Monthly Archives: May 2021

Buckinghamshire patients asked to treat GP practice staff with kindness and respect

Reports of abusive and aggressive behaviour toward staff at GP practices have recently been on the rise nationally, and a number of surgeries across Buckinghamshire have experienced this too.

NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group is asking patients to please treat all members of staff at their GP practice with kindness and respect.

GP services have been open to patients throughout the pandemic, but they have been working in different ways. There has been greater emphasis on remote assessments and patients have been invited for face-to-face appointments only when necessary. But GP practices have never closed their doors as a service; they have simply been operating in a COVID-safe way.

As restrictions ease, more face-to-face appointments are becoming available. But with the emergence of COVID variants an ongoing risk, it is important that practices still keep patients and staff safe. This means that some COVID-secure ways of working will continue to be in place for the foreseeable future, including remote appointments.

Dr Raj Bajwa, GP and Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are asking all our patients to please make sure they treat staff at their GP practice with kindness and respect. We understand and sympathise that some patients may be waiting slightly longer for certain treatments at the moment, or having to hold for longer on the phone. That is because we are extremely busy and are dealing with far more enquiries from patients than usual for this time of year.

“While we understand some people may feel frustrated, it is not acceptable to behave aggressively toward members of staff who are simply doing their best to help them.

“Some people – a small minority, I’m sure – seem to have the view that GP practices have not done much over the last year. I can assure you this could not be further from the truth. Practices have had a huge workload throughout the pandemic, not least of which the vaccination rollout which has seen staff working flat out, with little chance for breaks.

“We understand that many patients have faced extremely tough times throughout the pandemic. But we ask that patients please be respectful and please be kind. Your GP practice is doing its best to help you. Every member of staff, whether receptionist, nurse, GP or any other, deserves to be treated with dignity. We simply cannot tolerate abuse or rudeness to our staff.

“I recognise that this behaviour comes only from a very small minority of the public, and would like to thank patients throughout Buckinghamshire for their understanding and support.”

More pop-up vaccination clinics for homeless and vulnerable people come to Aylesbury and High Wycombe

The vaccination team at Griffin Place, Aylesbury

More pop-up COVID vaccination clinics have been hard at work across Buckinghamshire this week to deliver much-needed jabs to vulnerable people and those who may be sleeping rough.

The first clinic came to Griffin Place in Aylesbury on Tuesday, 25 May. The GP-led vaccination team arranged this in partnership with the Connection Support organisation and gave a mix of both first and second dose vaccines to over 30 people.

Then, on Wednesday, 26 May, another vaccination team went to the Old Tea Warehouse in High Wycombe, which provides housing and support to people who may be homeless and living with difficult circumstances. The team worked with both the Old Tea Warehouse and Wycombe Homeless Connection to organise the clinic, giving a mix of first and second doses to a total of 24 people.

These follow a number of other successful vaccine outreach clinics across the county in recent months. The team operating the Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre has led on delivering vaccine clinics at Aylesbury Mosque, Wycombe Mosque, Wycombe Islamic Centre and Castlefield Community Centre in High Wycombe. They have also recently attended Bearbrook Place, which also offers support to vulnerable people affected by homelessness across Wycombe and Aylesbury.

Meanwhile the GP-led team operating at the Adams Park Vaccination Centre have delivered three other vaccine clinics for homeless and vulnerable people. Two have been at The King’s Centre, in partnership with Wycombe Homeless Connection, and another at High Wycombe’s YMCA.  

Dr Sajid Zaib, Clinical Lead for the Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre and GP at Oakfield Surgery in Aylesbury, said: “These outreach clinics continue to be a great success and show how important it is for us to go out into the community to reach people who need to be vaccinated.

“We have been able to deliver vaccines to a range of people from diverse backgrounds and also to those in circumstances which make them particularly vulnerable to COVID. Going to locations people find comfortable and reassuring means we have been able to make a real difference to people, many of whom may otherwise have been hesitant about getting their jab.”

Dr Amanda Bartlett, Clinical Lead for the Cygnet Primary Care Network, which has been giving vaccines at Adams Park, organised the Old Tea Warehouse clinic with her team. She said: “These outreach clinics have been vital to help address some of the health inequalities homeless people face. They are an extremely vulnerable group of patients so it’s important for them to be vaccinated as soon as possible. But it can be difficult for them to reach vaccination centres like the one at Adams Park, so pop-up clinics like this week’s at the Old Tea Warehouse make a huge difference to protecting some of the people in greatest need from COVID. We are really grateful for all the support we have had from our partners in arranging these clinics. It has been a privilege to work with the teams and to serve this vulnerable group of patients.”

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This outreach initiative continues to be a fantastic example of collaboration between our local communities and the GPs and healthcare professionals who serve them. We would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make these clinics happen and we look forward to continuing to work with local communities in the future.”

NHS to invite people aged 38 and 39 for life-saving COVID-19 jab

The NHS Covid vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history and the most precise in the world, will open tomorrow (Thurs, 13 May) to people in their thirties, with due to be updated at 7am.


Those aged 38 and 39 are the first to qualify for a jab with around a million people being sent text messages that allow them to access the national booking service at the touch of a button with further invitations to follow in the coming days and weeks.


The move to the next age group comes alongside nearly three quarters of people aged between 40 and 49 having had their first dose, less than a fortnight after they were offered a jab.


Since the vaccination rollout began in December, nearly 30 million people have been vaccinated with a first dose in England, two thirds of the total adult population.


More than one third of adults have had both doses, meaning they have maximum protection from the virus, with second doses remaining a priority.


Pregnant women will also be able to book through the national booking service from tomorrow (Thurs, 13 May) and will be directed to vaccination centres offering Pfizer and Moderna in their local area in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) Guidance. They can also speak to their GP practice or maternity service if they have any questions about the coronavirus vaccine or can talk to a healthcare professional at their appointment.


NHS national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “The success of the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination programme is not by accident but down to the careful planning and precision of NHS staff who have now delivered over 45 million first and second doses in the fastest and quickest vaccination drive in NHS history.


“With nearly three quarters of people in their 40s having already received their first jab, the NHS is opening up to people aged 38 and 39 from tomorrow. We must not forget that behind the huge numbers of people jabbed, there has been a huge amount of hard work from our staff, aided by incredible volunteers across the country. We are incredibly grateful for their efforts.


“When you get that text – book your appointment – and join the millions who have already been jabbed, protecting both yourself and your loved ones.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our incredible vaccination programme has already saved thousands of lives and has helped to significantly reduce hospital and infection rates, allowing us to begin safely easing restrictions.

“Vaccines are our way out of the pandemic and I’m delighted we are now inviting people aged 38-39 to get their jabs. I urge everybody to get the vaccine as soon as they are eligible to protect yourself and your loved ones.”


When invited, people will be able to book at one of the Vaccination Centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service. 


Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.


People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.


Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across the country, including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, meaning the vast majority of the people live within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.


The NHS is also sending text reminders to people who have not yet taken up their offer of jab and also to people overdue their second dose to ensure nobody is left behind.


The NHS currently vaccinates using three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, all of which have been approved as safe and effective by the world leading medical regulator the MHRA. 


People aged 39 and under without an underlying health condition will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, in line with updated JCVI guidance last week.