Update: 8 January 2021
Further to the E-Newsletter issued this afternoon the following information has been received by the Parish Council this evening and felt it important to pass on the information as soon as possible.
The vaccination programme for the Chichester District has started and we want to provide you with an update on where we are up to and what is likely to happen over the coming weeks.
We also have frequently asked questions available on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/faqs-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/
How is the vaccination programme being delivered?
There are a number of ways in which the vaccination is being rolled out to our communities:
- A GP-led vaccination service is where most people living in the district will currently receive their vaccination. At the moment, each area has been allocated one site, but in the case of the district, there are four sites – which is great news for residents and means that the vaccination can be given to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
- Hospital hubs – local hospitals across the country have begun giving the vaccine to people over 80 who are attending for a planned appointment and frontline health and care staff. St Richard’s Hospital began providing the vaccination in this way this week.
- Roving service – the vaccine will be taken into care homes and into people’s own homes if they cannot attend a vaccination site. This is being stepped up over the coming weeks as more supplies of the vaccines become available.
- Large vaccination centres – each county will have one large vaccination centre which will be able to give the vaccine to large numbers of people. The large vaccination centres that will service Sussex are currently being finalised.
What has been achieved so far?
- St Richard’s Hospital hub has started vaccinating health and social care workers, along with patients attending their appointments.
- A GP-led vaccination service in Pulborough has started to deliver the vaccine for patients in the North of the District.
What is the next stage?
From next week, the COVID-19 vaccination programme will be further expanded across the district. This means that everyone over the age of 80 living in the area will receive a vaccination in a phased way.
- Two GP-led vaccination services based in Selsey Centre and Tangmere Village Centre. They will start to provide vaccinations for people over the age of 80 who are registered with GP practices in the south of the district, including those who live in the city. These sites are currently undergoing their final checks and have been given delivery dates for the end of the week. Both sites will start vaccinating as soon as they have their deliveries including over the weekend.
- In addition, a GP-led vaccination service at Riverbank Medical Surgery in Midhurst will be launched for residents in the North of the district in the coming weeks.
What is a GP led vaccination service?
GP-led vaccination services are run by groups of local GP practices working together to provide the vaccination to patients across their area.
The way in which GP vaccination services are delivered has been agreed at a national level and as mentioned above, each area is typically allocated one GP-led vaccination site. The Chichester District will have four GP-led vaccination sites, two that are in the north and two that are in the south. This is to ensure that the vaccination can be given to as many people as quickly as possible.
What about those who may find it difficult to get to a vaccination site?
We recognise that some people will have to travel further than others to get their vaccination, depending on where they live. We understand this will pose a challenge for some people, particularly those who are vulnerable, and we are looking at how they can be supported to get their vaccination in the safest possible way.
It is important to highlight that attending a vaccine appointment is an acceptable reason to leave the house during lockdown, including accepting a lift or accessing community transport. We are working with the GP practices to make community transport details available for those who need it.
Will the roll out affect how quickly I access the vaccine?
No. The timing of when you receive your vaccine is largely based on the availability of the vaccine and the priority group that you are in.The national Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) decides the priority groups and have advised that the vaccine should be first given to people over 80, people who work in care homes and health workers.
Would city centre locations be more suitable vaccination sites and why aren’t other locations being considered?
As soon as we 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 Chichester District.
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.
In the early stages of our planning, the Chichester GP practices agreed that their own surgeries would not be appropriate. This is because they could not provide the vaccination programme on behalf of all GP practices from one site, alongside their individual day to day support for patients.
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.
When will I be contacted about the vaccination?
We are asking all patients not to contact their GP practices, as they will not be able to book appointments. People will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to receive the vaccine. Initially this is being done by phone, but alternative arrangements will be made for anyone who is not able to speak on the telephone.
Initially, those identified as being in Priority 2, will be invited to a GP-led vaccination site. Please note that separate arrangements are being made for those in Priority 1.
The eligible cohorts are:
- Priority 1: Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults.
- Priority 2: All those 80 years of age and over, frontline health and social care workers.
- Priority 3: All those 75 years of age and over.
- Priority 4: All those 70 years of age and over, those clinical extremely vulnerable individuals over 16 years old.
- Priority 5: All those 65 years of age and over.
- Priority 6: Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at risk group.
- Priority 7: All those 60 years of age and over.
- Priority 8: All those 55 years of age and over.
- Priority 9: All those 50 years of age and over.
Where are the locations of the GP-led vaccination sites and which patients will go where?
There will be four GP-led vaccination services covering the populations living across the Chichester District:
- Selsey Centre
- Tangmere Village Centre
- Pulborough Medical Group
- Riverbank Medical Surgery
These will be offering appointments over the coming weeks to patients who are registered at the following GP surgeries:
Selsey Centre and Tangmere Village Centre will offer the vaccine for patients registered at:
- Cathedral Medical Group
- Langley House Surgery
- Lavant Road Surgery
- Parklands Surgery
- Selsey Medical Practice
- Southbourne Surgery
- Tangmere Medical Centre
- Witterings Medical Centre
Pulborough Medical Group is offering vaccinations for patients registered at:
- Pulborough Medical Group
- Loxwood Surgery
Riverbank Medical Surgery will be offering vaccinations for patients registered at:
- Riverbank Medical Centre
- The Petworth Surgery
This is a rapidly changing situation and more sites are likely to be added across Sussex over the coming weeks.
Where can I find out more information?
Please visit our Sussex Health and Care Partnership website https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/faqs-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/