WE’RE MAKING RAPID PROGRESS
The Covid-19 vaccination rollout is the largest vaccine programme in the history of the NHS, and we are making rapid progress here in North Tyneside having already delivered the first dose of vaccine to residents who are well enough, and the majority of staff, in all of the 31 residential and nursing homes for older adults in the borough.
The NHS is delivering the vaccine across the UK through regional hospital hubs, local vaccination centres provided by groups of GP practices and pharmacies, and large-scale vaccination centres for high volumes of people.
Here in North Tyneside we have three GP-led local vaccination centres in Longbenton, North Shields (also covering Whitley Bay) and Wallsend. North Tyneside General Hospital is our local hospital hub.
Some people in North Tyneside will also get invitations to attend the new vaccination service at The Centre for Life in Newcastle, so that we can immunise as many people as possible. You do not have to attend this service if you cannot travel safely, have poor mobility, or would prefer to wait for a local appointment from your GP-led service.
Our teams are working incredibly hard to vaccinate everyone as fast as possible, and we are prioritising patients based on strict national guidelines for age and clinical risk level.
Our local programme is now fully underway, but please don’t be worried if you or a family member are in one of the priority groups but have not heard from us yet. You might know someone who has already been invited, but that doesn’t mean that you are a lower priority.
During January and February many more people will be invited in, but this is only the start of a major vaccination programme and it will take some time to reach everyone. Our teams can only vaccinate as many patients as supplies allow.
We very much understand that you may feel anxious while waiting your turn, but you do not need to contact your GP surgery as you will be contacted when it is your turn to have the vaccine.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THE NHS
- Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as possible and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when you are out.
- Please don’t contact your practice to seek a vaccine, they will contact you
- When you are invited, please be sure to attend your booked appointments.
- Please attend your appointment on your own. If you need assistance, please bring only one person with you. If we have more people attending, it is difficult for us to maintain social distancing.
HOW DO GP PRACTICES IDENTIFY WHO TO INVITE FOR VACCINATION?
GP Practices are drawing up lists of residents from medical records, searching for initially the > 80 year old age group, on practice IT systems. This process is being replicated at a national level to pick up anyone who hasn’t received a vaccine yet and people are being invited to mass vaccination centres like The Centre for Life in Newcastle, as well as locally.
These lists are being worked through and people invited into our local vaccination services across our three sites in Longbenton, North Shields (including Whitley Bay) and Wallsend; as vaccine supply arrives in the borough.
There will always be a choice of venue available for those unable to attend The Centre for Life in Newcastle, or who wish to be vaccinated locally.
As we vaccinate the different priority groups in this way, down the ages and for extremely clinically vulnerable groups and at-risk diseases (as per the JCVI priority list), this process is repeated and continually looped to try and capture any people who we couldn’t contact the first time around, in the highest priority groups (so for > 80 year olds at the moment) and moving down to > 75 year olds, and then > 70 year olds and the extremely clinically vulnerable next.
Hospital hubs are now vaccinating the majority of frontline health and social care workers, through their employers.
This process is something GPs are used to doing every year for flu vaccinations, and they have robust systems in place and access to medical records that allow for accurate and continual updating of lists of people to be offered vaccination, a process replicated nationally.
GPs are also contacting housebound patients and mobile vaccinating teams are making progress across the borough, for housebound > 80 year olds currently.
Making sure that your GP practice holds your correct contact details, by going on-line and registering for on-line access if you don’t already have this, through your practice website is one way of checking your details are correct without phoning your GP. All the GP Practice websites addresses across North Tyneside can be found here
When it is the right time people will receive an invitation to come forward for vaccination. For most people this will be a letter or phone call, either from their GP or the national NHS.
We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we would ask people not to phone their GP to get an appointment, and wait until they are contacted. The NHS is working hard to make sure those at greatest risk are offered the vaccine first.
For more information please see our FAQ section of our Covid-19 Information Hub on our website: https://tynehealth.org.uk/covid-19/Leave a reply