaccine centres can often change, we suggest that you go online to find one in your area. A few contact details are as follows:

Boots (Queen Street Cardiff), 029 2023 1291

MASTA (work with Boots as above) 0330 100 4150

Nomad Clinic (Wharton St, Cardiff) 01341 555 061

Costs of the vaccine(s) will need to be discussed with the individual Centres.

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Repeat Prescriptions

Please be aware that under the General Medical Services (GMS) Agreement 2004, we have 48 hours (two days) in which to prepare a repeat medication request. This means that for example, if you request a prescription in a Tuesday, it WILL NOT be ready until the Thursday. The  48 hours (two days) are working days and DO NOT include weekends and/or Bank Holidays.

It is the patient’s responsibility to ensure that the request is handed in on time. There is no need to request the medication more than a week in advance, as the request WILL NOT be actioned. If you are going on holiday etc, this needs to be clearly marked on the request.

One of the biggest delays in handling requests is that some patients believe that because they have been prescribed a medication once, they can then ask for more of the same medication as and when they feel they need or want it. THIS IS WRONG! Whether or not you are able to have repeat medication is discussed with your GP and it is clearly marked on your WHITE (Right had side) of your prescription. It has boxes on it, which enables you to tick the boxes, as and when you require to have those repeated (hence the name a Repeat Prescription). This white part also carries important information to you.the patient i.e when your medication review is due etc. If a medication you have had IS NOT on the white part, then it has not been marked up as a repeat medication by your GP. PLEASE DO NOT LET YOUR CHEMIST KEEP THIS WHITE PART UNLESS YOU ARE HAPPY FOR THEM TO HAVE IT AND YOU HAVE CHECKED IT FOR ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION.

We DO NOT accept repeat medication requests over the phone. We MUST either have the white tear off part of your last prescription or have the request in writing. If posting to us, you MUST sent us a stamped addressed envelope (SAE) if you want it posted back to you (please give 5 days notice by post) or it must CLEARLY be marked up as to which Chemist you want it to go to. If no SAE is revieved, you prescription will be sat at Reception, waiting for you to collect.

This Practice deals with around 350 Repeat Prescription requests on a DAILY basis, so can we politely ask you NOT to put pressure on our Reception Staff to get your signed “Here and Now”. If you need it by a certain date or time, then please ensure you put the request in on time.

Many thanks for your anticipated help and understanding.

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Practice Closures

From time to time, the Practice may have to close. This will depend on whether it is for Staff Training, which is normally for 1 hour over lunch or if a GP Network Meeting is being held.

Staff Training is approved by the Health Board. We must provide the Health Board with details of the training and who is taking part, so it is not simply just a case of closing the doors to catch up with work. The Health Board also insist that although the door may be closed, we must still accept incoming phone calls, so you still have the ability to contact the surgery.

GP Network Meeting are organised by the Health Board. This will always include ALL GP Surgeries within Torfaen, when they all meet up to go through various training topics. Gwent Out Of Hours will normally take all URGENT calls for that afternoon. If your request is NOT Urgent may we suggest that if it cannot wait until the next working day but you need Health Advice, you should contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

Once again, we shall always try our best to advertise when these practice closures will take place.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Use this service if:

  • you think you might have coronavirus
  • in the last 14 days you've been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus – see coronavirus advice for travellers and a list of high risk countries on nhs.uk
  • you've been in close contact with someone with coronavirus

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.

In Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours.

In Wales call 111 (if available in your area) or 0845 46 47.

In Northern Ireland call 111.

For region specific information and advice in:

Further information and details of how to self-isolate are available on nhs.uk.