Three more GP-led community sites will start to vaccinate more of the county’s most vulnerable residents over the next few days. These locations, will add to the first four sites announced earlier this week, as part of the developing plan to roll out the NHS vaccination programme in Somerset.
The second wave of vaccination sites are; Frome Medical Practice, Minehead Community Hospital and the Henhayes Community Centre, in Crewkerne.
GP practice teams have been working very hard with NHS colleagues across the county to set up local vaccination sites to enable the most vulnerable people to have their vaccinations.
People who have been identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as the highest priority will be invited first, including over-80s and health and care staff.
GP-led sites have been developed by primary care networks (groups of local GP practices) who have worked closely together to develop detailed plans to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations in community locations.
Dr Joey McHugh, local GP and Vice Chair of the Somerset Primary Care Network Clinical Directors Board said:
“This is another really positive step in the development of our vaccination programme across Somerset – thanks to the phenomenal efforts of all our GP practice teams and health and care colleagues to set up additional local vaccination sites.
“As a local GP, I have personally been involved in giving some of the very first vaccines to some of our most vulnerable patients – I can honestly say that this has been one of the best moments of my GP clinical career and a moment in history, as we work together as one NHS team to fight this disease, and give hope to our most vulnerable people.
“We know that everyone is very keen to know when they will be getting their vaccine, but please do not contact your local GP practice or hospital, we will contact you directly when it is the right time. We will give you all the information that you need when you come for your appointment.”
One of the new community sites, Frome Medical Practice is a large GP surgery and individual primary care network with 30,000 patients. Today, the practice team have started to welcome the first patients.
Dr Helen Kingston, Senior Partner at the practice explains:
“We are delighted and relieved to be starting our COVID-19 vaccination programme here at the Frome Medical Centre building. It has been a long and hard year for so many and we are really grateful for the support and co-operation of everyone in our community in Frome.
“This start to the vaccination programme offers us a ray of hope as this year closes. We need to keep up our efforts to stay safe whilst the vaccination programme rolls out and continue to look out for our families, neighbours and friends throughout the remaining winter months but I am really hopeful that the advent of this vaccination will enable us to begin to look forward to better times next year.”
Eva Humphries, from Frome is expected to be one of the first patients to receive her vaccination at Frome Medical Practice today. Mrs Humphries said:
“I was really keen to get the vaccination, so I was very happy and relieved when the invite came through. Coronavirus has been hanging over our family, like everyone, since March now. I’ve been so worried about going out and about meeting people, but hopefully this means that we will be able to get back to some kind of normality in 2021.”
Local vaccination services will be led by GPs, practice nurses and community pharmacists, with other services and community locations to follow over the coming weeks.
People are asked to support the NHS:
• Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
• When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments. You will be given all the information that you need and we will be able to answer any questions you may have at your vaccination appointment.
• And please continue to follow all the guidance to control the spread of the virus and save lives