The Covid Vaccination Programme for the North Cotswolds (patients registered with the 5 practices in North Cots) commenced yesterday at North Cotswolds Hospital.
The programme has been organised in the North Cots by the local Primary Care Network which comprises the 5 GP practices and is being staffed by local healthcare professionals and local volunteers.
350 people have been vaccinated so far and a further 625 patients are expected to receive their first dose of vaccine by the end of this week.
The 1st patient to receive the vaccine was an 80-year old lady who had been shielding for many months, living alone. As the injection was administered all she could say was “wonderful, wonderful, wonderful”.
Unfortunately, due to the tight timescales imposed on us and ever-changing requirements we have been unable to communicate plans in advance to patients and we are aware that this has caused some frustration in the community. We are similarly frustrated that we are unaware of future vaccine delivery dates and our responses to patients therefore have to be vague currently.
The remainder of patients aged 80 and over will be invited to an appointments as soon as we are aware of the next delivery date. This may be next week or may not be until the New Year. Either way every patient in the cohort will be contacted.
In order to comply with the tight timescales we were given for booking appointments last week patients with mobile phone numbers, registered with the surgery, were invited first, by text message. We recognise that not everyone has a mobile phone and patients without one will likely receive a phone call from the surgery when the next delivery is confirmed. As deliveries become more regularly scheduled patients in future cohorts may be invited by letter.
We are using new software for invitations which is being tweaked daily but we acknowledge has some limitations. If patients struggle to book appointments via the app please call us and our staff will be pleased to help.
It would also help us enormously if family, friends and carers could support the older people in recording the date and time of their appointments as we know that there are many in this age group with memory problems.
Finally, there are groups of local volunteers happy to help with transport. Please contact Cotswold Friends on 01608 651115 if transport to Moreton is a problem.
Alternatively the surgery can refer patients to NHS Volunteer Responders (GoodSam) for transport.
Very many thanks for everyones continued support during this time – and please remember that the surgery remains open. Please do not bottle up worries and concerns – give us a call. We have an (almost) full team on site if you have a medical concern.