All posts by Teresa Hawryszczuk

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 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 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.

NHS Doctors Urge Eligible Muslims To Have Spring Booster Jab This Ramadan

Leading Muslim NHS doctors are today stressing that having a life-saving covid vaccine during Ramadan does not break the daylight hours fast with the NHS spring booster campaign now underway.

Resident TV doctor Dr Nighat Arif, a GP in Buckinghamshire, and Dr Farzana Hussain, a senior GP in East London and 2019 GP of the year, are among the doctors urging people to roll up their sleeves and have their jab.

People aged 75 and over and those who are immunosuppressed are now able to book their spring booster via the National Booking Service as part of the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in health service history.

Tens of thousands of people have already taken up the offer in order to protect themselves and their loved ones, including 95-year-old grandad of two, Devraj Jhalam, who was one of the first to get a spring boost last Monday in Slough.

Recent research from the UK Health Security Agency has shown that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 197,000 hospitalisations since mid-December.

The NHS in England made history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial, in Coventry in December 2020 and since then has delivered over 119 million jabs since rollout began, including over 32 million booster vaccines.


Dozens of Mosques around the country will be hosting pop-up clinics either inside the mosque or nearby, including East London Mosque, Darus Salam Mosque in Leicester and Assunah Mosque in north London, making it easier than ever to get a life-saving covid jab.

Meanwhile, a number of NHS vaccination sites are extending their opening hours so that Muslims can receive the jab after they have eaten if they would prefer to do so and make it easier for people to find a convenient slot.

People who are invited can book in online or by calling 119, which is free from mobiles and landlines. Lines are open every day from 8am to 8pm, and 119 can provide support in 200 languages.


Dr Nighat Arif, who regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and ITV This Morning, said: “Having your jab in Ramadan is permissible and it does not break your fast because it is not nutrition.

“So when offered please get your spring booster as this will help increase your protection from the rising covid transmission rates and cut your risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and being admitted to hospital – I would urge anyone invited for a spring jab to come forward as soon as possible.”

Dr Hussain, a practising Muslim who works at The Project Surgery in East London, said there was no problem with taking up the spring booster during daylight hours.

Dr Farzana Hussain said: “There is absolutely no reason why you should not come forward for your life-saving covid-19 jab if you are eligible and have been invited a spring booster because it does not break your fast“The Koran says saving your life is the most important thing: to save one life is to save the whole of humanity. It’s a responsibility of a practising Muslim to get their vaccine when invited in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“Getting your spring booster will help increase your protection from the rising covid transmission rates and cut your risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and being admitted to hospital – I would urge anyone invited for a spring jab to come forward as soon as possible.”

This year local NHS teams will also be setting up some mobile vaccine clinics near mosques, which has been found to a more effective way of reaching those eligible.

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA), an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain insists it is okay to have during Ramadan as it is not nutritional. Nor does it contain any animal or foetal products.

Dr Amer Hamed, member of the BIMA Council and Covid Response Group, said: “During the month of Ramadan BIMA encourage Muslims to keep wearing masks, ventilating your houses and Mosques, washing your hands regularly & getting appropriate booster vaccine dose so that you can save more lives than before.”

Full ingredient lists are published by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA): AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna.

Meanwhile, a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has said the NHS Vaccination Programme met “stretching and unprecedented targets” as it helped save lives and reduce hospital admissions – all while making effective use of public money.

Development of the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire & Berkshire West Integrated Care System (BOB ICS)

As part of our ongoing commitment to engage with our key stakeholders throughout the period of ICS transition, we have developed a public-facing engagement website. The site is an opportunity for the public to submit ideas and comment on key draft documents, such as our developing constitution and engagement strategy. It also contains a range of information relating to the evolving ICS, including key papers and submissions in a single, easy-access digital library.

We are also in the process of reviewing and updating the BOB ICS website – it is hoped this will be complete by the end of March 2022.


Nominations are invited for the Trust’s People’s Choice Award

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is inviting nominations for the People’s Award for Personal and Compassionate Care. This award recognises those who have made a significant and memorable difference to the lives and experiences of patients and their families in outpatient, inpatient or community settings, during the last 12 months.

We’re keen to hear from patients, carers, families and members of our local community who wish to nominate a team or individual from the Trust who they feel deserves special recognition for delivering exceptional care.

This special award is part of the Trust’s annual One Team, One Goal Awards which recognise those who have provided an outstanding contribution on behalf of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

To make your nomination you will need to tell us, in 200 words or less, who you want to say thank you to and why.

Ways to submit your nomination:

Please make sure you include the full name of individual, team or service you are nominating and their ward, team or department (if you know this). In addition, please include your own name, address and contact details.

Nominations are open until mid-March 2022.

A full list of categories for the One Team, One Goal Awards are available on the Trust website.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in May 2022.

Chief Executive Designate announced for the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire & Berkshire West Integrated Care System

Dr James Kent has been appointed Chief Executive Designate of the new Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) Integrated Care Board (ICB); due to be established in April 2022.  He has held the roles of Executive Lead of the Integrated Care System (ICS) and the Accountable Officer for the three Clinical Commissioning Groups since May 2020.

Welcoming James to his new role, Javed Khan, the Chair-designate of BOB ICB said: “I’m delighted with James’ appointment and look forward to working with him as we help the system realise its full potential to the benefit of our diverse population.”

James said: “I’m proud to be able to continue the journey I began when appointed to lead the ICS last May.  Over the last 18 months, I have seen the depth of talent that exists within all system partner organisations and our wider stakeholders and what we can achieve when we work together.  I am ever more convinced of the potential of this system to improve health and health outcomes for the population we serve.”

The ICB is part of new arrangements to improve joint working across the NHS, local authorities and a wide range of other partners to improve health, health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. The ICB will hold a budget of over £2.7bn from April 22/23 for commissioning high quality patient care for a population of around 1.8m people.

ICB chief executive roles are being appointed now as part of preparation for the Health and Care Bill 2021 gaining Royal Assent. The Bill, which contains a series of measures to formally establish Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), is currently at Committee Stage receiving a detailed examination following its second reading.

The Bill will put ICSs on a firm statutory footing, empowering them to better join up health and care, improve population health and reduce health inequalities.

New drop-in vaccine clinics at Stoke Mandeville Stadium this weekend

A drop-in clinic is opening at Stoke Mandeville stadium this weekend for eligible members of the public to get their first or second Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine without a pre-booked appointment.

The drop-in clinics will be open on:

  • Friday 4 June – 10am to 12.30pm and 2.30pm to 5pm
  • Saturday 5 June – 9.30am to 1pm

Regardless of whether you are a permanent Bucks resident or not, anyone aged over 40 who has not yet had their first vaccine or those over 18 who need their second jab is eligible to attend. All you need is your name, date of birth and NHS number. You can find your NHS number online at:

If you can’t find your NHS number in advance, don’t worry, you can still be vaccinated, your appointment may just take a little longer.

It’s really important to get your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to receive the maximum protection possible. Find out more here: 

Dr Raj Bajwa, GP and Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are really pleased to be able to offer this additional service to allow people to get their vaccine as quickly and easily as possible. As we continue to progress through vaccinating different age groups and cohorts we want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to get their jab.

“As we continue to see new variants of COVID-19 appearing around the world it is important to remember that one of our best lines of defence is through the vaccine. It’s really important that all those eligible come forward to get their jab when notified.”

Further drop-in clinics are planned over coming weeks, keep an eye out for further information.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine programme within Buckinghamshire visit the CCG website.


Castlefield Community Centre hosts pop-up vaccination clinic

The latest of several pop-up vaccination clinics across Buckinghamshire came to the Wycombe area over the weekend, this time setting up in Castlefield Community Centre to make it easier for members of the local community to get their jab.

The pop-up centre on Sunday (11 April) gave 81 jabs to those who attended. The clinic was operated by local GPs with support from organisations including Wycombe Mosque, Wycombe Islamic Society (WISE), Karima, MEC and Jamia Rehmania.

The clinic follows others held in recent weeks, at the Wycombe Islamic Centre – which was aimed at residents in the Micklefield, Bowerdean and Totteridge areas – and before that at Wycombe’s Jubilee Road Mosque. A pop-up clinic has also operated at the Aylesbury Mosque, and more are planned in Bucks for the future.

Pop-up clinics aim to encourage greater uptake of vaccinations with the support of trusted local figures. They also offer a more convenient location to be vaccinated for many people, alongside the nine GP-led vaccination sites across Bucks, one national vaccination site in Aylesbury, and eight pharmacy-led sites in the county.

Dr Sajid Zaib, Clinical Lead for the Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre and GP at Oakfield Surgery in Aylesbury, is one of the GPs running these pop-up clinics. He said: “The success of these clinics highlights how important it is to go into the community to reach people who still need to be vaccinated. Making the location and environment comfortable for people who may have some hesitation about getting the vaccine can make a real difference, and we have had great engagement with these patients.

“To date we have attracted people with very diverse backgrounds at these clinics, including members of the Philippinian, Sri Lankan, African, Turkish, Arab, Indian and Pakistani British communities.

“Having female vaccinators available to give jabs in a culturally comfortable, familiar environment has also helped to give a positive experience to female members of the community who may prefer this. I would like to thank all our colleagues and partners in the community who have given their tremendous support and cooperation to make these clinics such a success and I would encourage all members of the community to come forward and have their jab when called.”

GPs from across the county were actively involved in arranging and running this initiative together with Dean Elliot, Group Commander for Resourcing and Projects from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service who are supporting the vaccine roll-out.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This health 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 across Buckinghamshire as the vaccination rollout progresses.”

Health Secretary Visits Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre

Matt Hancock meets with Dr Sajid Zaib, Clinical Lead for Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre

Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the “brilliant team” operating the Stoke Mandeville  Stadium vaccination centre, where he and Aylesbury MP Rob Butler met staff and volunteers in action and stopped to chat to patients getting their COVID jabs.

The Secretary of State visited the site last Friday (12 February), when he also discussed how the vaccination rollout was progressing in Buckinghamshire with key members of the site’s project team.

Mr Hancock said: “The Stoke Mandeville Stadium vaccination hub is a fantastic operation. I was impressed by the extremely efficient flow of so many people getting their vaccinations.” He added: “It’s so uplifting to meet everyone coming through and the operation is so smooth.”

Mr Butler also spoke of how he was, “overawed by the dedication and commitment of everybody involved, from the clinical lead Dr Sajid Zaib and project manager Dean Elliott from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, to the volunteers doing everything from administering the jabs to marshalling the queues and stewarding the car park.”

The Stoke Mandeville vaccination centre is one of nine GP-led vaccination sites in Buckinghamshire, and covers patients registered at practices around the Aylesbury area.

The stadium – the birthplace of the Paralympics – is owned by national wheelchair sports charity Wheelpower, who offered it up for use as a vaccination centre site last November. With support from partner organisations, including Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue and Buckinghamshire Council, dedicated volunteers and the stadium team itself, the site was up and running by 15 January.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s great to see the hard work of our amazing team at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium vaccination centre get this recognition. Getting these sites up and running to deliver so many vaccinations in such a short space of time has been a huge undertaking by all involved.

“Like all our GP-led vaccination centres, Stoke Mandeville Stadium has been a tremendous example of collaborative working between partner organisations and the community, and goes to show what can be achieved in Bucks when we work together.

“I would also like to thank the staff, volunteers and partners at all our nine GP-led vaccination centres across Bucks. They have been doing a magnificent job and I hope they are all proud of the tremendous impact their efforts are having on the lives of so many of our patients.”