Monthly Archives: January 2021

Patient Participation Group Meeting 11/01/2021

Minutes of Pathfields Patient Group Zoom Meeting 11 January 2021


Present   Phil Hart, Bernice Lewin, Helen Baker, Anne and Jeff Morgan, Christine Lewis, Natalie Harrison.

Apologies   Dr Dave Attwood, Len Gaynor, Caroline Sozer, Annie Jenkin, Ursula Brown, Paul Russell. Jenny Thornton


Dr Attwood was unable to attend as he is busy vaccinating patients at our local Care Homes.

We are grateful to Helen who updates us on the Covid Vaccination progress in Pathfields.


At present Pathfields patients over 80 are invited to attend the Pavillions , Millbay Road for their vaccinations.  17 practices across the city ( not Beacon or Plymstock practices who have their own arrangements )  are working together to coordinate the rollout. The Pfizer vaccine is being used there and requires complicated mixing and drawing up into vials.  The staff working in shifts 8am-8pm are all vaccinated and parking is free. There is a requirement to stay for 15 minutes after vaccination.  When regular deliveries are received the centre will hopefully be open 7 days a week.

Patients in the relevant cohorts, at present over 80s, are invited by phone call from the practice. Helen reports that take up has been very high so far.  Further cohorts will be invited by phone call or possibly by text in due course. Currently phone calls are being made from Beaumont Villa to arrange appointments for vaccination.  Members of the group expressed concerns regarding contacting patients who are unwilling to answer telephone calls from private numbers and who may miss the chance to get their appointment.  Members asked Helen to confirm that all patients missing calls would be followed up.  For the elderly next of kin numbers could be contacted.

It was also suggested that the Pathfields website publishes a reminder of the need to ensure the practice number is saved on your phone if possible.

The Care Home Project continues, staff are visiting all care homes to vaccinate the residents. For those patients the practice is using the Astra Zeneca vaccine.  Pathfields hopes to complete the over 80s and care home residents by mid February.

Helen also shared with us the difficulties they face.   Government guidance changes on sometimes a daily basis. This prevents effective forward planning . It is better to wait for a delivery before making appointments. Typically patients get 4 days notice of their appointment and the best way even for those with poor mobility is to get to the Pavillions where wheelchairs are available and if necessary get someone to take you there, this is an essential journey).   Information is available on the Pathfields Website.

Social media informs users that patients should have their NHS number with them to speed up the process. Phone lines to surgeries have been clogged up with patients wanting to know their NHS number. This is available on repeat prescription forms and Practice and Hospital correspondence and on the NHS App when downloaded. Helen told us that she did not have her NHS number with her when vaccinated and it did not hold up the procedure. There is much information on social media which may or may not be correct.

Vaccinating the housebound patients is challenging with restrictions on transporting the vaccines. Pathfields is working on a solution to this problem.


Concerns were expressed about accessing the practice.  eg a patient was sent a text by the practice to get a blood test. Long waits on the telephone were experienced and the only alternative was eConsult. Patients are not able to queue at the surgery nor can any appointments be made online.  Helen reported that phone lines are busy with people asking when they can have their vaccine. It was felt that there is enough publicity on tv newspapers and online to discourage these calls.     HB said 5.30 at the end of the day was a generally a quiet time to access. She checked her system and reported that at 10.30 on 11 January there were currently 13 people holding on.

When listening to the options on the telephone message we are reminded that there is a cancellation option if you no longer need an appointment. Your appointment can be given to someone else .

CL said that her pharmacy enabled her to ring up and order repeat prescriptions though HB said some pharmacies have ceased this practice. There are facilities for online companies to order and deliver your NHS prescriptions to you.

Members were concerned that elderly and often younger patients may not have access to the internet to use eConsult or to order repeat prescriptions and other facilities.  For eConsult patients do not need to be registered for online services.  Patients can go to the website and start an enquiry.

A patient who was recommended a blood test from a Doctor via eConsult reports that she was told to make an appointment at the surgery or turn up at Future Inn Derriford without an appointment where phlebotomy services are now located. She then turned up when they opened at 8am and was dealt with promptly and efficiently as the GP had mailed the information to the phlebotomy service. ( note, you cannot attend unless the GP has contacted them .)

Practice stats for December;

Prescriptions issued  15697       Sick notes  290       Cervical smears 144

Bloods    1294       Medication reviews  2402     Telephone appointments 3529

Online consultations 1486        DNA  581


Members of the group thanked Helen for her time and the information she was able to share with us.  The job of the Patient Group is to ask questions, share ideas and support the Practice on behalf of the patients.

Date of next meeting tba





1. What COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is and what it is used for
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is a vaccine used to protect people aged 18 years and older against
COVID-19 is caused by a virus called coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca stimulates the body’s natural defences (immune system). It causes
the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the virus. This will help to protect you
against COVID-19 in the future. None of the ingredients in this vaccine can cause COVID-19.
2. What you need to know before you receive COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
Do not have the vaccine:
 If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any of the active substances or any of the other
ingredients listed in section 6. Signs of an allergic reaction may include itchy skin rash,
shortness of breath and swelling of the face or tongue. Contact your doctor or healthcare
professional immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have
an allergic reaction. It can be life-threatening.
If you are not sure, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
Warnings and precautions
Tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse before vaccination:
 If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after any other vaccine injection;
 If you currently have a severe infection with a high temperature (over 38°C).
However, a mild fever or infection, like a cold, are not reasons to delay vaccination;
 If you have a problem with bleeding or bruising, or if you are taking a blood thinning medicine
 If your immune system does not work properly (immunodeficiency) or you are taking medicines
that weaken the immune system (such as high-dose corticosteroids, immunosuppressants or
cancer medicines).
If you are not sure if any of the above applies to you, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse before
you are given the vaccine.
As with any vaccine, COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca may not protect everyone who is vaccinated
from COVID-19. It is not yet known how long people who receive the vaccine will be protected for.
No data are currently available in individuals with a weakened immune system or who are taking
chronic treatment that suppresses or prevents immune responses.
Children and adolescents
No data are currently available on the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in children and
adolescents younger than 18 years of age.
Other medicines and COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
Tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you are taking, have recently taken or might take, any other
medicines or vaccines.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you may be pregnant, or are planning to have a baby, tell
your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. There are limited data on the use of COVID-19 Vaccine
AstraZeneca in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will discuss with
you whether you can be given the vaccine.
Driving and using machines
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca has no known effect on the ability to drive and use machines.
However, side effects listed in section 4 may impact your ability to drive and use machines. If you feel
unwell, do not drive or use machines.
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca contains sodium and alcohol (ethanol)
This medicine contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose of 0.5 ml. This means that it is
essentially ‘sodium-free’.
This medicine contains a very small amount of alcohol (0.002 mg of alcohol (ethanol) per dose of
0.5 ml). This is not enough to cause any noticeable effects.
3. How COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is given
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is injected into a muscle (usually in the upper arm).
You will receive 2 injections. You will be told when you need to return for your second injection
of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.
The second injection can be given between 4 and 12 weeks after the first injection.
When COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is given for the first injection, COVID-19 Vaccine
AstraZeneca (and not another vaccine against COVID-19) should be given for the second injection to
complete vaccination course.
If you miss your second injection
If you forget to go back at the scheduled time, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse for advice. It is
important that you return for your second injection of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.
4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines, this vaccine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. In clinical
studies with the vaccine, most side effects were mild to moderate in nature and resolved within a few
days with some still present a week after vaccination.
If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, medicines containing paracetamol can be
Side effects that occurred during clinical trials with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca were as follows:
Very Common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people)
 tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising where the injection is given
 generally feeling unwell
 feeling tired (fatigue)
 chills or feeling feverish
 headache
 feeling sick (nausea)
 joint pain or muscle ache
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
 a lump at the injection site
 fever
 being sick (vomiting)
 flu-like symptoms, such as high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough and chills
Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
 feeling dizzy
 decreased appetite
 abdominal pain
 enlarged lymph nodes
 excessive sweating, itchy skin or rash
In clinical trials there were very rare reports of events associated with inflammation of the nervous
system, which may cause numbness, pins and needles, and/or loss of feeling. However, it is not
confirmed whether these events were due to the vaccine.
If you notice any side effects not mentioned in this leaflet, please inform your doctor, pharmacist or
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible
side effects not listed in this leaflet.
If you are concerned about a side-effect it can be reported directly via the Coronavirus Yellow Card
reporting site or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the
Google Play or Apple App Store and include the vaccine brand and batch/Lot number if available.
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this vaccine.
5. How to store COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse is responsible for storing this vaccine and disposing of any unused
product correctly.
Do not use COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca after the expiry date which is stated on the carton. The
expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Store in a refrigerator (2°C to 8°C).
Do not freeze.
Keep vials in outer carton to protect from light.
The vaccine does not contain any preservative and should be administered by a healthcare
professional. After the first dose is withdrawn, the vaccine should be used as soon as practically
possible and within 6 hours. During use it can be stored from 2°C to 25°C.
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Any unused
vaccine or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements. Spills should
be disinfected with an appropriate antiviral disinfectant.
6. Contents of the pack and other information
What COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca contains
One dose (0.5 ml) contains:
COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S*
recombinant) 5 × 1010 viral particles *
Recombinant, replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vector encoding the SARS-CoV-2 Spike
glycoprotein. Produced in genetically modified human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells.
This product contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The other excipients are L-histidine, L-histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, magnesium chloride
hexahydrate, polysorbate 80, ethanol, sucrose, sodium chloride, disodium edetate dihydrate, water for
What COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca looks like and contents of the pack
Solution for injection. The solution is colourless to slightly brown, clear to slightly opaque and particle
Pack sizes (not all pack sizes may be marketed):
 10 dose vial (5 ml) in packs of 10 vials.
 8 dose vial (4 ml) in packs of 10 vials.
MedImmune UK Ltd
6 Renaissance Way
Liverpool, L24 9JW
United Kingdom
MedImmune Pharma B.V., Nijmegen
Lagelandseweg 78
Nijmegen, 6545CG
For any information about this medicine, please contact:
AstraZeneca UK Ltd
Tel: 08000541028