We are disheartened to see rising levels of abuse being directed towards NHS staff across Kent and Medway.
We know there are frustrations with the on-going pandemic, and those with different views on the vaccine or pandemic restrictions have a right to voice them. But verbal abuse and physical intimidation against NHS staff is totally unacceptable.
Our vaccination teams have seen protestor on the doors of some of their clinics abusing, insulting and intimidating them. Those sending out invitations have received some frankly vile responses. Teams at hospitals, GP surgeries and other sites are also seeing aggressive reaction to being asked to continue wearing masks and socially distancing.
It is totally unacceptable to see verbal abuse, insults and intimidating behaviour being directed at NHS staff going about their crucial role in supporting the Covid-19 vaccination programme and providing other services.
There has been lots of support for our teams in the face of this abuse, for which we are all extremely grateful. The majority can see that the NHS is continuing to do its best in very challenging situations. Unfortunately a minority choose to act in ways that other human beings should not be subjected to.
Teams providing vaccines are delivering a vital service to get us all out of this pandemic and to save lives. We are promoting the importance of the vaccines but we are not forcing anyone to have them. We are trying to get the vaccine to everyone who wants it and provide information for those who are undecided. If we contact people from the small minority who have decided they do not want it, a polite ‘no thank you’ is all that we need and the least our people deserve. There is no need for obscene and abusive comments.
General practice is open but there is very high demand which means it can be difficult for people to get through on the phones. Face to face appointments are available to those who most need them, but people will continue to be offered phone or video consultations. We are working to improve the position but please bear with us and treat staff with respect.
In terms of masks and social distancing in healthcare settings; this remains national policy across the NHS. The virus has not gone away, infection rates are rising, and it is the right thing to do to continue taking precautions to limit the spread of the virus in healthcare settings. We must protect patients who may be more vulnerable and we must protect staff so they can keep delivering the essential care that all of us may need at any time. People need to wear a mask and follow all the other guidance when visiting NHS sites, and do so without objection or abuse towards our staff.
We hope everyone will join us in taking every opportunity to thank our dedicated NHS teams for their on-going efforts in tackling the virus and addressing the delays to other services which it has caused. They do not deserve to be abused in any way.
COVID Vaccination Update 19.02.2021
PCN Vaccination update https://www.mallingpcn.co.uk/Newsletter (includes Vaccination update)
We are pleased to say that Malling PCN practices have now vaccinated more than 10 000 of our most vulnerable patients.
- We still have many patients to vaccinate and are working hard to ensure that all eligible are called as quickly as we can.
- We are currently inviting patients with chronic health conditions and carers. We have a large number of patients in this group and the invitations will reach you over the next few weeks. This message will be updated when we believe that we have contacted everyone eligible, so please don’t contact your practice until then.
- It is very important that anyone from earlier groups who thinks that they may have been missed or who now wishes to be vaccinated makes themselves known to our reception teams.
If you are aged over 65, are a professional carer or health worker or in receipt of a government shielding letter and would like to be vaccinated at our Leybourne site, please contact your surgery as soon as possible to be booked in.
Covid-19 vaccination information
Covid-19 vaccinations for our patients are being provided from Avicenna Medical Centre, Oxley Shaw Lane, Leybourne. Vaccinations are administered by appointment only at this site, but bookings and cancellations will be facilitated by your practice. There will be home visits for housebound patients.
Please read the questions and answers below about our local vaccination service. Practice phones are very busy at the moment and we need to keep as many lines open as possible for those with other health concerns.
Which priority group are you currently inviting?
Our vaccination service started in December 2020 and we are booking patients as rapidly as we can. At the time of posting we have not been provided with a clear idea about the rate of vaccine supply and cannot map how quickly we will progress through the cohorts below. We can therefore not predict when any one patient will be called but please be assured that we are booking and vaccinating as soon as we receive supplies.
We are inviting patients in the order below:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- All those 65 years of age and over. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
How do you prioritise who is invited first from people in each priority group?
We prioritise according to the groups above. We may start inviting the next cohort whilst vaccinating the last few from the cohort before to ensure that every appointment is filled.
How are you contacting people to invite them for a vaccine?
We have an electronic text system to invite those who can book on a smartphone. We are telephoning those for whom we do not hold a current mobile number or who do not book electronically.
If I cannot attend an appointment what should I do?
If you have received and accepted an invitation for a Covid-19 vaccine, we would strongly encourage you to prioritise coming to the appointment. If for unavoidable reasons you cannot make it, please call your practice to cancel so that we can invite someone else.
How are you supporting patients with dementia to get vaccinated?
We are using the same system described above but the contact will be the individual whom the practice usually contacts regarding medical matters, whether that is the patient, the next of kin for whom we hold patient consent, or their Lasting Power of Attorney. We run regular searches to ensure that no one is missed.
Is there transport available for getting to the vaccine clinic?
We would ask that anyone who does not have their own transport tries to arrange a lift with a friend or relative. A public bus service is available to the shops on Little Market Row, Leybourne which is adjacent to the site.
Why is the vaccine not available from our own surgery?
Across the country GPs are working in groups of practices to provide the Covid-19 vaccine. We understand the people would like to get the vaccine from their own practice but unfortunately this is not possible at this time. If this changes we will update this information.
Should I come for a vaccine if I have symptoms of Covid-19?
No. If you or someone in your immediate household has symptoms of the virus it is essential that you self-isolate and book a test. Your vaccine can be re-arranged after your self-isolation.
If I’ve had Covid-19 do I need the vaccines?
Yes, getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t.
How soon after having Covid-19 can I have the vaccine?
It is recommended that people wait 4 weeks after recovering from Covid-19 or from being tested positive but not experiencing symptoms. We will rearrange invitations if you are in this situation when first invited to have the vaccine.
When will the second dose be given?
From 30 December the national guidance changed and second doses will now be scheduled for 10-12 weeks after the first dose.
Can I pay for the vaccines privately?
No, all Covid-19 vaccines are being provided free by the NHS. If you see any offers to get the vaccine privately it will be a scam and you must not contact them.
Find out more: For more information about the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Kent and Medway please visit www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/covid19vaccine
Second coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine appointments
Due to new advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers, we would like to inform you that the second dose of vaccine will now be delayed to allow more patients to be booked rapidly for their first dose.
While you will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best long-term protection from the virus, you will still have a significant level of protection from the first dose for up to 12 weeks. The new guidance will also help ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the first dose of the vaccine as soon as possible. Please be reassured that there are no safety concerns in the new guidance, and it will not impact on how effective the vaccination is in protecting you from Covid-19 once the course is complete.
Please note that this change in guidance will mean that some appointments will need to be rescheduled. You do not need to contact your Practice. You will be notified if your appointment is affected.
It is important to note that even when you have received your vaccine, you must continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and wearing a mask, as well as the additional measures which are now in place.
We apologise for any inconvenience this new policy may cause you and Practices will contact those affected to book the second dose as soon as they can.
For more information on the vaccine, please visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
This message has been posted by the Malling Primary Care Network Joint Patient Participation Groups