Pennine Medical Centre is a member of Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). There are 5 Primary Care Networks(PCNs) within Oldham CCG. We belong to Oldham East PCN.
Many of the procedures regarding roll-out of the COVID vaccine have been and are out of the control of the GP surgeries. The following points are worth noting to understand to some of the challenges in our roll-out of the vaccine:
- Deliveries of the vaccine are ad hoc and are fairly small numbers at the moment (AstraZeneca batches being much smaller than Pfizer).
- Delivery dates are advised at short notice.
- The Pfizer vaccine can only be transported a set number of times. By the time it arrives at the vaccine centre it cannot be moved any further, hence why we cannot use it at individual GP surgeries.
- The Pfizer vaccine has to be administered within 4 days of delivery.
- Decisionsregarding which PCNs within Oldham CCG received the vaccines and when came from above.
- Our first delivery of the Pfizer vaccine was put back a week resulting in us having to cancel and re-book approximately 800 patients (as a PCN).
- There was a new government directive that put back the timescales of the 2nd dose of the vaccine from 3 weeks to up to 12 weeks resulting in us having to cancel another 800 patients.
All residents and the majority of the care homes’ staff have now been vaccinated within Oldham East PCN. We were able to do this with our first deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Vaccination Sites for Patients at Pennine Medical Centre
Moorside Medical Centre
Despite these setbacks all the surgeries in Oldham East PCN have come together and worked tirelessly to set up our vaccine centre at Moorside Medical Centre. Like all PCNs across the country, this has been an incredible feat of organisation with some logistical headaches along the way but on Saturday, 9th January we very proudly starting vaccinating our first patients.
In the space of a week we vaccinated over 1500 patients at the centre.
We appreciate that this site is a bit out of the way for our patients but we had to find a centre fit for purpose for all patients in our PCN and Oldham CCG specified that this had to be an established clinical setting. These specifications may be able to be relaxed slightly going forward.
Greenbank Medical Practice
This is the vaccination site for Oldham Central PCN. This was the first site to go live in Oldham and so began by inviting some patients within all PCNs. Hence, some of our patients were invited to make appointments there before Christmas.
They are occasionally able to offer us some appointments so patients may continue to receive an invite to have their appointment at Greenbank from time to time.
So far we have been able to organise two clinics at our Greenfield Surgery with our remaining quota of the AstraZeneca vaccine. We have targeted our most vulnerable and frail patients for these clinics.
We hope to be able to begin dedicated vaccination clinics at our Mossley Surgery when deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine become more frequent and quantity increases. However, we cannot put a timescale on this venture at the moment.
Mass Vaccination Centres
NHS England is sending out letters to patients inviting them to book appointments at one of the mass vaccination centres nationally. We have nothing at all to do with this scheme. We have no control over who the letters are sent to and when they are sent.
These letter invites are only for appointment at mass vaccination centres. If you receive one of these letters you can only following the link to book online or phone the telephone number provided to book an appointment at one of the mass vaccination centres.
Please do not ring your GP surgery to book an appointment if you receive one of these letters. We will not be able to help you. We will contact you when we gave appointments available at the centres that we control patient cohorts.
We are following government guidelines with regards to the order that we are inviting patients to be vaccinated – see list below. You can find more information by visiting www.gov.uk/covid-19-vaccine-authorised-by-medicines-regulator.
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- All those 65 years of age and over.
- All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
We are also including all our patients on the national shielding list within the fourth cohort.
We ask for our patients’ support and patience while we negotiate through this difficult period and assure you that we have nothing but your best interests at heart. We will get around to all patient cohorts as soon as is feasibly possible.