I have today had a 90 minute call with Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group Medical Director and have spoken separately with the lead GP on the vaccination programme heading vaccinations in Chesterfield and Dronfield.
I appreciate what a worrying time this is for all of my constituents, and I am receiving dozens of calls and emails regarding the roll-out of the vaccination programme and frustrations that other areas in Derbyshire appear to be ahead of Chesterfield with the roll-out.
I share these concerns and I have expressed my own frustrations that there appears to be a greater proportion of over 80s receiving the vaccination in other areas of Derbyshire, such as Dronfield, Baslow and others.
However, I am assured that there is confidence that Chesterfield will meet the national deadline of 15th February and I am pleased that the roll-out to over 80s and NHS staff has begun for Chesterfield residents, though many have had to go to the Stubley Medical Centre in Dronfield which is not ideal.
I have also been informed by a number of constituents that they have have received an invitation for their vaccination at the Wheatbridge Surgery here in Chesterfield which start on Saturday 16th January, and that some over 80s have also been vaccinated at the Winding Wheel site, although this is primarily for NHS workers. Finally we are anxiously awaiting the NHS England approval of the Walton Hospital site.
The Chesterfield Royal Hospital has been routinely vaccinating any over 80s in-patients who go in since before Christmas, and Chesterfield is ahead of the rest of Derbyshire and the East Midlands with the proportion of care home residents who have already been vaccinated.
I have attached below the figures for the number of people in Chesterfield in the priority groups that should receive the vaccine before the 15th February, along with frontline NHS and care home staff.
|Care Home Residents||≥80 yrs||75-79 yrs||70-74 yrs||Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals|
This is a monumental and unprecedented task but the CCG and PCN remain confident that, as long as they are receiving the supplies of the vaccine needed, they will meet this deadline.
The majority of the vaccines administered in Derbyshire so far have been Pfizer vaccines. These have very strict rules forbidding them from being administered anywhere other than at the NHS England approved centres, so it is not as simple as any building will do.
As the Astra Zeneca vaccines come through they will be able to be transferred to other Primary Care network sites so there is an expectation that there will be more vaccines administered in local health venues as the programme continues.
This will need additional centres, GPs and pharmacies to work together to achieve this. I am delighted to say that I have been assured that the first appointments for vaccines in Staveley will be arranged and delivered by next weekend at Inkersall GP practice. In the meantime, residents will be called to Dronfield or Chesterfield.
My advice to anyone who is requested to go to Dronfield, is if you can manage it, please go, I want as many of my constituents vaccinated as soon as possible, but if you can’t, then be assured that I will continue to try and ensure there are more vaccines administered locally.
I have received a number of queries regarding housebound patients receiving the vaccine and have been assured these people will be prioritised within the same timescales, and with over 80s vaccinated first. People who already have a Community Nurse will receive the vaccine through the Derbyshire Community Health Service, whilst other patients will be identified by their GP practice and a time arranged for receiving the vaccine at home.
I have also asked about the priority for carers to receive the vaccine, both individual carers paid for through personal budgets and those who work for agencies. Residential care home staff have been prioritised for the first wave, but domiciliary care staff won’t be covered yet, but I am assured that they are urgently investigating these carers and I hope to update on that soon.
The news from the Government today states that the UK has now vaccinated over 3 million people, including 1.3 million over 80s. There have been two changes which will increase the numbers of Chesterfield over 80s vaccinated. Firstly the government will be moving to a pull model which will mean more vaccines going to the bigger centres by the end of the month and they have altered the designation of vaccines per hub in favour of larger numbers for bigger hubs which should mean more vaccines for Chesterfield which is the second biggest hub in Derbyshire.
Anyone over the age of 70 should expect to get a phone call before 15th February inviting them to an appointment. It might not come until early February but I am told that it will come, so whilst I accept that everyone wants to hear that phone ring and some people will hear that their cousin somewhere else has had theirs, there does need to be a realism about the fact that we have 240,000 people to vaccinate in Derbyshire and some of them have been done and lots more still need to be done and they will all happen even if the phone hasn’t rung yet. Someone will be first and someone will be last but no-one is late until 16th February.
I will be meeting again with the CCG next week and will provide further updates. If anyone has any questions that have not been answered in this or previous posts, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will attempt to respond and publicise any significant questions that I haven’t answered here.
Anybody who is interested in volunteering to help with vaccination programme should email their details to email@example.com. I would like to say a big thank you to the staff and volunteers who have already been working hard to get as many people vaccinated as possible.