Local Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have delivered nearly 6000 Covid-19 vaccines in the first week of the Wirral NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Service.
As part of the initial phase of the vaccination campaign, the designated Covid-19 Vaccination sites currently open in Wirral have prioritised the immunisation of patients aged 80+, with additional cohorts being added in 2021 during the 2nd and 3rd phases.
Vaccinations provided by PCW member PCNs have accounted for over 4000 immunisations, including vaccinations for over 100 clinical staff.
This is part of the NHS plan to include health care workers at high risk in the first round of vaccinations to ensure clinical staff can keep caring for others safely.
General Practice join the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Service
The Covid-19 jab is currently being offered in some hospitals and hundreds of local vaccination centres run by PCNs.
Healthier West Wirral is the first PCW member PCN to begin the vaccination service, with patients invited to attend the Woodchurch Leisure Centre site as early as Tuesday, December 15th.
PCW Medical Director and GP at Paxton Clinical Group, Mark Fraser, has praised the efforts of the Healthier West Wirral team after receiving his vaccine.
“I am very proud to be a part of this phenomenal effort and grateful to receive my vaccine in West Wirral’s successful campaign.”
Healthier West Wirral were quickly followed by Wallasey Wellbeing PCN, who started operations at their designated Covid-19 vaccination site in Victoria Central Hospital on Wednesday, December 16th.
“Being involved in the ground-breaking roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine in Wirral has been an honour as a NHS GP,” said PCW Board Member and GP at The Orchard Surgery, Tom Wyatt.
“This is one more step towards the recovery of our community.”
Smooth operations and positive patient feedback
Despite the urgent time constraints of the early vaccination roll out, operations have run smoothly this weekend, thanks to the enormous efforts of staff and volunteers at the vaccination sites.
“We would like to say how professional and extremely organised the whole process was on Sunday,” said a relative of one the patients attending the Victoria Central Hospital site.
“All the staff at Mill Lane were very kind and caring which made the process much easier, especially when your mum is in her 90’s!”.
The key objectives during the planning stages of the vaccination service were to “ensure patients weren’t waiting for too long, vaccinate as many as we could and observe everyone after in a socially distanced manner,” said Karen McCabe Advanced Nurse Practitioner at St George’s Medical Centre and Wallasey Wellbeing PCN Lead Nurse.
“We used every dose of the 1st wave of vaccine which again is very important, it’s a precious thing to have.
“The clinics were a great success thanks to our team’s hard work and the support we received from PCW.”
PCW is supporting local PCNs through the recruitment of clinical staff including medical students and retired staff.
Alongside this, PCW is also collaborating with Wirral Council and Community Action Wirral to attract volunteers who would like to help with stewarding and signposting tasks at vaccination sites.
The recovery of Wirral
The NHS Vaccination Service represents a fundamental milestone in the protection and recovery of the Wirral community.
“When we set out the planning of our vaccination clinic, we all agreed this is more than a vaccine, this is the light at the end of the tunnel for many of our patients, our family and friends,” said McCabe.
“It’s about parents and grandparents hugging their children and grandchildren, children playing with friends, fans being back in football grounds, those on their own feeling the warmth of loved ones and friends again.
“We had patients telling us they hadn’t left the house for months other than to come and get the vaccine, so we know how important this is to people and to try and get us into a Post-Covid world.
“This is just the beginning; we will continue to work hard and keep the programme running and ensure no patient is marginalised due to their circumstances.
“As soon as more vaccine reaches us it will ll be all systems go once again!”
PCN plans for January 2021
Vaccinations are expected to restart early January, with practices contacting patients to book their vaccination for the New Year.
Patients will not need to contact their GP or pharmacists, as they will be notified when it is their turn for the vaccine.
In the meantime, everyone should still continue to follow the official guidance to control the spread of the virus and safe lives.