Category Archives: BUCKS CCG News

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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:

https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/find-nhs-number/

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: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/ 

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.

 

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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.”

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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.”

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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 NHS.uk 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.

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Pharmacy opening times for 2021 May Bank Holidays

Please click here for details of which pharmacies will be open, and their operating hours, across the NHS Buckinghamshire CCG area during the 2021 May Bank Holidays.

This includes Monday, 3 May, and Monday 31 May.

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

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.

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Live webinar will share the facts on COVID-19 vaccinations

Buckinghamshire residents who have questions about COVID-19 vaccinations are invited to sign up to a live online session where a panel of specialists will cover topics such as COVID-19 vaccine facts and how the vaccine is being delivered in Buckinghamshire. There will also be chance to ask questions about the vaccine.

The live event takes place on Wednesday 28 April between 5:30pm – 6:45pm, and members of the public can join the event for free by clicking here: http://bit.ly/BucksVaxWebinar

Jane O’ Grady, Buckinghamshire Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

“The delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination is the largest immunisation programme ever undertaken in the UK, and progress has been very positive in Buckinghamshire, with over 60% of all adults so far having been vaccinated.

“However, while this is an encouraging start, for vaccination programmes to work, they need high coverage or the virus can continue to spread. That’s why I would ask anyone who is unsure about whether to have the vaccine or not to join our live online session. It’s a chance to find out more about the vaccine and to have your questions answered by a panel of health specialists.”

Buckinghamshire Council’s website also has a dedicated COVID-19 area which includes a vaccine FAQ page and local testing information which is regularly updated.

There is also news on local vaccine sites, weekly figures and other updates. This information can be accessed by going to: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus 

 

 

 

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New home for Buckinghamshire’s large COVID vaccination site

Large-scale COVID vaccinations in Buckinghamshire are moving to new site from Monday, April 26.

Operations in Aylesbury are switching from the Bucks New University (BNU) campus, where 22,000 first dose vaccinations have taken place,  to the indoor bowls centre at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Guttmann Road.

Members of the public who were scheduled to receive their second doses at the BNU site are being notified to attend the bowls centre instead on their original date and time.

Nicola Leavesley, the Deputy Covid Operations Director for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs two other large scales vaccination centres, said: “If you have not yet been contacted by phone or email, please do not worry.

“Our team is automatically switching your appointment to the new venue and notifying people where we have contact details, so please come to the bowls centre on your original date and time. We are expecting you and there is no need to rebook or call 119.”

The bowls centre site which has dedicated free parking, is already home to a GP-led vaccination site which is carrying out second doses on Fridays and Saturday. This is separate to the Oxford Health run operations which run are being supported by teams from Buckinghamshire Council.

Nicola added: “We are really grateful to the team at Stoke Mandeville Stadium for their support, and for the patience of the public who use these facilities while the vaccination rollout continues.”

Where is the new vaccination centre?

Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 9PP.

Marshals will direct you to the parking area which is separate to other bays for the use of people using the sports facilities.

First dose appointments

First dose appointments for those over the age of 45, frontline health workers and other eligible groups – including the clinically vulnerable and carers – will be available at the bowls centre site over the next two weeks.

Please check the NHS website here to check if you can have the vaccine.

If eligible you can follow the links to the national booking system to make your appointment at either the vaccine centre – identified as the Guttmann centre – or a pharmacy. You can also make a booking by calling 119.

If you have your NHS number (a 10 digit unique number used on any NHS communications with you including prescriptions) this will help speed up your booking.

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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.”

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Ramadan during COVID-19 – vaccinations and changes to lockdown restrictions

Many Muslims across Buckinghamshire will be celebrating Ramadan from 12 April, just as the country takes its next step out of lockdown.

But while some of the rules are easing, many restrictions will still be in place, affecting the way Ramadan is celebrated for the second year since the pandemic began. During this month of prayers, fasting and good deeds, people are asked to please follow the rules to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe.

If you’re attending prayers during Ramadan, please follow the guidelines in place at your local Mosque. One in three people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms. If you want to be fully confident you aren’t infectious you can take a rapid test by dropping into one of Buckinghamshire Council’s sites in Amersham, Aylesbury, Buckingham or High Wycombe. Alternatively, you can pick up testing kits to use at home. Click here for further details.

Avoiding large gatherings will also help you and all other worshippers to pray safely. To find out what the guidelines are, click here  or contact your local place of worship.

The rules in place during the next phase of restrictions include:

  • Continue to follow the rule of six (this includes children under five)
  • Avoid meeting in larger groups or mixing more than two households
  • Please meet people you don’t already live with outdoors – and stick to the two-metre rule.
  • If you’re meeting in a private garden, please don’t go indoors, even if the weather becomes bad – this is not allowed yet.
  • Don’t share items, wash your hands often, wear a mask covering nose and mouth and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • You must follow the guidance even if you have been vaccinated – no vaccine is 100% effective and it takes two doses and time to build good immunity.

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has said that, as advised by Muslim scholars, taking the COVID-19 vaccine during Ramadan will not affect your fasting. If you have an appointment for a vaccination jab over the coming weeks – whether for a first or second dose – please make sure you attend it.

While taking precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, its important if you’re fasting to also manage any existing health conditions such as diabetes or a heart condition. If you’re worried about taking medication while fasting, please speak to your GP for advice.

Guidance on fasting during Ramadan for people with diabetes and heart conditions are available from Diabetes UK (www.diabetes.org.uk) and British Heart Foundation (www.bhf.org.uk).

It is important to drink plenty of fluids before fasting to reduce the risk of dehydration. Additional information on healthy eating during Ramadan is available from the British Nutrition Foundation (www.nutrition.org.uk).

Dr Rashmi Sawhney, Clinical Director for Health Inequalities at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Ramadan is an incredibly important time for Muslim communities and it is a great shame this celebration has been affected again by COVID-19. But we would please urge everyone to make sure they follow the rules to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe. While we are moving in the right direction, it is vital we follow these rules to stop cases from rising sharply again.

“I would also like to remind anyone observing Ramadan that Muslim scholars have said that having a vaccination does not invalidate your fasting. So if you have a vaccination appointment, or are invited to arrange one, please make sure you attend it. And please take every effort to stay safe and well throughout Ramadan. There is some excellent advice available for anyone with health concerns.

“Finally, I would like to wish everyone Ramadan Mubarak – I hope that this holy month brings you peace and good health.”

For more information on vaccinations in Buckinghamshire, click here.

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Residents aged 50+ and other eligible groups urged to book their first COVID vaccination jab

Residents aged 50 years old or over, those in a recognised clinical ‘at risk’ group and all frontline health and social care workers in Buckinghamshire are being urged to come forward to arrange their COVID vaccination as soon as possible if they have not already done so.

Anyone eligible who may have initially chosen not to have the vaccine is also able to book an appointment if they have changed their mind.

Vaccine appointments can be arranged by booking online via the National Booking System, calling 119 or contacting your GP.

Everyone in the patient priority groups 1-9 – which also includes care home residents and staff – can now get a vaccine, whether they have been contacted by the NHS or not.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organisation are all absolutely clear that the vaccines are safe and effective, and that people should go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so. A further trial in the USA this week has also reinforced this.

Pregnant women who work with others or have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of complications if infected with COVID, should speak to a healthcare professional. The vaccine will not pass COVID on to mother or baby, and breastfeeding is safe after having a jab.

Although there have been reports that vaccine supply may dip in the coming weeks, local vaccination services are currently operating as normal. All booked vaccination appointments will be kept, unless you hear directly from the service team to rearrange. Appointments for second doses of the vaccine have begun in Buckinghamshire and more will be getting underway soon. This means it is really important that as many first doses as possible are given to remaining patients this month.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The vaccination rollout has gone extremely well, but we know there still a number of people in Buckinghamshire who are eligible for a vaccine but who have not yet had one. We really want to get these people their first dose vaccine as soon as possible, before we have to focus more on second doses for patients in April.

“I would also like to remind people that the vaccines we are using – both Oxford AstraZeneca and Pfizer – are very safe and have been rigorously tested. The benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, are very clear and we want as many of our patients protected as possible.”

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Pop-up COVID vaccination clinic comes to Jubilee Road Mosque in High Wycombe

The vaccination team at the Jubilee Road Mosque in High Wycombe

The Jubilee Road Mosque in High Wycombe was the venue for the latest ‘pop-up’ COVID-19 vaccination clinic over the weekend, as members of the community stopped by to get their jab.

The pop-up centre was operated by GPs on Sunday,14 March, with support from organisations including Wycombe Mosque, Wycombe Islamic Society (WISE), Karima, MEC and Jamia Rehmania.

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.

Nationally, data has shown that vaccination uptake is lower amongst people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. With evidence showing that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people from BAME communities, it is vital for them to get their vaccinations when invited to do so.

Dr Sajid Zaib, Clinical Lead for the Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre and GP at Oakfield Surgery in Aylesbury, was one of the GPs running the Jubilee Road Mosque clinic. He said: “The vaccination clinic at Jubilee Mosque was a tremendous success, following our earlier pop-up clinic in Aylesbury. We are very grateful for all the support we have had from the mosque and community leaders in High Wycombe who have helped us to get the vaccine out to people who need it.

“It is really important that, as healthcare professionals, we continue to do everything possible to remove barriers to people accessing the vaccine. Going out to community settings like mosques means we can engage with people in a very positive way. It helps get the message out about how important it is that everyone takes up the offer of a vaccination, and means we reach people who may not otherwise have had one.”

Actively involved in arranging and running this initiative were GPs from across the county, including Dr Akhtar from Tower House Surgery in Wycombe, Dr Younas from The Simpson Centre in Beaconsfield, Dr Abbas from Bourne End and Wooburn Green Medical Centre, Dr Annan Ali, Dr Shaid of Poplar Grove Practice in Aylesbury, Dr Hyder of Water Meadow Surgery in Chesham and Dr Munir of Haddenham Medical Centre.

Cllr Arif Hussain, Chairman of the High Wycombe Community Board, also supported the pop-up clinic and had encouraged people to attend it. He said: “This health initiative was a great example of collaboration between mosques and other communities in Wycombe, and we would like to thank all the healthcare professionals and community figures who so worked hard to make this happen. The COVID pandemic affects all of us and it is vital that we continue to work together to make sure the vaccine reaches those who need it. I would urge anyone invited to have a vaccine to please take up the offer, to protect themselves, their loved ones and the wider community.”

More pop-up vaccination sites in Buckinghamshire are being planned.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We would like to thank everyone involved for making the Jubilee Road Mosque pop-up clinic such a great success. We look forward to continuing to work with local communities across Buckinghamshire as the vaccination rollout progresses.”

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Drop-in vaccination clinic for the homeless comes to High Wycombe

GP Amanda Bartlett and volunteer, Nurse Averil Bird at the homeless vaccination clinic

A special drop-in COVID vaccination clinic was set up for homeless people in the Wycombe area this week, run by local GPs in collaboration with Wycombe Homeless Connection.
The clinic ran on Wednesday, 10 March, at the Kings Church in Desborough Road, with the vaccination team giving jabs to 20 patients who may otherwise have missed their chance for a vaccine.

The patients, including people who have been rough sleeping and staying in emergency shelters, were invited to the clinic by Wycombe Homeless Connection. Once there, patients were checked in and given the chance to ask any questions they might have about the vaccine.

The vaccination team on site was led by GP Dr Amanda Bartlett, of Priory Surgery, and volunteer, nurse Averil Bird. Dr Bartlett is also the Clinical Lead for the Cygnet Primary Care Network (PCN), which also includes Desborough, Kingswood and Tower House Surgeries, and has been carrying out vaccinations at the Adams Park COVID vaccination centre.
The Cygnet PCN has also been working collaboratively with Wycombe Homeless Connection over the last six months as part of a project to improve health outcomes for the local population, including homeless people. For several years, Tower House Surgery has also been working with the charity to support homeless people in accessing GP services. The PCN plans to expand that project across all its surgeries by the summer.

Dr Bartlett said: “We were all very eager to arrange this clinic to help address some of the health inequalities homeless people face. They are extremely vulnerable as a group of patients, so it’s really important for them to be vaccinated as soon as possible. But it can also be hard for them to get to a vaccination centre like the one we are running at Adams Park, so we wanted to reach out to invite them into this clinic. There would be a really strong chance that they wouldn’t get their vaccine otherwise.
“This has also been a great opportunity to work collaboratively with Wycombe Homeless Connection and with the fantastic support of King’s Church. The whole team has been really excited to put this clinic on.”

Patients who received their first vaccine this week will be invited to get their second jab at a follow-up clinic to be arranged within the next 12 weeks.

James Boultbee, CEO of Wycombe Homeless Connection said: “We were extremely concerned for the people we support at the beginning of the pandemic, many of whom face significant health inequalities and may be clinically vulnerable. Alongside the danger of the virus, two shocking facts are that the average age of death for homeless people in the UK is around their mid-40s, and the deaths of people who are homeless rose 37% in the last year alone.
“So, from the start of the pandemic, we worked with Buckinghamshire Council and a number of local agencies and together we were able to make sure no one had to sleep rough in Wycombe. This kept people safe both from COVID and the numerous other dangers of life on the streets.
“To be able to make sure our clients are included in the vaccination programme will also be life-saving. I’m hugely proud of the hard work of our team, Cygnet PCN and the way everyone has pulled together to make this happen. I’d also like to thank the team at King’s Church High Wycombe who offered their building to host a special clinic for clients who wanted to take up the offer of the vaccine.”

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We would like to thank everyone involved for working to make this clinic a success. It is a great example of the way GPs in Bucks are working to address health inequalities and ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities receive their COVID vaccination.”

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Unpaid carers urged to register to ensure they are invited for their COVID vaccination

Unpaid carers are being urged to make sure they are registered with Carers Bucks so they do not miss out on their invitation to get a COVID vaccination.

Carers fall into group 6 of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority list and are now being invited for their vaccinations.

However, some people who are eligible to get a vaccine may not be registered as an unpaid carer. Or, they may not have been previously identified as a carer by their GP surgery. Some people also may not realise they qualify as unpaid carer.

You are eligible to get a vaccination if:

  • You are receiving, or are eligible to receive, a carer’s allowance.
  • You are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is clinically extremely vulnerable. This includes carers of children who are clinically extremely vulnerable, as per the JCVI definitions.
  • You are 16 or 17 and are a carer of an elderly or disabled person who is clinically extremely vulnerable

Eligible carers who have been flagged by their GP and those that receive a Carers Allowance, or are eligible to receive it, will be invited for a vaccination. They will get a letter from the NHS asking them to arrange a vaccination through the National Booking System.

However, some unpaid carers in Bucks may not be recognised in these ways. Buckinghamshire Council is working with Carers Bucks to identify any unpaid carers who are not prioritised through the two routes above or are not currently known to either Carers Bucks or the Council. These people will then be sent letters inviting them to arrange a vaccination through the National Booking System.

If you are not already registered as an unpaid carer, please do so at https://carersbucks.org/contact-us/register/ or call 0300 777 2722 for more information.

Approximately 11,000 unpaid carers are already registered with Carers Bucks. The charity will send out emails or letters to all those under 70 years of age to ask permission to share their information with the NHS, so vaccine invitation letters can then be sent.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “If you are an unpaid carer, please make sure you are registered with Carers Bucks. By doing this, you can make sure you don’t miss out on your vaccination invitation, which will help to protect both yourself and the person you care for.

“Carers Bucks also offers other kinds of invaluable support to carers and can provide a real lifeline when you need it most. By registering with them, you will be able to access free services including information, emotional support, workshops and training.”

Vaccinations are now available across Buckinghamshire at:

  • 9 GP-led Vaccination Centres across the county (Buckingham, Burnham, Chalfont St Peter, Chesham, High Wycombe, High Wycombe town centre, Princes Risborough, Stoke Mandeville, Winslow; all by invitation from your surgery)
  • 8 Pharmacy-led sites (Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, Buckingham, Chesham, Haddenham, Marlow, Wing, Wycombe; all through the National Booking System)
  • 1 Large-Scale Vaccination Centre (Aylesbury; through the National Booking System)

More information on the vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire can be found here.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations definitions of people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable can be found here.

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COVID vaccination clinic comes to Aylesbury Mosque

Members of the vaccination team visit Aylesbury Mosque

The Aylesbury Mosque was transformed into a ‘pop-up’ COVID-19 vaccination clinic over the weekend, as vulnerable members of the community stopped by to get their jab.

This pop-up centre – the first of its kind in Buckinghamshire – was operated by members of the team at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre, with the support of key members of the community.

Nationally, data has shown that vaccination uptake is lower amongst people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Experiences from earlier stages of the pandemic also show that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people from BAME communities, making it vital for them to get their vaccinations when invited to do so.

Pop-up clinics like the one at Aylesbury Mosque 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, said: “The pop-up clinic went really well over the weekend and it was great to see so many people come to the mosque for their vaccination. It is part of our vision in Bucks to remove barriers to people accessing the vaccine. By actively engaging with the community, often with local healthcare professionals who speak the same language, we can reinforce our message about how important it is to get a vaccination in a very positive way.

“It is understandable that people may have some reservations about the vaccine, but it is really important to stress that the vaccine is safe and has been very rigorously tested.  There is also a lot of misinformation being spread about the vaccine that simply is not true. COVID-19 has badly affected people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, so it is vital that people from all communities take up their offer of a vaccination when it comes. It is the only way they can protect themselves, their loved ones and everyone around them as we try to get back to a more normal life.”

Also actively involved in arranging this vaccination site were Dr Shaid of Poplar Grove Practice in Aylesbury, Dr Hyder of Water Meadow Surgery in Chesham and Dr Munir of Haddenham Medical Centre.

More pop-up vaccination sites in Buckinghamshire are now being planned.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We would like to thank everybody at the Aylesbury Mosque for their invaluable support of the vaccination rollout and for helping make this pop-up site such a success. Initiatives like this are really important to ensure the vaccine reaches as many people as possible and we look forward to continuing to work with local communities across Buckinghamshire as the rollout progresses.”

The vaccination team at Stoke Mandeville Stadium is made up of GP practices across the Aylesbury area all working together, with support from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and hundreds of volunteers.

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COVID vaccination options for Bucks increase, as residents aged 70+ are invited to book their jab

A growing range of options are now available for eligible people to have their COVID vaccinations across Buckinghamshire, as patients aged 70 and over are being asked to contact the NHS if they have not already booked their jab.

As well as the nine GP-led vaccination sites spread across the county, a large-scale vaccination centre this week opened at Buckinghamshire New University’s Aylesbury campus.

This joins other nearby large-scale centres outside the county (in Oxford and Slough), and five pharmacy-led vaccination sites in Buckinghamshire- at Aylesbury’s Odeon cinema, Marlow, High Wycombe, Buckingham and Chesham.

The vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire has made great progress, working through the top priority patient groups, including patients aged 70 and over, the clinically extremely vulnerable and care home residents and staff.

Now, to ensure no one is left behind, and patients aged 70 and over, who have not yet booked a vaccination appointment, are invited to contact the NHS to arrange their COVID vaccination as soon as possible. The easiest way to do this is to use the online National Booking System at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination, which lets patients choose a time and location that suits them, or they can call 119 for free, between 7am and 11pm every day.

If a suitable slot is still not available, people can also call their GP practice to arrange a vaccination.

All patients below the age of 70 are still being asked to wait for the NHS to get in touch to arrange an appointment when the time is right. This is in line with the national Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) prioritisation programme.

They will be informed by letter when they are able to book an appointment at a large-scale or pharmacy-led centre. Patients can also, if they prefer, choose to wait for their GP practice to invite them for an appointment at one of Buckinghamshire’s GP-led vaccination sites.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is extremely welcome news that we have more vaccination capacity in Buckinghamshire, both at the new Aylesbury large-scale site and at the five pharmacy-led sites. The vaccination programme has gathered tremendous speed in recent weeks and it is great to see the available options growing for eligible patients in Bucks.

“We would now ask any remaining patients aged 70 and over to please book a vaccination appointment if they have not already done so. The easiest way to do this is via the national booking system at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination, or by calling 119. If they cannot get a suitable appointment in these ways, they can contact their GP surgery.

“Our GP-led sites continue to do tremendous work in making sure the prioritised groups of patients get their vaccines and we thank everyone for their patience and support as we continue to focus on our most vulnerable residents. Please do continue to observe the safety guidance to protect yourself and your loved ones as the vaccine rollout continues.”

 

Vaccination sites available to eligible Buckinghamshire residents:

If you have received a letter from the NHS you can book your vaccination at one of the Pharmacy Vaccination Sites using the National Booking System.

  • Marlow
  • Wycombe
  • Aylesbury
  • Buckingham
  • Chesham

Alternatively, you can book at one of the mass vaccination centres closest to Buckinghamshire (if you live within 60 miles of one):

  • Buckinghamshire New University Aylesbury campus (Buckinghamshire) – a patient guide video for this site can be viewed here.
  • Salt Hill, Slough (South East)
  • Kassam Stadium (Oxford)
  • Epsom racecourse in Surrey (South East)
  • Excel Centre in London (London)
  • Wembley (London)
  • Robertson House in Stevenage (East of England)

All nine of Buckinghamshire’s GP-led vaccination centres are now up and running, meaning registered patients at all GP practices in the county will be covered by one of these locations:

  • Chalfont St Peter
  • Princes Risborough
  • Winslow
  • Chesham
  • Stoke Mandeville
  • High Wycombe
  • High Wycombe town centre
  • Buckingham
  • Burnham

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Buckinghamshire’s first large-scale COVID vaccination site opens in Aylesbury

Buckinghamshire’s first large scale COVID vaccination site is at Buckinghamshire New University’s Aylesbury campus, where its student nurses are trained – and where it has now joined forces with the NHS and the local authority to serve the community in another essential way.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is operating the new site, which starts delivering life-saving COVID jabs this week as the NHS continues to accelerate the biggest immunisation programme in its history.

The Bucks New University Aylesbury campus already has a strong track record in healthcare, offering a range of traditional degrees and apprenticeships across the health and social care field, which makes their involvement in the vaccination effort even more fitting.

Buckinghamshire continues to make good progress as it works towards the Government target of ensuring all patients in the top four priority groups are offered a vaccination by mid-February. This includes people aged 70 and over, the clinically extremely vulnerable and care home residents and staff.

Patients are asked not to contact their GP practice to try to arrange an appointment. Instead, eligible patients will be sent a letter inviting them to arrange their appointment via the national booking system when the time is right. They can also use this system to arrange an appointment at one of the growing number of pharmacy-led vaccination sites in the county.

They can also, if they prefer, choose to wait for their GP practice to invite them for an appointment at one of the nine GP-led vaccination sites now operating across Buckinghamshire.

The new site will be open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm. It will be capable of delivering thousands of jabs each week but will scale up and down according to vaccine supplies and demand.

Parking for the vaccination site is available from the Walton Street car park, which is opposite the university building. Volunteers will be on hand to ensure patients get safely from the car park to the vaccination site, which involves crossing over a stretch of dual carriageway at a pedestrian light controlled crossing. No parking or drop-off at the University campus site is permitted for pedestrian and road safety reasons.

Anyone approaching this car park from the direction of Aylesbury town centre should please be aware that they need to drive past the vaccination site (on their left, heading away from town) and go around the gyratory system so that they approach the town centre again. The Walton Street car park entrance is signposted on the left. The pay and display car park accepts cash and card.

Dr Nick Broughton, Chief Executive of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, pictured, said: “I am delighted that Oxford Health is playing such a critical part in the roll-out of the vaccination programme. This new large-scale vaccination centre means we can deliver inoculations at pace so that thousands more people can be protected from COVID-19.

“I would like to pay tribute to the project team, which was a true collaboration between Buckinghamshire Council and Oxford Health colleagues. They have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that the vaccination centre is ready to serve the public. Our work will build on the great accomplishments already achieved in the local system. Our NHS and local authority colleagues have worked tirelessly to protect priority patients as well as health and social care staff.”

Professor Nick Braisby, Vice-Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be hosting a mass vaccination site at our Aylesbury campus that serves our local communities and helps stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Our testing centre at the High Wycombe campus continues to play a vital role in keeping residents safe, while our healthcare staff and students are helping to save lives on the frontline. We are doing everything possible to help Buckinghamshire fight this pandemic and progress towards a normal way of living again.”

Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, said: “The opening of this large-scale vaccination site is fantastic news for residents, and we are grateful to Buckinghamshire New University, Oxford Health, our partners and so many volunteers for their invaluable support. The county’s vaccination capacity has increased enormously in recent weeks, with several options now available for residents. If you are in one of the top priority groups and are awaiting your vaccination, it won’t be long now.

“I would urge anyone who is invited to get a vaccine to please arrange an appointment as soon as possible. Vaccinations are our only way out of this pandemic and back to the more normal way of life we are all so eager to return to.”

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COVID vaccination centre opens in Burnham; Bucks now covered by GP-led sites

Burnham is the site of the latest, and final, GP-led COVID vaccination centre to open in Buckinghamshire, with vulnerable patients aged 80 and over to be invited to get their vaccine from this week.

This joins the sites already up and running in the county – in Chalfont St Peter, Princes Risborough, Winslow and Chesham, Stoke Mandeville, High Wycombe, High Wycombe town centre and Buckingham.

This is the last of the GP-led centres in Buckinghamshire to open, and means that registered patients at every GP practice in the county can now be invited to attend an appointment at one of these sites.

As well as people aged 80 and over, care home staff are also being prioritised in this first phase of the national vaccination rollout. This is in line with the national Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) prioritisation programme.

All patients who are eligible to have the vaccine at this stage will be contacted by the NHS first. Patients are being asked not to contact their GP practice to try to arrange an appointment.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Clinical Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is great to see this site in Burnham now open and able to offer vaccinations to the most vulnerable patients in the area. It is really exciting to have all our GP led vaccination sites now open in Buckinghamshire, and we are eager to invite our patients for their vaccines as quickly as possible.

“We continue to ask patients please not to contact their GP themselves but to instead wait for the NHS to contact them. We realise the growing cases of COVID are causing anxiety, but this vaccination programme is extremely complex. Our GP practice staff continue to work incredibly hard to ensure that our most vulnerable patients are protected as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience and support.

“Other age groups and vulnerable patients will be offered the vaccination over the coming weeks and months, in line with the national priorities of this phased rollout.  In the meantime, please follow all the safety guidance to protect yourself, your loved ones and your NHS services.”

Holders of concessionary bus passes in Buckinghamshire will be able to use them at any time when travelling for their COVID-19 vaccination. This includes prior to 9am on Mondays to Fridays.

Several national mass vaccination centres outside of the county have also been set up by the NHS. Some Buckinghamshire residents aged 80 and over, who live 30-45 minutes from these sites, may get a letter from the NHS about these. The letter explains how to book a slot at a national centre if they do not wish to use one of their local, GP-led sites.

If you get a letter but do not want to use a national vaccination centre, you will still be able to arrange an appointment at a local site when contacted by your GP.

Currently, the mass vaccination centres closest to Buckinghamshire are:

  • Salt Hill, Slough (South East)
  • Kassam Stadium (Oxford)
  • Epsom racecourse in Surrey (South East)
  • Excel Centre in London (London)
  • Wembley (London)
  • Robertson House in Stevenage (East of England)

If you have received a letter from the NHS you can book your vaccination at one of the Pharmacy Vaccination Sites using the National Booking System. More of these sites will be opening in Buckinghamshire soon.

  • Marlow
  • Wycombe
  • Aylesbury

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COVID vaccination information for Health and Social Care workers in Buckinghamshire

As per national guidance a Buckinghamshire Health & Social Care Staff Vaccination Allocation Bureau has been established to identify and prioritise Health and Social Care workers for the COVID vaccination.

The vaccination is being offered to:

Frontline health and social care workers at high risk of acquiring infection, at high individual risk of developing serious disease, or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment as set out in JCVI advice on prioritisation document and the standard operating procedure for vaccinating health and social care staff released on the 14th January 2021.

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation: advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, 30 December 2020

If you have not yet been contacted about the vaccination and you would like one please speak to your employer in the first instance, if you have one, as they should have been contacted to support coordination.

If you are an employer or practice independently and have not been contacted, please contact the  appropriate email address below and provide a lead name, contact telephone number, email address and the name of your organisation or job role:

Health care employees: bucksccg.healthstaffvaccines@nhs.net

Social care employees: COVIDvaccination@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

This information will be recorded on a central database and you will be contacted with booking instructions as capacity allows. Please note the health and social care cohort is extremely large so please be patient whilst awaiting information about your vaccine

Please Note : You may also be contacted by your GP and or another vaccination site and it is your choice as to which route you take to obtain your vaccine.

Data Security and Protection Arrangements: to evidence compliance with data security and protection standards and relevant legislation including the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  • A data controller is an organisation which owns data it collects and which it may supply to others for further processing. For this vaccination service, NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group is the data controller. Its Fair Processing Notice is published here.
  • The data it collects shall be processed by other organisations in order to provide the service, including Buckinghamshire Council and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust as provider of local hospital sites.
  • The CCG is providing this service in accordance with operational guidance published by NHS England here. A supplementary privacy notice specifically associated with COVID-19 is published here. Details as regards processing of patient data associated with the vaccination programme is published here

 LEGAL BASIS

  • A statutory notice has been issued under the Control of Patient Information Regulations (COPI) 2002 which permits access to patient identifiable information and includes delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with COVID-19. This sets aside a need to establish a legal basis under the common law duty of confidentiality, which is ordinarily the legal basis required to process identifiable data associated with individual health.
  • As regards GDPR, the legal basis is duly established as under Article 6(1) (e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller. The subsequent conditions under article 9 (processing special category data) that shall also apply when a vaccination is administered are (h) Health or social care (with a basis in law) and (i) Public health (with a basis in law).
  • A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) with further details and record keeping arrangements is available here For further information please contact the CCG Data Protection Officer.

 

 

 

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COVID-19 vaccination rollout to care homes on target in Buckinghamshire

Residents and staff at care homes across Buckinghamshire are delighted to be receiving the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccine. Teams of medics have been dispatched to residential care and nursing homes across the county in recent weeks to vaccinate the people who fall into the top-most category to receive the potentially life-saving vaccine.

The Fremantle Trust operates 11 nursing and residential homes across Buckinghamshire, catering for around 700 residents and with over 1,000 employees. In the past few weeks residents have received their vaccines on site and staff have been able to get their vaccine at the hospital hub set up in Stoke Mandeville stadium and in the care homes where they work.

Sara Livadeas, Chief Executive of the Fremantle Trust said: “It’s been a very emotional weekend. Everyone across our organisation – residents, employees and families, are so excited to see this day. The long-awaited vaccine is finally here and we are able to start protecting everyone against this dreadful disease. We are thankful to the NHS and volunteers who have worked so speedily to make this happen. You don’t just need to take my word for how happy this makes us all feel, just take a look at the huge smiles on everyone’s faces.”

The government has pledged that all those in the top four priority categories will receive the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccine by 15 February. In Buckinghamshire, these four groups are all on schedule to have received their first dose within the targeted date.

Angela Macpherson, Buckinghamshire Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “We are pleased to see so many of our older and vulnerable residents and the people who care for them getting their vaccines. The NHS is working around the clock to ensure that these priority groups are given protection as soon as possible. Our care homes have faced many difficult challenges during this pandemic. There are still challenges ahead but this vaccine rollout gives hope and optimism for the future. We will continue to work with all our care providers over coming weeks to prioritise the protection of all our vulnerable residents and those who care for them.”

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is wonderful to see the vaccine now reaching so many care home residents and members of staff. There is still lots of work to be done and we must not be complacent, but this is a great cause for hope after the extremely difficult months care homes have faced.
“I would also like to praise the remarkable efforts of our GP practices and vaccination teams, who have been working tirelessly to get this vaccine out to our most vulnerable patients as quickly as possible.”

 

 

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New COVID-19 vaccination site for Buckingham

Buckingham is the site of the latest GP-led COVID vaccination centre to open in the county this week, where vulnerable patients aged 80 and over will be invited to get their vaccine.

This joins the sites already up and running in Buckinghamshire – in Chalfont St Peter, Princes Risborough, Winslow, Chesham, Stoke Mandeville, High Wycombe, and High Wycombe town centre.

Details of another GP-led site will be announced soon, as the vaccination rollout continues in Bucks.

As well as people aged 80 and over, care home staff are also being prioritised in this first phase of the national vaccination rollout. This is in line with the national Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) prioritisation programme.
All patients who are eligible to have the vaccine at this stage will be contacted by the NHS first. Patients are being asked not to contact their GP practice to try to arrange an appointment.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Clinical Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are really pleased to now be offering vaccines to our most vulnerable patients in the Buckingham area, as the vaccination programme continues to gather pace across the county.

“We continue to ask patients please not to contact their GP themselves but to instead wait for the NHS to contact them. We realise the growing cases of COVID are causing anxiety, but this vaccination programme is extremely complex. Our GP practice staff continue to work incredibly hard to ensure that our most vulnerable patients are protected as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience and support.

“Other age groups and vulnerable patients will be offered the vaccination over the coming weeks and months, in line with the national priorities of this phased rollout. In the meantime, please follow all the safety guidance to protect yourself, your loved ones and your NHS services.”

Holders of concessionary bus passes in Buckinghamshire will be able to use them at any time when travelling for their COVID-19 vaccination. This includes prior to 9am on Mondays to Fridays.

Several national Vaccination Centres outside of the county have also been set up by the NHS. Some Buckinghamshire residents aged 80 and over, who live 30-45 minutes from these sites, may get a letter from the NHS about these. The letter explains how to book a slot at a national site if they do not wish to use one of their local, GP-led sites.
If you get a letter but do not want to use a national vaccination site, you will still be able to arrange an appointment at a local site when contacted by your GP.

Currently, the Vaccination Centre sites closest to Buckinghamshire are:

• Salt Hill, Slough (South East)
• Epsom racecourse in Surrey (South East)
• Excel Centre in London (London)
• Robertson House in Stevenage (East of England)