Our local NHS is working on plans to quickly scale up our Covid-19 vaccination programme, including through GP surgeries. Alongside Riverbank vaccination centre, this means a significant proportion of our clinicians will be vaccinating and therefore be unable to deal with routine medical queries.

The government and NHS England have asked us to focus on vaccinating in the coming weeks, so this may mean you will be waiting longer for non-urgent appointments. We appreciate your patience. As always, our team will be working hard to prioritise those who are most in need. Thank you for your understanding.

If you have already received a text message or letter from the surgery about booking your vaccine, please use the link in the text message to make your appointment.

If we haven’t yet been in touch, you will hear from the surgery when we have an appointment available. We are working hard to get our appointments set up, so this should be very soon. In the meantime, please do not contact us about getting a vaccination appointment.

How to book in the meantime

From Monday 13 December, everyone aged over 30 can book a vaccine appointment online. You can do this here. From Wednesday 15 December, this will open to everyone aged 18 and over.

From Monday 13 December, everyone aged 18 and over is eligible to get their vaccine at a walk-in centre. Full details of walk-in clinics and how to access them are available here (you may need to book an appointment in advance).

There is likely to be extremely high demand for vaccinations over the next few days. Please be assured that we are working hard to increase capacity as soon as possible. Please don’t call the surgery reception to enquire. Instead, you can:

  • Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates
  • Wait for us to contact you – you will get a letter or text message
  • Visit grabajab.net.

We appreciate your ongoing patience in this exceptional time

Many thanks,

The winscombe and banwell team

Group A Streptococcus - Information for families and carers of children

You may have seen reports about a higher-than-usual level of Group A streptococcus (GAS) infections in children this year, and we understand if you are concerned.

GAS is a common bacteria – lots of people carry it without being unwell.

It can cause many common mild infections, including sore throats or scarlet fever, which can be easily treated with antibiotics. 

The information below explains how it is spread, and what to look for when your child is unwell.

How is it spread?

GAS spreads by close contact with an infected person. It can be passed on through coughs and sneezes, or from a wound.

Which infections does GAS cause?

The bacteria usually causes a mild infection, producing sore throats or scarlet fever, which can be easily treated with antibiotics.

What is invasive group A strep?

This is when the bacteria gets into the bloodstream and causes serious illness – called invasive Group A strep (iGAS). These cases are very rare.

Symptoms of mild GAS infections

Symptoms of mild infections include: sore throat; fever; chills; muscle aches; and in cases of scarlet fever, a rash and a white coating on the tongue, which peels leaving the tongue red, swollen and covered in bumps

When to contact us:

– If your child is not recovering after a bout of scarlet fever, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection, and you are concerned they are becoming more unwell

– If your child is drinking much less (50% less) than normal

– If your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more, or shows other signs of dehydration

– If your baby is under three months and has a temperature of 38C, or is three to six months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher

– If your child is very tired or irritable

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

– Your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs

– There are pauses when your child breathes

– Your child’s tongue or lips are blue, or their skin is mottled/pale

– Your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake

– Your child has a weak, continuous, or high-pitched cry