First patients receive COVID-19 vaccinations at GP practices across Norfolk and Waveney
Seven GP practices across Norfolk and Waveney are poised to start vaccinating patients against COVID-19.
The first practices in our area will be delivering the vaccine from 8am today (Tuesday 15 December) with more sites set to go live in the coming days and weeks.
The following seven sites will be acting as ‘primary care hubs’; vaccinating patients from their own practice as well as other neighbouring practices from this week:
- Fakenham Medical Practice, Fakenham
- St James Medical Practice, King’s Lynn
- Lionwood Medical Practice, Norwich
- Falkland Surgery, Bradwell
- Swanton Morley Surgery, Swanton Morley
- Thetford Healthy Living Centre, Thetford
- Kirkley Mill Surgery, Lowestoft
Those who are most at risk from COVID-19 are being prioritised first; members of the public who are over 80 years-old, care home workers and a small number for at risk frontline NHS staff.
GP practices work closely together with neighbouring practices in local groups called Primary Care Networks (PCNs). Each PCN will have a designated vaccination site, providing a good geographical spread of vaccination locations across Norfolk and Waveney.
Each of these sites will vaccinate patients from across a number of the PCN’s member practices – not just those on their own surgery list. People in the ‘at risk’ priority groups will be contacted to make an appointment no matter which practice they are registered with.
Following the go live of the first seven GP practice vaccination sites this week, the local NHS is working with PCNs to mobilise additional large and small community sites over the coming weeks and months.
GP practices are working through their lists and booking in the first patients for vaccination appointments at either the hospital hubs based in Norwich and Great Yarmouth or at a local GP surgery site. All those being vaccinated will be asked to fill in a health screening questionnaire and consent form.
Kathy Foley, Practice Manager at St James Medical Practice in King’s Lynn, said: "Everyone is fantastically excited to be able to begin vaccinating. It's taken an effort like none of us have ever experienced and it's only been possible because of the collective energy of colleagues within our Primary Care Network - that means all the clinical and administrative staff across King's Lynn, as well as our volunteers, supported by the Norfolk and Waveney CCG."
“We are all set up and ready to vaccinate people efficiently and safely. It’s incredibly exciting knowing that we will be one of the first GP practices in the country to provide the covid vaccine.
“It’s also incredibly special and poignant that we will be vaccinating 93-year-old Enid Bright as one of the early patients through our doors today. She was our receptionist here at St James for more than 25 years and is very much known and loved by the practice staff and our patients. It’s wonderful that she can be one of the first people to benefit from protection against covid and share in this historic moment with us.”
The COVID-19 vaccination programme has been planned extensively by the NHS so it can be rolled out as quickly and safely as possible. This programme of vaccination is the largest in the history of the NHS.
Dr Anoop Dhesi, a GP in Stalham and Chair of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “People are understandably eager to get vaccinated and colleagues in local NHS services will contact you when it is time for you to get your jab – please don’t contact us, just wait for your invitation.
“Our GP surgeries in Norfolk and Waveney are supporting local hospitals in the delivery of the vaccine. This is really great news and a cause for optimism but there is still a long way to go. We can’t afford to be complacent; this is a going to be a huge task and we would like to urge local people to bear with us and to be patient.
“The best thing we can all do to protect ourselves, our families and our communities is to keep following the guidance; wash hands, cover face, and make space.”