26 February 2021 (amended version of 22 February original)
Thank you for all the support you have provided in the past few months, especially as we have all been dealing with the personal pressures of another national lockdown.
As most of you may know, we have been vaccinating patients from other areas, including those registered with general practices in Henfield, Steyning and Billingshurst. We are pleased to say that we have now vaccinated over 90% of our patients in the government defined cohorts 1 to 4 (well within the government set period. This equated to over 10,000 doses). This means we are now starting to vaccinate those in cohorts 5 and 6.
Vaccinating cohorts 5 and 6 is a significant logistical task. The government guidance on who falls into these groups is more complex.
Cohort 5 includes all those patients who are aged between 65 years and over.
Cohort 6 includes patients between the age of 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group.
All Local Vaccination Sites are concentrating on cohort 6 first. This is a difficult group to define. GP’s hold more clinical data than government so are in a better position to ensure those who are clinically vulnerable are vaccinated. Despite the fact that we hold more data, it is a complicated task to ensure we call the right patients. The government defined at risk groups are frequently updated. Sometimes we have to look at this data manually. As you can imagine this is very time consuming. Please be reassured we will call those of you who are eligible for a vaccine at the right times.
We will start calling patients in Cohort 5 as soon as we have vaccinated patients in Cohort 6 (this week at some point).
Currently we are near completion of Group 5 and Group 6 and hoping to move to cohort 7(those patient 60 years of age and over) very soon.
The government will be sending letters directly to patients in cohort 5 inviting them to attend Mass Vaccination Sites. Patients have the right to wait and be called by The Glebe Surgery (we may be able to offer you a vaccination earlier than the mass sites but cannot guarantee this). The Glebe Surgery can vaccinate those in cohort 5 who have mobility or transport difficulties which restrict them reaching mass sites.
Please be aware that vaccine supplies have dipped a little in the past 2 weeks (the reason we did not vaccinate last week). It is expected that vaccine supplies will be back at full capacity from next week.
On behalf of all of Staff at The Glebe Surgery, I would like to say the biggest thank you possible to our Patient Participation Group and Volunteers who have donated so much time and effort and those local businesses who have donated much appreciated lunches for those vaccinating.
We would also like to say how appreciative we are for all the kind words so many of you have said.
Dr Keir Newsom
The Glebe Surgery