COVID VACCINE PROGRAMME 2021
If you have been invited to attend an appointment the clinic will be expecting you and you are permitted under the lockdown rules to travel as this is considered essential.
- We will be receiving a delivery of the Astra Zeneca vaccine so are holding another clinic next Friday 12/3/21 at Surbiton Health Centre which will be for the remaining patients from group 6. Texts invites have been sent on the evening of 4/3/21.
- We have now contacted or tried to contact all patients in the new group 4 and are reaching the end of inviting most patients in group 6. Please do not contact us, we will contact you. Staff must be kept freed up to call patients in for their covid vaccine.
- 16 and 17 year olds in group 6 can only have the Pfizer vaccine as the Astra Zeneca vaccine is not licensed for this age group. However, if you use an epipen then you can have the Astra Zeneca but you must be made aware it is unlicensed for this age group.
- The Government have changed the criteria and some patients will no longer be prioritised, such as unpaid carers. Please see below under our Q & A section.
- Please be reminded that the reception staff have no discretion to give someone a vaccine appointment unless the patient has been invited by us in writing or been called by us. The phone lines need to be kept free for patients calling us with a medical emergency.
- Practices have been told that if they vaccinate any other groups at present they could be fined.
- Emails and complaints regarding the vaccination programme must be directed to NHSE. They are leading and directing general practice. GP practice resources have to be prioritised to get everyone vaccinated.
- The 2nd dose still remains at a 12 week interval. GP practices have no discretion over this, as it is another Government directive that we must abide by. Any queries you have regarding this, must be directed to NHSE.
- Your GP practice is contracted by NHSE to deliver healthcare but is not employed by NHSE, we are a self employed business.
PATIENTS WITH ASTHMA
The Government made an announcement last week which means that some patients with this condition will now be prioritised.
- If you were sent a shielding letter, you will be in priority group 4.
- If you have ever had an emergency hospital admission for your asthma, or ever been prescribed three courses of steroid tablets in a three-month period, you will fall into priority group 6.
- If you do not fall into either of these groups and are under the age of 50, you will be vaccinated after the first nine priority groups.
For further information, please follow the link for the Asthma UK website here https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/what-should-people-with-asthma-do-now/#Vaccine
Information and guidance on pregnancy
This is a useful link to information from the British Fertility Society in relation to no risk
OFFER OF A VACCINE
We are extremely fortunate to be one of the first nations to receive the Covid vaccine. We urge our patients to take the opportunity of a free vaccine when we call you. You will be asked a series of health screening questions before you will be given the appointment.
South West London CCG have also put together a useful guide for the Kingston area: Kingston Covid vaccine programme
HOW THE PROGRAMME WORKS
Patients must wait until we call them even if you have heard from other patients that they've had one but you have still not heard from us, you will.
Initial supplies of the vaccine will be limited, and we have to use what we receive quickly as the vaccine is extremely fragile and can only be used for a number of patients at any one time. We have to target those at high risk first, which for our programme began with those aged 80 and over. There are challenges in transporting and storing of the vaccine so different arrangements are required for people living in care homes and those who are housebound. All our care homes have now been contacted and a majority of their staff and patients have now been vaccinated by us.
9 GP practices in our area have been asked to work together on delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. We have been instructed that we should deliver the vaccinations at a local ‘hub’, which needs to be large enough to support expected high numbers of patients every day later in the vaccination programme, whilst maintaining social distancing.
Please visit the link below for further information about how the vaccine programme is being rolled out:
HOW YOU WILL BE CONTACTED
Where we hold a mobile number on your medical record we will initially text you an invite giving details of the next clinic and instructions what to do.
You will be telephoned any time from 9am Monday to Sunday. We are required to book patients in as soon as we receive a delivery date. We will try to call both a landline and a mobile phone if we hold both numbers. If a patient does not pick up our call on the contact numbers we hold for them, the directive is to move on to calling the next patient on the practice's register. If you have not provided us with a mobile number you can update your contact details through your online patient access account or you can email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We may not leave a voicemail as most calls are being made remotely by a separate team and there is no facility for you to call them back, so please be aware the call may show up as a withheld number or no ID.
Please do not call the surgery asking if you missed our call, the practice receptionists may not necessarily know. We will try you again when we receive our next delivery.
Our surgery phone lines must be kept free to take calls for patients who need the normal services we offer at our practice. The Government has stipulated you have to wait to hear from NHSE or your practice.
WHAT YOU WILL BE ASKED ON THE CALL
You will be asked a series of questions. If you have tested positive for Covid in the last 28 days you will have to wait for 28 days to pass since your first day of symptoms or having tested positive before being given an appointment. If you have a recent INR result, or are pregnant, or use an epipen or suffer with anaphylaxsis, please on the call, inform the telephone operator.
WHICH VACCINE WILL I BE HAVING?
We will receive either the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccine for each clinic held. It will not be possible for you to choose which vaccine you receive, as we are not in control of the supplies delivered from NHS England. At the moment we do not have any information regarding any other COVID vaccine brands coming.
HOW MANY DOSES WILL I HAVE?
You require 2 doses of the same vaccine (2 x Pfizer or 2 x Astra Zeneca). NHS England and the Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination guidance is for both vaccines to be given at 12 week intervals. You can read more about this and the vaccination programme in general here:
WHERE YOU WILL BE GOING FOR THE VACCINE
The Pfizer vaccine is administered at the Orchard Practice, Orchard Gardens, Chessington, KT9 1AG which is the designated PCN hub site. Here are the Orchard Practice site details and map Orchard Practice address and map
The K2 bus stops outside.
We understand that this is further for our patients to travel so may be challenging but again we had no other option in the timescales given to find a suitable site that was closer. Regrettably, we cannot offer any transport for you to get there. You will need to organise getting to the site yourself. There is some free on street parking, although it is limited.
Surbiton Health Centre cannot be used for the Pfizer vaccine due to delivery and storage constraints, however we should be receiving supplies from February of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine, which will be given at Central Surgery, Surbiton Health Centre, Ewell Rd, Surbiton KT6 6EZ.
Q & A's
I want to understand more about the vaccine first
If you are unsure or want to know more about the covid vaccine first, please follow the link below.
I work in a school/early years setting – am I eligible as a social care worker?
The vast majority of people working in school and early years settings are not classed as a frontline health or social care worker. To qualify under this criteria you need to be providing face to face care or support to children or adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19. In most cases people who are eligible under this group should have been contacted directly by their employer and been given a letter to say they are eligible.
If you wrongly book through a booking portal or turn up, you will be turned away at the vaccination service, so please don’t do this because it could mean someone else who is eligible misses out on an appointment.
NHSE have published an SOP for social care workers (https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/01/C1125-Self-referral-for-social-care-worker-vaccination-11-February-2021.pdf)
The following are, however, not eligible within this priority group as defined by the JCVI:
- Administrative staff who do not have any direct contact with clients.
- Social care workers working with children who are not considered priority within the context of the JCVI priority cohorts 1-9 (children under 16 who do not have underlying health conditions leading to greater risk of disease or mortality and children who have no underlying health conditions).
- Unpaid carers
- Teachers and teaching assistants.
What do I do if I am housebound?
We are currently vaccinating our housebound patients. If you have not heard from us already, please call the surgery during our operational hours to advise us. You do have to be completely housebound to be vaccinated at home and not that you can't get to Chessington.
Please be careful of anyone impersonating that they have been employed to come and give you a vaccine. It will be given to you by someone from the practice. Do not hand money over to anyone, all Covid vaccines are free on the NHS and you are not required to pay in advance.
I can't attend my appointment or have become unwell, what do I do?
If you miss your appointment or are unable to attend either of your doses, please contact Central Surgery as soon as possible to re-arrange. The surgery may not be able to give you another appointment straight away, but will contact you once further appointments are available. If you are cancelling on the day of the covid vaccine clinic and it is outside of the surgery's opening hours you cannot call anyone. You can email email@example.com although this email inbox is not officially manned at weekends, so it may not be read.
I am a frontline worker/health worker when will I get vaccinated?
If you are in an NHS role you can ask for a vaccine now. If you work in a care or nursing home, are a frontline social care worker, are hospital staff both private or NHS or have a burial occupation then you are too eligible now so please call us.
If you are a school worker, teacher, policeman, bus driver, solicitor, architect, in construction, electrician, plumber etc you cannot be vaccinated in this present wave unless you have recorded on your medical record a current underlying health condition. You must wait to be invited.
What age group are you vaccinating, when will I get vaccinated?
We will endeavour to give regular updates under our news heading, however we cannot specify a date, as it completely depends on the deliveries and supply of the vaccine. In addition, it will depend on a patient's medical history and what group they fall into, as to when they will be invited.
COMPLAINTS & CONCERNS
As this programme is directed by NHSE any concerns or complaints patients may have, we advise that you write directly to NHSE as the surgery nor the hub have any control over the rolling out of the vaccine. Their details can be found in the following link;
ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
We ask that our team are treated with respect. They are working really hard to ensure we get patients booked in as soon as possible to save lives. However, anyone who is found to be offensive or abusive will be removed from the surgery register.
UBER - REDUCED RATES TO GET TO VACCINATION SITES
Uber is covering a trip up to £15, for anyone travelling to or or from one of the original seven mass-vaccination centres (T&Cs apply*).
For more information about their campaign please visit their website here
WE ARE HAVING TO WORK DIFFERENTLY DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
- We are currently operating a total telephone triage system for our patients which means you must speak to a clinician first. You musn't come to the surgery unless you have been invited in by a member of the Central Team.
- Please do not come more than 15 minutes before your allocated appointment time. For Track and Trace reasons we cannot allow you in the building before then.
- Upon arrival, we will ask you to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to reduce the risk of infection. The clinician seeing you will have already washed their hands and be dressed in full PPE when they come to collect you from the waiting room. This is to save time in your appointment.
- For COVID reasons the windows in the waiting room have to remain open so we apologise if it is cold whilst you are waiting.
- We ask that you keep your children seated with you at all times and restrict them from touching surfaces.
- Due to social distancing measures and infection control guidance, you may have to wait longer than normal to be given an appointment to have a blood test or another investigation such as a smear.
- You must not visit the practice if you suspect you may have the coronavirus. You need to call 111 or visit the 111 website for guidance.
- You can visit the NHS Testing and Tracing page to arrange a test if you think you have symptoms.
- Should require an Isolation Note, you can visit the 111 website to obtain one.
KEEPING YOU SAFE WHEN YOU VISIT OUR SURGERY
There have been a lot of changes put in place to Keep You Safe when you visit your GP practice in the Kingston.
Watch this short video to see what’s changed, what’s different and how we are trying to #KeepYouSafeSWL
SUPPORT AVAILABLE DURING COVID
If you require financial guidance during these difficult times there are couple of resources that you can access. Find out more detail by clicking on the links below;
- Starting or returning to work: The information on this page is for anyone looking for work, anxious about going back to work, or wanting to develop new skills https://bit.ly/CKworkplace
- Worried about money: The information on this page is for people who are worried about money, their housing situation or other financial pressures. https://bit.ly/worriedaboutmoney
- New to benefits: The information on this page is for people who need help understanding and/or applying for benefits. https://bit.ly/newtobenefits
More local/national resources and services that you can access