COVID 19 Vaccine Programme
Update on COVID-19 vaccination service for Martins Oak Surgery
We are pleased to confirm the arrangements for our patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
The GP led vaccination service at Etchingham Village Hall is set to go live at the start of next week and will be where our patients can receive this vital protection.
The service is a partnership between our practice, our partners in Rural Rother Primary Care Network and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.
It will cover all registered patients at:
Fairfield Surgery, Ferry Road Health Centre, Martins Oak Surgery, Northiam and Broad Oak Surgery, Oldwood Surgery, Rye Medical Centre, and Sedlescombe and Westfield Surgeries
The service will offer vaccine appointments to registered patients at the GP practices in line with the national priority groups, starting with those who are over the age of 80.
Preparations at Etchingham Village Hall are being finalised this week with the aim that the first vaccines will begin to be administered at the start of next week, subject to a confirmed vaccine delivery date.
Our practice teams have been identifying their patients who are eligible at this stage and appointments will be booked in over the coming days.
In terms of the way the vaccination programme is being rolled out, the model for GP vaccination services has been agreed nationally and each area is typically allocated one GP-led vaccination site where all patients from a group of GP practices receive their vaccinations.
Each of our GP practices have small sites and small staff numbers compared to large urban practices, and so we did not feel we could continue to provide high levels of care for our patients and support the programme initially in the way it had to be implemented according to the national model.
However, this new GP led service will mean the GP practices and SCFT work together to bring all of our local knowledge to support the roll out of the vaccination programme to our patients.
We recognise that at the current time, with one site at Etchingham, some people will have to travel further than others to get their vaccination depending on where they live in the local area. We would like reassure everyone that there are discussions about further locations in the area and how the vaccination can be offered from GP practices. This is a fast moving programme and over the coming weeks, there may be the option to provide the vaccine from more sites across our communities.
The location of the GP-led vaccination service does not affect the speed by which people living in the Rural Rother area will receive their vaccination. The timing for when people will be able to get their vaccination depends largely on the availability of the vaccine and the priority group they are in.
If anyone is concerned about how they will travel to get a vaccine during lockdown, it should be noted that, under the national guidance, it is permissible to receive a lift from someone or there are community transport providers offering this support in terms of transport for medical appointments.
You can find information about community and non-emergency transport (NEPTS) on the East Sussex County Council website, or call the community hub on 01273 099956.
People are asked not to contact your GP practice but to wait until you are contacted. You will be contacted as soon as an appointment is available for you.
We are also asking people not to turn up early for their appointments. Arriving on time will help us manage the number of people at the venue and help keep our patients and staff safe.
Our teams are also vaccinating at care homes across our local area. Many care homes have been visited and we expect to have completed all our homes by the end of the month.
The Covid-19 vaccination programme is the biggest immunisation programme ever undertaken by the NHS. As we roll out vaccines, we’d like to remind people of 3 things:
- The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn, so please do not contact us beforehand.
- Please act on your invite when it comes.
- Remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS
Why is the vaccine not available at other locations?
As soon as the NHS started to make plans for the COVID-19 vaccination programme we began exploring where we could offer the COVID-19 vaccine to our patients in Rural Rother.
The sites need to be able to accommodate large numbers of people on a daily basis (at least 300 a day.) We also need space for people to wait for their appointment and be monitored for a short while after their vaccination.
The site also needs to have internet access, IT and facilities to be able to carry out the vaccination safely and in line with government guidance.
We have received incredible support from our communities and our partners with helpful suggestions of locations. However, the tight criteria meant that other sites, some of which were more centrally located, were not suitable.
It was also important that we had long term access to the site, as the vaccination programme is likely to continue for months over the course of this year.
Please see Sussex Care and Health Partnership FAQ website for latest information
Martins Oak is part of a wider network of Rother GP practices teamed up with the Sussex Community Foundation Trust (SCFT) to administer the COVID 19 vaccinations locally. The Trust are coordinating the complex logistical arrangements and staffing for the vaccination centre. Patients will be invited as per the government's priority list starting with the over 80's, care home residents and front line workers. Please do not contact the surgery as we cannot book appointments for you as this will ultimately come from the site itself. We realise this is very frustrating for patients, as it is for us. We hope to announce the start date very soon.
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If you need help outside surgery hours ring NHS by dialling 111
For online help & advice go to www.nhs.uk
In an emergency ring 999
For the latest information about the Coronavirus please visit: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
DO NOT COME TO THE SURGERY UNLESS YOU HAVE A PRE-BOOKED APPOINTMENT
You must ring 01424 772060 to book and you will be asked the reason for your appointment and you will be triaged by a GP who will call you back and assess if you need a face to face appointment or visit - if we suspect coronavirus you will be asked to go to 111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/ for advice.
The surgery is taking every precaution to ensure risks are minimal. We ask patients to be vigilant and aware of guidelines on self-isolation if any chance of contamination - with posters on the main door requesting anyone with symptoms of even a cold to not enter but go home and check the Gov.uk website for up to date advice & guidance
We are phone triaging ALL requests for appointments or home visits where a GP will decide on appropriate course of action/s.
It is imperative to maintain surgery services that anyone who thinks they might have, or have been in contact with, coronavirus
DO NOT ATTEND the surgery
Self isolate using the www.gov.uk
People who have been told to by a healthcare professional self isolate, they can obtain a sick note form by using the following link:-
Community Support for Coronavirus
Local volunteers are on hand to help people with food deliveries and prescription collection. If you are self-isolating and need support, get in touch with one of the groups below:
Battle Town Council 01424 772210 or 07309 732536
Crowhurst Support Group - 07395 932 355 CrowhurstGroup@gmail.com
County Council Website for contact information -
Martins Oak Surgery
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