Covid and Flu vaccinations – Autumn 2022 update!
Frequently Asked Questions 31st August 2022
When will vaccinations be available?
The whole NHS is running a booster campaign for both Flu and Covid vaccinations again this coming Autumn and Winter. The national programme will start with the most vulnerable patients (care home residents and housebound patients) in early September 2022 and will run through until the end of December 2022.
Our local PCN clinics will begin on Saturday 1st October and we hope to vaccinate 30,000 people between then and Christmas. We will have two sites open every Saturday, plus some sites open on Sundays and some evenings.
As soon as our first vaccines are delivered in the last week of September, our teams will go out and vaccinate residents in our local Care Homes and those people who are housebound. A patient is deemed to be housebound when they are unable to leave their home environment through physical and/or psychological illness. Those who are housebound will have been identified by their registered GP.
What is a PCN? Is it different to my GP Surgery?
Primary Care Networks are small groups of GP Practices that work together in a geographical area. Ely PCNs is a collaborating group of six of the eight Practices in East Cambridgeshire, and we work closely with other organisations in the East Cambs neighbourhood. Our six Practices are:
Burwell Surgery (Burwell)
Haddenham Surgery (Haddenham)
Staploe Medical Centre (Soham)
Cathedral Medical Centre (Ely)
St George’s Medical Centre (Littleport)
St Mary’s Surgery (Ely)
Not all PCNs are offering local vaccination clinics this year, but Ely PCNs decided that we would, because we think it is best for our patients to be able to get vaccinated locally by the doctors and nurses from their local Practices that are known and trusted. Last year Ely PCNs ran a very successful vaccination programme, vaccinating more people than the national average.
Will it be Covid and Flu again?
Yes, people are being encouraged to have both Flu and Covid vaccinations at the same appointment. The vaccinations are still separate, usually given in different limbs, usually Covid in your left arm and flu in your right arm.
Do I have to pay for these vaccinations?
No, these vaccinations are completely free to eligible patients.
Where do I go to get my vaccinations?
Vaccination clinics will be held at Staploe Medical Centre in Soham, and at Cathedral Medical Centre in Ely just as before.
Also this year, St Mary’s Surgery (at their temporary site at Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely) and St George’s Medical Centre in Littleport will also be hosting some clinics.
We don’t have enough staff to run clinics at all four Practices on the same days, so choice of site is restricted, but you will be offered an appointment at one of the four sites. Please accept the appointment offered, even if it is not at your local surgery.
As per last year’s clinics, patients are asked to arrive on time for their vaccination appointments. If, for any reason, you are unable to attend for your vaccination appointment, please do let your surgery know as soon as possible.
What about other vaccination centres?
what about mass vaccs sites. You can always book at a mass vacc site by finding the most convenient location here: www.vaccinators.co.uk
How can I book for my vaccinations?
We are working through long lists of patients – to be vaccinated in priority order. We will be in touch with you in due course. No one who is eligible will be forgotten.
How do I make an appointment?
You don’t need to do anything at this point. We will be in touch with you by phone or text when it is your turn.
Please be assured that our clinical system has updated lists of people who are eligible, and if you are eligible for a vaccination, we will contact you when it is your turn.
How will I be contacted?
If you have consented for the surgery to contact you by text message, we will be in touch via your mobile phone when it is your turn. Please click on the link in the message to book your date, time slot and preferred location.
If you have not given text consent, we will contact you by phone to book you in when it is your turn.
Do you have my phone number?
We use the contact numbers recorded in your medical records. As usual, please let us know if you have changed your contact phone number so we can update your medical records. You can do this online.
Should I call my doctors surgery to check or book?
No, please do not contact your surgery to check about Covid boosters and flu jabs. This puts unnecessary pressure on our reception teams and limits urgent calls getting through.
Explainer information for patients about QCOVID
Why have I received this letter?
NHS England had used a risk assessment tool called QCOVID to calculate people’s risk of getting COVID. This is a complex tool that looks at a variety of different factors to assess peoples’ risk. Because you have received this letter, you are one of the patients identified by the tool as being at high risk if you were to get COVID. You can see all the information your GP received here.
What in my medical records has caused me to be added to this list?
Unfortunately, your GP surgery has no current way of replicating the analysis that has been done by NHS Digital and so we are unable to tell you why you have been added to this list. This situation may change over time, but we have no way of knowing when.
What should I do now? Should I go to work? Should I go out?
You should follow the advice detailed here. This will mean that you need to take extra measures above and beyond those which you probably have been taking. The guidance covers:
- Social activities
- Educational settings
- Accessing care and support
- Registering for additional support
You may be eligible for additional support and should be able to receive statutory sick pay for time off from work.
What about vaccination?
If you are under 65 you should be prioritised for vaccination ahead of others in cohort 6 which is people who are at risk because of a variety of medical conditions. If you are over 65 you will have already been in group 5, so this won’t affect the priority with which you’re given the vaccine.
What if I think they’ve added me incorrectly?
At the moment, the best way to review this is through discussion with your GP. Please bear in mind that GPs are incredibly busy at the moment vaccinating patients as well as trying to provide as normal a service to patients as possible. Because of this it may not be possible to immediately deal with enquiries about this and you may be asked to submit your details in an online form.
Do I have to follow this guidance?
Patients at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection are strongly encouraged to follow shielding guidance. However, this is advice, and not the law. Patients can choose whether or not they want to follow it.
Why am I only now being identified as high risk?
This tool has only just been approved for use in assessing patient’s risk of COVID 19. Until now we haven’t had sufficient scientific evidence to run population-based tools that can accurately assess people’s risk of developing COVID.
About the GP-led Covid Vaccination Programme
The GP-led part of the Covid Vaccination Programme is being delivered through 'Primary Care Networks' - these are groups of GP practices defined by the government. In the case of Ely, there is Ely North PCN (Cathedral Medical Centre, St George's, and St Mary's), and Ely South PCN (Staploe Medical Centre, Haddenham Surgery, and Burwell Surgery). The Ely North and Ely South PCNs are working together to deliver the vaccination programme as one.
We are contractually obliged to deliver the vaccines from Cathedral and Staploe practices only, but patients from any of the six practices mentioned above can receive their vaccination at either of those two sites. The clinics are staffed by staff from all six practices, plus our amazing army of volunteers.
We are working through the priority cohort lists as defined by the government - there is a strict legal obligation to adhere to these priorities and we are not permitted to vary from this. At the moment, that means patients who are over 80 years old and registered at any of the six practices listed are being vaccinated, alongside health, social care, and frontline healthworkers.
When you are eligible for a vaccination, we will contact you to book you in. If there are more options in terms of where you can be vaccinated, we will advise you at the time. We appreciate that everyone is keen to be vaccinated as soon as possible, but it would help us enormously if you can please be patient and wait for us to reach out to you.
Housebound patients and COVID vaccination – an update from Ely PCN (26 January 2021)
We are working with our local Practice teams, our CCG, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust (CPFT) to deliver COVID vaccinations for housebound people who cannot attend a vaccination centre.
There are important safety constraints around safe transport and delivery of Covid vaccine, which means home vaccination is a particular challenge. However, we are now able to deliver vaccines to eligible housebound people and have already made a good start. We are currently on track to ensure all patients within the priority groups will be vaccinated by the middle of February.
If you are housebound and expecting a Covid vaccination, you can expect a phone call from one of our team who will make arrangements with you.
We hope that you can appreciate the special challenges of community vaccination for housebound patients, and we thank you for bearing with us.
Further information on Covid-19 Vaccination Programme can be found here: https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/covid-19-national-vaccination-programme/