Monthly Archives: May 2022

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Pharmacies opening hours for Spring and Platinum Jubilee Bank Holidays

Please click here for details of which pharmacies will be open, and their operating hours, across the NHS Buckinghamshire CCG area over the Spring and Platinum Jubilee Bank Holidays (Thursday 2 June and Friday 3 June).

Where possible, please also plan ahead to make sure you get any repeat prescriptions ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

If you do go to a pharmacy, please follow the social distancing guidelines and any other measures that are being taken to protect both you and any members of staff.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should stay at home.

If your symptoms worsen, please refer to the NHS111 online coronavirus service.

Please note – pharmacy opening hours on Bank Holidays are voluntary and are, therefore, subject to change. Patients are advised to check if pharmacies are open by telephone before making a journey.

Local pharmacy details can be found at www.nhs.uk under ‘NHS Services’.

If you are still not sure what health service option to use, and it is not an emergency, you can go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for advice.

You can also view details of pharmacy opening times for Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

A map of the pharmacies that will be open on the Bank Holidays can be accessed here.

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COVID vaccinations still available for children aged 5-11 through spring and summer

Parents and carers across Buckinghamshire are being reminded that there are still plenty of opportunities for your children to get their COVID vaccination as we head into the summer.

A number of Family Centres and libraries are all holding clinics at various times for children aged 5-11, through to the end of August. This is in addition to the Guttmann Centre in Stoke Mandeville, which continues to offer vaccinations to the 5-11 age group as well as all others.

This means that, by arranging a first jab as soon as possible, you will also be able to arrange a second vaccination 12 weeks later at the same centre.

The jabs are taking place in a caring, safe and child-friendly environment. Staff and clinicians who are working at these sites are used to dealing with children and are reassuring and patient. They can also answer any questions parents and carers may have about the vaccinations too.

You can book both appointments for a vaccination online – Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk) or by calling 119

In addition, parents can speak directly to the paediatric team if they have any concerns, or want to discuss making a booking – for Buckinghamshire, this number is 07826 922104

Vaccination clinics available for the 5-11 age group in Bucks include:

The Guttmann Centre in Stoke Mandeville is also available for both walk-in vaccinations and booked appointments, and it is open every day, 8am-8pm. And all age groups can be vaccinated here.

Most appointments for 5-11 age group will be available outside of school hours and over the weekend, and are available to book through the online booking service or by calling 119.

And remember, if you are taking a child for their vaccination at a library, there may be other family friendly events to enjoy at the same time, too. And even if not, it is the perfect opportunity to choose some suitable summer reading for them from the bookshelves.

There are also plenty of activity sessions available at the Family Information Service – you can find out more and view activity timetables at Family centres | Family Information Service (buckinghamshire.gov.uk) or Find a library | Buckinghamshire Council

The NHS has made the vaccine available for all 5 to 11s following updated JCVI guidance, which recommended all children would benefit from a non-urgent offer of the vaccine, with almost five million now eligible.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Clinical Chair at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Vaccination is the best defence against COVID-19 and NHS teams are ready to welcome parents and children to the vaccination centres and clinics, where vaccinations will be administered by specially trained and qualified staff in a child friendly environment.

“If you have not already done so, please consider the benefits of arranging a vaccination for your children – there is a lot of NHS information available for you to make a well-informed choice.”

You can find out more information about COVID vaccinations for 5-11 year olds here: COVID-19: A guide for parents of children aged 5 to 11 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

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Community pharmacist who set up Marlow COVID Vaccination Centre among those celebrated by Prince of Wales

Olivier Picard, pictured 3rd from left, speaks to Prince Charles at an event to mark the centenary of the National Pharmacy Association

A Community Pharmacist who set up a COVID vaccination clinic in Marlow, working tirelessly with his team to deliver tens of thousands of jabs to the public, was among those honoured by the Prince of Wales at a special celebratory event.

Prince Charles thanked community pharmacy teams across the nation for their ‘marvellous’ efforts in providing patients with essential support during the pandemic. The reception event was hosted at St James’ Palace earlier this month, to mark the recent centenary of the National Pharmacy Association.

The first Community Pharmacist guest to speak to the Prince at the event was Olivier Picard, who established the Marlow COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic based at Globe Park in January 2021. Over the next 12 months, Olivier and his team of around 100 vaccinators and 400 volunteers worked tirelessly to vaccinate as many people in the community as possible.

Prince Charles also paid tribute to the great work done by community pharmacists outside of the COVID pandemic at the reception event, commending their “friendly and reassuring presence in our communities.”

He told attendees: “I very much hope that this evening’s event will help, a little bit, to highlight the marvellous work you do in your communities day in and day out.”

The Prince added that the diversity among the profession’s workforce was “inspiring” and spoke of how thousands of individual stories about immigration into the United Kingdom were woven into the history of the community pharmacy, and what a positive impact this has had.

Olivier, who manages Newdays Pharmacy, a small group of independent pharmacies based in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, said: “This was a very humbling experience, and one I will never forget. I came to the UK as an economic migrant 22 years ago with a small bag over my shoulders. I have built a business through hard work, long hours and have met incredibly supportive people along the way.

“The recognition given to the Community Pharmacy profession by Prince Charles over the course of the evening is among the proudest achievements of my professional career. It was a privilege to be among so many incredible pharmacist colleagues on the night, who have been delivering outstanding service in their communities for decades. They have all especially stepped up over the last two years, as have so many dedicated healthcare professionals and volunteers, working long hours to deliver millions of COVID vaccinations and save thousands of lives.”

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Thanks a million to the Oxford Health COVID vaccination team

The COVID vaccination team from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has celebrated its million-jab milestone, having given vaccine doses to patients across a range of locations in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire over the last 15 months.

Their work began when a vaccination centre was set up at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford on February 1, 2021.

Shortly after, the team set up new centres in Aylesbury – first at the Bucks New University site in town and then later at the Guttmann Centre at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. They set another large-scale vaccination centre in Reading, launched pop-up centres in Witney, Bulmershe, Hungerford, Banbury and Reading City Centre. The team visited communities across the region in the Health on the Move bus, making frequent stops all over Bucks since last summer, and even delivered jabs at the 2021 Reading Festival.

These centres and clinics ran alongside the many vaccination sites operated by GPs and pharmacists across Buckinghamshire.

The Oxford Health vaccination team includes vaccinators, doctors, pharmacy technicians, administrators, marshals and volunteers. More than 1,600 colleagues have helped vaccinate people aged from 5 to over 100 years old with Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccineshelping enormously in the fight against COVID-19. They were presented with special pin-badges to commemorate the major milestone.

Nick Broughton, Oxford Health’s Chief Executive, said: “The efforts of everyone involved in Oxford Health’s vaccination programme can’t be understated – getting to one million jabs is an enormous achievement and I want to thank each and every person who has played their part.

“To think where we were before February 2021 to where we are now with an experienced team and slick vaccination process is quite amazing. Everyone stepped up from day one whether their job was to find places to set up the vaccine centres, installing the equipment, giving the vaccines or doing all the administration the commitment and hard work has been nothing short of amazing.”

The team continues to welcome people for first, second and booster jabs and remains ready to vaccinate new cohorts as government announcements require.

The Oxford Health vaccination centres now offer walk-in opportunities as well as booked appointments, meaning that anyone can get the jabs they need at a time to suit them. You can book an appointment online here.

And a number of other COVID vaccination options are still available across Buckinghamshire, with clinics running at these family centres and libraries:

There is also a helpline for people to book their vaccination locally – call 07826 922104, from 8.30am – 7pm daily.