An Update from the Partners

Things are moving very quickly in relation to the predicted surge of the Omicron variant and we want to share with you as much information as possible. We are now in a position where the government has declared a Level 4 National Incident.

In view of this there are two updates. The first regarding the position following the Prime Ministers speech, and what that means for access to General Practice, the second an update regarding booking COVID boosters.

  • Following guidance from the PM’s speech and NHS England we are being asked to pause routine and non-urgent care to redeploy staff to support the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations. All General practice teams have been asked to clinically prioritise services and to deliver only urgent or emergency care and other critical services such as cancer care.
  • Although this announcement has been made there has been very little specific guidance issued about what this means in practice
  • The aim of this central advice is to allow Primary Care Teams to concentrate on urgent care in the very short term, alongside delivering the vaccine programme. It is important that if you feel your need is urgent that you continue to contact us. Please do not attend Accident and Emergency because you feel you cannot contact us. If you have any symptoms which you are concerned about, which you feel may be related to cancer please continue to contact us.
  • If you have any doubt, please contact us and we can offer advice about whether your problem can safely wait.
  • This is not a position we would choose to be in. However, it is very clear that we are now in a national emergency situation. We want to fully play our part in contributing to the ongoing delivery of the COVID booster campaign, alongside continuing to provide safe and effective care to our patient population. As always thank you for your patience and understanding at this extremely busy time.

With regard to the COVID booster programme.

  •  We will be putting on 3 additional clinics in the week before Christmas with a view to vaccinating a further 2700 people, as long as we continue to receive an adequate supply of vaccine.
  • All boosters will be either Pfizer or Moderna – we will have no choice and will only be able to offer whichever vaccine has been delivered for that clinic
  •  At this time we are not able to offer walk in vaccinations. We have to carefully match the stock supply with invitations. PLEASE DO NOT TURN UP WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT.

If you have a question about the booster vaccination, please refer to the link below. Any questions can be answered at the time of your appointment. Please do not send a query via AskmyGP

Please remember that there is always the option of booking on the national booking site to take up the offer of a booster at other sites including community pharmacy. This is a real team effort across the system.

This is a challenging time for everyone and as always, we are very grateful for all the support, understanding and kindness shown to our team.