Local GP practices provide vaccination updates

WITH GP Practices across Holderness well underway with their vaccination efforts, Holderness Health and Eastgate Medical Group have provided updates on their local operations. 

Amalia Booker, CEO at Holderness Health, explained how Hedon Church View continues to serve as the principal hub for patients, despite this weekend’s upcoming satellite clinic in Withernsea. She said: “Holderness Health is continuing to vaccinate patients as soon as new batches of the COVID-19 vaccines arrive. The main local vaccination site continues to be Church View Surgery with satellite clinics running at St Nicholas’ Surgery in Withernsea subject to vaccine supply and logistics. The next Withernsea clinic is taking place on Saturday February 27 with priority being given to patients who have previously been contacted and advised that they are unable to travel a further distance. The practice is mainly receiving Pfizer vaccines for the current week and next week and these must be given in Hedon at the designated site but at the end of this week will be receiving a batch of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine which will be moved to Withernsea for the Saturday clinic. 

 “Holderness Health has now administered almost 10,000 COVID-19 vaccinations. The top four Cohorts have now been processed. There are a few patients in these groups who are still to be vaccinated mainly for reasons such as being in hospital or recovering from COVID when first offered an appointment. The practice continues to work to complete anyone ‘missed’ first time round. The practice is also keen to ensure that patients over 70 who initially declined the vaccination are aware that they can still change their mind and request it at any time. During the last week, a national exercise has been completed to identify another group of patients who have now received shielding letters from the government. This has added another 252 patients to the priority list for vaccination and all of these patients have been invited.” 

Patients that are in Cohort 5 (those aged 65 to 69) have received letters from the National Booking Service and an invitation to attend one of the large vaccination centres. This has been a national rather than a local decision aimed at extending the vaccination programme to reach the greatest number of people. For patients that are unable to travel to a vaccination centre, Holderness Health will seek to provide a vaccination locally when supply of vaccine allows. 

 Dr Stephanie Mason, GP Partner at Holderness Health and clinical lead for the vaccination programme advises: “If you are in this group and are able to travel, we urge you to take the opportunity of receiving your vaccination as soon as possible. The national aspiration is to vaccinate a huge number of people within a very short space of time and we therefore need to make use of all the options available. It will also mean that those who are unable to travel will be able to access appointments locally more quickly.” 

Meanwhile, patients of Eastgate Medical Group in Hornsea have been receiving their vaccinations at Driffield’s Alfred Bean Hospital alongside two Driffield GPs and Leven and Beeford Medical Practice. 

Fiona Savage, Practice Manager of Eastgate Medical Group, said: “We are moving swiftly through the cohorts identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and are currently inviting those aged 16 to 64 years with an underlying health condition (Cohort 6).

“Patients over 65 are now being invited to have their vaccine at one of the large vaccination centres, such as the one at Hull City Hall. Those eligible can book their appointment by contacting the national booking service at: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination; this system allows people to pick a convenient location and time. Those unable to book online can call 119 anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. Alternatively, over 65s can choose to wait for us to contact them but this will be after we have finished vaccinating Cohort 6.” 

The Practice Manager urged people to wait until they are contacted rather than ringing Eastgate directly: “We are asking people not to ring us but to please wait until we contact them. Our telephone lines are extremely busy and patients with acute illnesses are struggling to get through. For those who have been struggling to contact us, non-urgent medical or admin requests can be submitted online via our website: www.eastgate-medical.info

“Everyone will be offered a vaccination; however, the whole programme of work will take some time to complete due to its scale and complexity.” 

Dr Anne Jeffreys, local GP and East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group Chairperson said: “The vaccination roll-out in the East Riding of Yorkshire has been a huge success and this is testament to all healthcare staff and volunteers working tirelessly to ensure we met the target to offer the vaccine to everyone in our top four priority groups. 

“As we move to the next phase of the rollout invites are going to those aged 65 to 69 year- olds, all individuals aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions, which puts them at higher risk and eligible adult carers. 

“If you are 70 and over or classed as clinically vulnerable and you haven’t already had your first vaccination, please contact the NHS to arrange one as soon as possible. You can book quickly and simply at: nhs.uk/covidvaccination or by phoning 119. If you cannot use the internet or find a suitable slot through that service, please contact your GP.”