We are experiencing a high level of calls and emails about this . We currently cannot answer questions about when you will receive your COVID vaccination as we don’t have all the information yet either

Things we know

We have joined together with the other surgeries in the area ( the East PCN) and have so far managed to run two full weeks of vaccinations for our combined over 80’s populations and care home residents . We only get sent a specific amount of vaccine, we get it sent to us at short notice and do our very best to call patients to book them in. There has not been enough delivered to date for all over 80’s patient or all patients in care/residential homes

To date we have vaccinated 2000+ patients and we as a county ( Herefordshire) have the highest number of vaccines given in one County throughout the Country ( there are 3 other PCN’s also vaccinating)

We are trying our best to get more vaccines but this in turn is a huge pressure on the organisations involved to set up, staff and run these clinics as well as still running our general practice functions without additional staffing

There are only a specific amount of vaccines becoming available each week and it is only right that all areas receives some,. it would be wrong to prioritise areas, everyone needs it !

To date we have opted to run weekend clinics and additional clinics in the week at very short notice but unfortunately we have then not been allocated the vaccines to do this . We hope this will change as the vaccine type changes

Organising these clinics places a huge pressure of time and resource on all practices. We want to vaccinate everyone and all of us have been working evenings and weekends to try and organise this on behalf of the patient population

The central booking system and sites are not currently available in our area

The Housebound patients who cannot come to a surgery clinic or are not living in a care Home are going to be vaccinated by a roving team .They re all ready to go but the Pfizer vaccine cannot be carried out to individual homes and so we are reliant on the Astra Zeneca vaccine starting to make its way into the supply chain ( we don’t have any influence on this currently)

We all want to do this for all of our patients. staff and families

Things we don’t know

When we will get any vaccines

When we will get all of our first two cohorts vaccinated( it relies on point 1)

If the clinic will stay in Ledbury or if a change in vaccine will mean we have to change the process again

If we will have to run two different models side by side whilst also keeping the practice open

Whether there are enough staff available to cover all of the admin and clinical needs to do all of the above . If we go to a 7 day a week model this will overwhelm the whole structure very very quickly and will impact all – we don’t know that this will become a necessity at this point

If the roll out of vaccines will start to more efficient and more reliable. Its a mammoth task and amazing what has already been achieved

We have never recorded peoples occupation on their medical record so please don’t be surprised that we dont know you are a dental hygienist . Please follow any instructions you re given when enquiring

We have had some amazing feedback and biscuits( always welcome) about the clinics and this warms our hearts as we are all trying so hard to get this right for as many people as possible We have amazing patients and relatives and carers who have been so appreciate of the effort made by all . It makes it all worthwhile when we get a smile and a thank you !

We don’t know if we have the stamina to maintain this but we do know that we want to and that we are trying to do out best to support everyone , including each other

Things that you can do to help

Please only call the surgery if you need to

Please don’t call about the vaccines

We are calling patients and sending letters to invite so please wait for that

If you are a healthcare worker/key worker please send us written proof by email from your employer outlining this . we will then code your record and invite you when we have available vaccines and in the order of the cohorts we have been asked to vaccinate

Please offer to volunteer as a marshal or anything at the clinics, the more the merrier. there is a process you need to go through to get appointed but we can get all that Information to you

Please bear with us . We understand this is a worrying and trying time for all. We all have families too and we understand. we are juggling lock down with work, homeschooling, caring for elderly relatives etc. etc., just like you so please don’t shout at the receptionists. dispensary team, nursing team or doctors. They are human and we have unfortunately seen a rise in the verbal abuse they are receiving . They understand that you are anxious , worried, etc. but please don’t forget, so are they and they are just trying to do their jobs and help you to the best of their ability

Thank you for your support during this difficult time for all