COVID 19 Vaccine Update from Grayshott Surgery as at 19th January 2021
We at the Surgery know that this is an extremely anxious time for our patients and that you have a lot of questions about the rolling out of the vaccine programme. We will try to answer some of those questions here. As you can appreciate we are incredibly busy not only running our day to day surgeries but dealing with the vaccination programme. Whilst we understand your concerns, we ask that you don’t pass on information that hasn’t come directly from us. Please do not phone the surgery with enquiries about the vaccine but rest assured we are working through our patient list and everyone will be contacted as soon as we are advised of vaccination slots being released.
Here are our answers to your most frequently asked questions. These questions and answers are specific to our Surgery
Q 1. What methods are being used to communicate to the patients?
Currently the Surgery is phoning all of our over 80s as and when appointments and vaccines become available. We are not going through alphabetically, but the list is split between all our team members to give a fair coverage. Due to the large number of over 80s within our Practice, we are unable to look at each case individually to prioritise the most vulnerable in that age group as it is our aim to vaccinate all over 80s who want the vaccine as soon as possible
Q 2. How are we contacting people
As soon as we are advised of appointment slots being available, patients will receive a phone call from one of the receptionist team between the hours of 9.30am and 18.00hrs Monday to Friday. We are currently also calling on Saturday mornings. They ask the patient if they would like the vaccination and then proceed to book them in at a convenient time. This process is continual as and when appointment slots become available
Q 3. How can we be as sure as possible that people will not get missed?
We have a comprehensive computer system that runs a report that tells us who all our over 80s patients are. We work from this list and it is updated daily. If a patient cannot be contacted we will either leave them a message, or call them back at another time. Due to the appointments being so limited we are unable to hold an appointment for someone who doesn’t pick up the phone, but when we are able to contact them, they will be offered the next available slot.
Q 4. How does the Surgery know we’ve had our vaccination and how do we book our follow up?
When the patient has had their vaccination, the details will be sent electronically to our medical system within 48 hours, which we will then use later to re-call our patients for their second vaccination. As before, we will contact you, please do not phone us
Q 5. How might it be possible that people who are younger appear to be getting their vaccinations before older patients
As a Surgery, we are not vaccinating anyone under the age of 80, so if you have heard that in the community, you have been incorrectly informed. Currently the only reason someone younger will be vaccinated is if they are frontline/healthcare workers. These vaccinations have been organised by their employer, not by Grayshott Surgery.
Q 6. Why have my friends who belong to different surgeries and are younger than me had their vaccines
Grayshott Surgery looks after Patients in Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex, but we are governed by the Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). All our directives come from Surrey Heartlands and not Hampshire. This means that patients who are linked with surgeries in other areas will be processed differently to those in Surrey. Getting deliveries and vaccinating the relevant groups varies between each Surgery and CCG so it may seem that we are behind, but actually compared to other parts of the Country, we are doing well.
Q 7. The latest Government bulletin says the programme is being rolled out to the over 70s and extremely clinically vulnerable. Does this mean that all the over 80s have been vaccinated?
The Government makes broad statements about the next wave of vaccines which are not regionally specific, and as such these do not take account of the distribution of age groups within an area. Please be assured that we are working methodically through our lists and will not move onto the next phase until we have covered the current age group.
This is our latest update from Surrey Heartlands CCG
Please be Patient
We know that waiting for contact from the NHS for your vaccination may be an anxious time. If you are in the first priority group (over 80 or a care home worker), please bear in mind that we are working with limited vaccine supplies. So if you haven’t been contacted yet, don’t worry.
The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn. Until then, please allow the NHS and partners to focus on delivering care and co-ordinating this mammoth effort.
Please don’t contact your GP practice, the wider NHS or any of the community venues that are hosting clinics to seek a vaccine.
When you are contacted, please attend your booked appointment and remember, you need both doses of the vaccine for it to be effective (at least 21 days apart). In the meantime it’s more important than ever to follow the latest government guidance to control the virus and save lives.
I am in one of the listed priority groups, why do I have to wait?
Covid-19 vaccines will become available as they are approved for use and as each batch is manufactured. So every dose is needed to protect those at highest risk. You will be called in as soon as there is enough vaccine available.
Some people who are housebound or live in a care home and who can’t get to a local vaccination centre may have to wait for supply of the right type of vaccine. This is because only some vaccines can be transported between people’s homes.
I’ve called my GP practice about the vaccination but they say they don’t know anything, why?
Single GP practices don’t have the capacity to roll out a programme like this alone. That is why they have come together to pool resources and work with other partners in the community to get the clinics up and running quickly. As a result, individual practices are still managing all their usual day-to-day business and may not have answers to your questions about vaccinations. That is why we are asking people to wait to be contacted by the specific teams who are concentrating on the vaccination programme. So, please don’t call your practice, the NHS will contact you when it’s your turn
How are people being contacted about their vaccination?
Networks of local GP practices are working together and using the usual range of communications methods available to them to make contact with patients.
How are you choosing who to vaccinate?
Patients are being prioritised for the vaccine according to the national prioritisation criteria; currently this is the over 80s and care home staff.
Where are the clinics delivering vaccinations?
Vaccines will be offered in a range of community settings. Some teams will visit people to offer the vaccine, for example in care homes, other people may have to go to the nearest centre. Because some of the vaccine has to be stored in a very low temperature freezer, it is not possible to deliver it from all GP practices.
What if the centre I am offered is not easy to get to?
Please try to attend the vaccination centre you are offered. If you cannot attend that centre you may have to wait to get the vaccine. More clinics will open in the coming weeks and months.
Should I still go to my vaccination appointment if I’m in Tier 4?
Leaving the house for medical reasons, including a Covid-19 vaccination appointment, is allowed in all local restriction Tiers. So if you are contacted by the NHS to book a vaccination appointment, it’s crucial that you attend. Each service is carefully planned with strict safety measures in place.