Community Covid-19 vaccination programme to get underway this week
By Sarah Wood | 15th December 2020
GPs and community NHS teams in some areas of the county will start Covid-19 vaccination of priority groups from the middle of this week (subject to vaccine delivery), with other areas following very soon.
Gloucestershire has adopted an innovative model of community vaccination building on existing expertise and strong local networks and partnerships. Groups of GP practices are working closely together with community services to make vaccinations possible close to where people live.
Starting with people over 80, roll out of the vaccination programme will be expanded in the coming weeks and months to include other priority groups by age and people who are particularly vulnerable.
Local people are being asked to wait for their GP surgery to contact them about local arrangements and timings.
Dr Andy Seymour, clinical chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge human and societal impact and the imminent roll out of a vaccination programme is to be warmly welcomed.
"GP practices and community NHS services will be supporting the public vaccination effort across their local areas and it's been an incredible effort to have reached this point with such a short lead-in time and so many other competing pressures."
John Trevains, director of nursing, therapies and quality at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust said: "Vaccinating our communities will be a huge undertaking, but it is vitally important if we are to overcome the immense challenges Covid-19 has placed us all under this year.
"We will be working tirelessly to roll the vaccine out across Gloucestershire, using all available resources, and are proud of our committed and adaptable colleagues for giving their all to this incredibly important initiative."
Professor Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is leading the overall vaccination programme delivery in Gloucestershire. He said: "Here at the Trust, we are one of 50 vaccination hubs across the country and our staff have done an outstanding job in getting us up and running so successfully.
"The county is now gearing up to deliver an extensive and innovative community led vaccination programme through local networks. We would like to thank local GPs and community NHS services for their fantastic and tireless efforts in support of this endeavour.
"Not only will the vaccine save lives and reduce the pressure on NHS services, it also marks the start of our journey back to living our lives as we would wish, albeit having learnt some important lessons from the pandemic."
Sarah Scott, Gloucestershire's director of public health said: "The roll out of the vaccine to the wider community is a significant step forwards, but does not mean we can let our guards down. We must continue to follow the rules and not allow case numbers to climb. Colleagues across health and social care have been, and continue to be, central to beating Covid-19 and I want to thank them all for their monumental efforts this year."
GP surgeries will contact people with information on clinics and how to book an appointment.
Based on local arrangements, clinics will be in GP surgeries, community centres or hospitals. The first confirmed locations are:
- Cheltenham East Fire Station
- North Cotswold Hospital, Moreton in Marsh
- The Devereux Centre, Tewkesbury
- Rosebank Surgery, Gloucester
- Vale Community Hospital, Dursley
Other venues in Churchdown, Stroud, Cirencester and the Forest of Dean are likely to be confirmed later this week and are expected to start vaccinations very shortly, pending delivery of vaccine supplies.
Local people are asked not to turn up at a venue for their vaccination until they have received communication from their GP surgery confirming details.
If people are housebound and unable to travel to a centre for medical reasons, they will be contacted by a local healthcare worker. GP surgeries will also be making arrangements to vaccinate care home residents.
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