The extract below is taken directly from an email received in response to the NMRA Chairman expressing some concerns which had been raised by members of the Residents' Association. It is reproduced so that Members of the Association clearly understand the current situation regarding the Vaccination process.
Extract from an E-Mail received from Coastal Medical Partnership's Business Manager - Matt Perkins.
Received on Sunday 3rd January in response to an email from the Association.
The Vaccination Programme : This is being handled centrally as a merged practice, so patients are being invited from a database covering all the practices in the Partnership.
"We received 975 doses in our first week (wc 14th December). In terms of numbers, our care home residents and staff amount to around 1000, and we have 3,500 over 80s not including those in care homes. Having planned to deliver first to our care homes (the highest priority cohort), we were told not to do that due to the transport issues at the time with the Pfizer vaccine, so we prioritised and invited the first batch of over 80s. But you can see that 2/3 of our over 80s have still to be invited. So please ask everyone to be patient – we will get to them. The example message you had mentions patients on blood thinning medication – they will be called, but our original instructions were not to call these patients. This has now changed and they will be invited within their cohort.
I will look at how we can update patients more easily. We are putting messaging on social media and our website, and had ITV meridian news covering the start of our vaccine programme, but we clearly need a more regular update on our website. I will get this reviewed and updated as soon as we can.
This coming week we are getting three separate deliveries. Firstly, 975 vaccines to complete the second doses for those vaccinated in week 1. We were asked on New Year’s eve to move all 975 second dose patients booked in next week to 12 weeks time and book in 975 others for first doses, but with such short notice this would have been impossible to complete, and would have resulted in chaos and wasted doses, so the CCG agreed for us to proceed (though we have managed to squeeze in another 110 first doses in addition due to deferring front line health workers). Secondly, a smaller pack to complete some more of our care homes which we started last week. Finally, on Friday 8th Jan we should see our first 400 doses of the Oxford vaccine. This means we can start to speed up our clinics with better stock levels, although as you can see above we will be prioritising our care homes’ first doses (cohort 1) before getting back to completing first doses on our over 80s population.
The vaccine programme is ‘a marathon, not
a sprint’. We were amongst the first practices nationally to
mobilise as part of the wave one sites, but we cannot get to
everyone immediately, particularly as our demographic is so biased
towards the elderly and those in our 20 residential homes. We also
don’t know what stock we are getting one week to the next. The
deliveries I outlined to you above were only communicated to us at
8pm on Wednesday evening (30th December). We do not know
what stock we will get from 11th January onwards, so
cannot invite and book in any patients beyond this coming week. It
is so challenging working with such short notice periods. As soon as
we know we are going to get significant deliveries of stock, we can
put clinics on and invite patients to book in. Once again, please
ask anyone querying things that we will be getting to them as soon
as we are in a position to invite them. This is a very busy time of
year for General Practice as it is – we are suffering with sickness
absences and exhausted staff as much as the rest of the NHS. Our
policy of ‘don’t phone us, we’ll phone you’ is to protect our
phonelines for those that need to get through on medical grounds,
and to allow us providing our normal services. We are shortly
launching a dedicated covid vaccine booking line, being trialled
this week, which will help, although we still would not cope if all
our uninvited patients continue to phone in asking when they can be
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