COVID-19 vaccination programme
This week marked a significant step in the response to the pandemic as the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme began in Sussex.
Working in partnership across Sussex, the NHS began vaccinating people against coronavirus at The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on Tuesday.
Delivering the Pfizer vaccine is complex as it needs to be stored at very cold temperatures and moved carefully, so large hospitals (‘hospital hubs’) have been the first sites across the country to receive the vaccine. From next week, the NHS will also begin offering the vaccine from a number of locations in the community, which will initially be led by GP practices working together for their local area.
The vaccination programme will continue to expand in Sussex over the coming weeks and months as more vaccine becomes available. This will include more hospital hubs, more GP-led local vaccination services, larger vaccination centres, and a roving service to take the vaccine into care homes and people’s own homes if they cannot attend a vaccination site.
The Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said that vaccines should first be given to care home residents and staff, people aged over 80, and health and care workers, before being rolled out to the rest of the population in order of age and risk.
In line with this, some patients aged 80 and above who are already attending a hospital hub are being invited to have the vaccine while they are there. The largest care homes closest to each hospital hub are also being invited to book staff in to vaccination clinics at the hospital. Any appointments not used for these groups are being used for hospital staff who are at highest risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
GP-led local vaccination services will be inviting eligible patients to receive the vaccine and further detail is being worked through to consider the roll out to wider health and care staff.
The Government, the NHS and its partners are working hard to overcome the significant challenges to vaccinate care home residents as soon as possible. The Government recently wrote to all care homes for older people with advice on the preparations that can be made now to ensure that residents and staff can receive the vaccine as soon as it is available.
Health and care staff from across Sussex are supporting this historic vaccination effort. Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust are leading the work to recruit and train more staff - both clinical and non-clinical - so that the NHS in Sussex can deliver this unprecedented immunisation programme without impacting on other vital services. Visit www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/work-with-us/covid19vaccine.htm to find out more.
Key messages for the public:
The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then. Please act on your invite when it comes, and make sure you attend your appointments.
All the while COVID-19 in in our communities it is important to follow the guidelines and remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sussex visit: www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme
Important notice regarding changes to the appointment system
Due to the on-going situation with Coronavirus, we are taking measures in line with guidance shared by NHS England and Public Health authorities to minimise risks associated with the virus.In order to protect our patients and staff we are asking our patients support with this.
What does this mean for you?
We are asking all patients not to attend the practice without prior agreement from a member of our clinical team. From Monday 16th March 2020 we want to minimise the number of patients attending the Practice for face to face appointments.This means that all patients are required to contact the practice by telephone to request an appointment, providing details of their need.A member of the clinical team will then telephone you back to discuss your need and wherever possible this need will be met over the telephone.If the clinician deems that you require a face to face appointment, you will be asked some screening questions to determine whether there is a need for a coronavirus assessment. If this is the case you will be asked to self-isolate for 7 days.If there is no risk you will be offered a face to face appointment if appropriate.To ensure that you are dealt with speedily you can submit an eConsult consultation which will be dealt with within 24hrs; follow the link on the website.
Access to the Surgery
Access to the building will be restricted to the patients who have been invited for an appointment by a Clinician.Anyone who attempts to gain access to the surgery who has not been invited will be asked to leave the premises.Only the patient with the appointment will be allowed into the building.
For children, only one parent/guardian will be allowed to accompany the child.
Paper requests for repeat prescriptions have temporarily been suspended, again to avoid the spread of the virus and you will not be able to collect your prescription from the surgery. We will electronically send the prescription to your nominated pharmacy.To order a repeat prescription, please request online. If not registered please to register for online services.Please remain courteous to our staff at all times; any incidents of verbal or physical abuse will result in removal from the practice list.This is a very challenging time for us all and we would appreciate your co-operation during this period of uncertainty.Our priority is the health and safety of all our patients and staff.Thank you.
When We Are Closed
NHS 111 is a telephone service for people in Sussex to find out where they can access medical help fast but are not in a life-threatening situation. The service is available for people who aren’t sure if they need to go to A&E, need more information about where to get NHS help or generally need reassurance and advice.
The easy to remember number - 111 - that is available across the country - has been introduced to help people get the right help, at the right time, especially at weekends and out of hours.
111 is free to call and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also contact NHS 111 via their webpage https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/urgent-and-emergency-care/nhs-111/
By calling NHS 111, you will reach a team of fully trained advisers, and experienced nurses and doctors who will assess your condition and direct you to the local service that can help you best, when you need it.
If you have had an injury or accident please go to the Urgent Treatment Centre at Crawley Hospital unless you need to ring 999 for an ambulance.
Call 999 in an emergency. Chest pains and/or shortness of breath constitute an emergency
For more information: