Following the COVID-19 booster announcement from the Prime Minister on Sunday 12 December 2021, all GP practices and pharmacies are working to ensure that everyone aged 18 and over is eligible to book their booster vaccination from Wednesday, 15 December 2021.
Health and care services nationally, including GP practices and primary care, have been instructed by NHS England and NHS Improvement to place priority on the booster vaccination programme. This means that ultimately, there will be fewer staff to carry out more routine appointments and some routine health care services have been temporarily suspended in order to deliver the number of booster vaccinations required by the end of December 2021. It is important to remember that this does NOT mean that no GP/practice led appointments will be provided during this intense period of vaccination activity.
We appreciate how frustrating this is for our patients as it continues to be an incredibly challenging time in terms of demand on health and care services as the pandemic continues to have an inevitable impact on the NHS. We thank you for you continued patience and support at this time.
If you already have a booked appointment, please continue to attend unless you have been contacted by the practice individually.
We will be offering emergency care appointments only and operating a total triage system(Phone first) until early January 2022. Please take a lateral flow test within 24 hours of attending the Surgery if you have symptoms of Covid and require emergency care. We suggest you try and have lateral flow tests at home as these will help the NHS look after you if you need urgent care.
We encourage patients to be aware of the wide range of support which is available for anyone who needs medical help – including local pharmacies where they’ll be able to give you advice.
Patients are also reminded of the 111 online service which can advise:
- where to get help for your symptoms, if you’re not sure what to do
- how to find general health information and advice
- where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
- how to get a repeat prescription
Local teams are still providing home visits for patients who have no other alternative due to immobility or very serious ongoing health conditions.
Please bear with us during this challenging period and please be respectful to GP practice staff as they continue to work incredibly hard providing the care patients need while continuing to navigate the booster vaccination programme.
COVID-19 boosters are predominantly being provided through pre-booked appointments only. If you are able to, with support, access a COVID-19 vaccination site, please do. These can be booked through the national booking service by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccinationor telephoning 119 (free, seven days a week). Otherwise, local GP and roving vaccination teams will reach out to make an appointment as soon as they are able to.