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Secretary of State praises health care staff for their efforts to roll out COVID-19 vaccinations

Primary care staff in Norwich have received a video call from Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock praising them for their hard work in rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations.

Mr Hancock talked to staff from the Norwich Primary Care Network (PCN) this morning. Health and care staff from Norwich PCN have been working tirelessly to vaccinate people over the age of 80 at three designated sites across the City, Lionwood Medical Practice, Gurney Practice and Trinity and Bowthorpe Medical Practice, with roving teams going into care homes to vaccinate residents and those who are housebound in the area.

On the call were Tracey Bullard, Head of Transformation, Dr Raija Blenk, Dr Saffana Rasul and Pharmacy Team Lead Duncan Martinez Hanson.

Tracey said: “It was such an amazing surprise. Last night I received a phone call to say the Secretary of State had heard how well we were progressing with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations in Norwich and that he wanted to speak to us and thank us for our efforts.

“The call was arranged for today and we spent about 20 minutes talking. He was keen to learn more about the vaccine roll out in the Norwich area and thanked us. It was a really nice gesture and we were grateful for the call.”

Melanie Craig, Chief Executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) described the call as a “welcome boost” for primary care staff.

She added: “Our health and care staff in primary care, hospitals, large scale vaccination sites and pharmacies are doing an incredible job to get the COVID-19 vaccine to those who need it the most. We have made considerable progress in Norfolk and north Suffolk (Waveney) vaccinating those aged 80 years and over, care home residents and staff and frontline health and care workers. This is welcome news but we will not rest until all those who are most vulnerable to this disease are vaccinated.”



Notes to editors

  • A picture from the call is attached and is available for media use.
  • There are currently 26 sites vaccinating patients in eligible groups across Norfolk and north Suffolk (Waveney). More sites are planned to go live in the coming weeks which will deliver an increase in local vaccination provision – with no one in the Norfolk and north Suffolk (Waveney) area having to travel more than 10 miles to reach a vaccination site.
  • There are 21 GP-led sites which are acting as ‘primary care hubs’; vaccinating patients registered with their own practice as well as patients from other neighbouring practices.
  • Vaccinations are also being delivered at three hospital hub sites, the Norfolk and Norwich, James Paget and Queen Elizabeth hospitals, a large scale vaccination centre at Castle Quarter in Norwich and Hayden Chemist in Lowestoft
  • Large scale and community pharmacy sites continue to be rolled out over the coming weeks and will be announced by the NHS just before they go live.
  • More information can be found here:
  • Roving vaccination teams are currently vaccinating the residents and staff of care homes, and housebound patients who are unable to attend vaccination sites.
  • It’s really important to attend the appointment you’re offered if you can, but anyone who may have difficulty attending a vaccination appointment should discuss that with their GP practice or hospital when they are contacted to arrange an appointment time. Support from various community transport services is available to people depending upon eligibility.
  • Vaccination is by appointment only once you have been invited, so please wait to be contacted.
  • Everyone should continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as possible and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance if you have to go out.

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