Category: Health

Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) struggling due to staff shortages – there are alternatives

There are quite a lot of ways of ordering repeat prescriptions. Many people use the national system of ordering through Prescription Ordering Direct (POD). The service has been struggling with staff shortages and a couple of times over the last week I have had enquiries from Ludlow residents complaining that they cannot get through on the phone. My advice on this has been to ring your pharmacist. They will be able to order repeat prescriptions for you in an emergency if needed. Our local GPs don’t take repeat prescriptions over the phone as this can lead to errors. It also ties up the phone lines and reception staff who need to prioritise urgent appointments and steer patients towards the most effective help. This article covers some of the ways you can order your prescription.

Covid Watch 154: Delta roller coaster continues in Shropshire and Telford as GPs urge younger people to get vaccinated

Rates of detected Covid-19 infections are falling rapidly in England, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. It is not known at this stage whether this is a result of growing herd immunity and high vaccination rates. Undoubtedly both are helping. But we have seen many blips that have proven to be a mirage generated by testing capacity and timing. I hope the fall in rates is genuine and not a resulting of people people having been reluctant to get tested during the pingdemic. Although infection rates remain high it does look more encouraging. The Office for National Statistics’ infection survey for the week ending July 17 suggests one in 80 people has the virus, up from one in 100 the week before, with the Delta strain accounting for almost every case. A week ago, the seven day infection rate in Shropshire was 399 per 100,000 people. The best estimate for the infection rate for the seven days to yesterday was 230. There were 35 cases in Ludlow during the seven days to 19 July, a rate of 319, the highest it has been the town.

Met Office issues a heatwave health alert – please check on your vulnerable neighbours

We knew it was coming. It is here. A searing heatwave that is set to last until the weather breaks on Friday when rain and temperatures are expected to fall, though they will not plummet. We complain enough about the cold. It was -10C outside my front door earlier this year. Now we have the opposite. It’s 28C outside the front door and my sun facing windows check in well above 30C on the outside. The pavement is 36C plus. It’s too hot to walk the dog. Double glazing keeps some of the heat out but as always it is a competition between air flow and heat flow. The Met Office has issued a Level Three health alert. Most people know how to cope with a heat surge. But some older people and others who are vulnerable may not cope well. Just as in severely cold weather, it is helpful if people phone a friend or neighbour to see if they are coping well.

Covid Watch 153: Rates of Covid infection in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin rising faster than nationally

Just as it looked like the rates of infection in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin were slowing a little, they are now soaring up. Cases of Covid-19 are growing by around 70% a week in Shropshire and 75% in Telford. That’s much higher than in England as a whole, where rates are increasing by around 30% a week. The growth in infection is among children of school age and young adults. No area of Shropshire or Telford is now free of Covid-19. That includes south west Shropshire where rates have gone from zero at the beginning of June to 102 per 100,000 people in the week to 11 July. Tomorrow, Freedom Day, has been called a gamble. It is certainly beginning to look like a gamble that could backfire. They should support shopworkers by keeping the wearing of face masks compulsory in indoor retail outlets and make mask wearing compulsory on public transport.

Covid Watch 152: Fewer than one third of local people want all covid restrictions to end on 19 July

The results of my straw poll are in. Just three in ten people want all restrictions lifted next Monday. Sajid Javid and Boris Johnson yesterday announced they are sticking to their plan to remove almost all restrictions on 19 July. But fewer than one-third of the 395 respondents think that all restrictions should end next Monday. From what I have learnt in the past week, wearing of face masks is the main concern people have about the easing of restrictions. We learnt from Javid yesterday that the easing of almost all restrictions is not “irreversible” as Johnson had previously claimed: “If [the] risk matrix changes, for example with variants of concern, we will not hesitate to take the appropriate action.”

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