The vaccine roll-out has been a massive logistical effort on a scale never attempted before in the UK. I’ve been working closely with our local NHS leaders as we’ve progressed, especially to develop a Chichester City centre vaccine hub. I am very grateful to the whole team who have worked tirelessly to find an appropriate site to fulfil this need and all the frontline staff who are doing an incredible job vaccinating the most vulnerable in our society, and eventually everybody, against this virus. - Gillian Keegan MP
Over three quarters of all priority groups have now received their COVID-19 vaccination in Chichester than 40,000 vaccinations have been delivered across the GP practices in and around Chichester.
Over the coming weeks first dose appointments will continue for those in top nine priority groups at both Tangmere and Selsey. There have been concerns that Tangmere will close this month but that is not the case.
In recent weeks people identified by their age have been invited to use the national booking service to arrange an appointment at one of the mass vaccination centres such as the Westgate Centre or pharmacy led services.
Patients with an underlying health condition, for example diabetes and learning disabilities, have been the focus of the local NHS services, with more appointments taking place over the coming days and weeks.
If anyone has an underlying health condition and has not been contacted, please email the service team on email@example.com with your name, date of birth and contact number so they can arrange your appointment.
Second dose appointments will also start in the coming weeks.
The national programme from NHS England sets out that people have to return to the vaccination service where they received their first dose for their second vaccination.
This is to ensure patient safety and make sure that people receive the same type of vaccine that they received for their first vaccination. This means that each service will receive deliveries with the exact number of vaccines as second doses as they gave to patients for their first dose – and the same type of vaccine.
Therefore, if you have received your first vaccine at Selsey or Tangmere, NHS teams will be receiving the specific vaccine supplies to be able to give you your second vaccination.
When the rollout of the vaccine first started, local vaccination services were provided with the Pfizer vaccine to deliver to patients. They are set to receive Pfizer again to deliver the second vaccination for those who had the Pfizer vaccine as their first dose.
It is a different vaccine that is used at the mass vaccination centres (eg Westgate) and this is why people will need to return to those services for their second jab, and this will provide the best possible protection.
The team supporting with the vaccine rollout at Selsey and Tangmere will be contacting people who will be approaching 11 weeks after their first vaccination to arrange the next appointment.
If you have any questions about the vaccination programme please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note this cannot be used to arrange appointments.
Online vaccine booking service:
You can now book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment on the NHS website if you are in the following groups:
- aged 50 or over
- you are at a high risk from coronavirus (extremely clinically vulnerable)
- you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
- you have a condition that puts you at a higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- you have a learning disability
- you are a main carer for someone at a higher risk from coronavirus
You need to be registered with a GP service in order to book a vaccination appointment. If you are not eligible yet, please do wait to be contacted, the NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have the vaccine.
You can access the booking service here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccinat…
The Sussex Health and Care Partnership has advised that people attending their vaccine appointments should arrive as close to their appointment time as possible to ensure services run smoothly.
Learning Disability Register vaccine invitations:
People on the GP Learning Disability Register are now eligible for their COVID-19 vaccination as part of priority group six. This will mean more people with learning disabilities will be offered the vaccine more quickly, and help ensure those most at risk are prioritised for vaccination.
This follows the latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) who are independent advisors to the government, as people who are severely affected by learning disabilities are at higher risk.
It is important that everyone with a learning disability checks that they are on the register and asks their GP to go on it if they are not. The local NHS is working closely with local authorities and other partners to identify anyone else severely affected by a learning disability who is not registered.
Clinically extremely vulnerable list:
More than 20,000 people in Sussex have been added to the list of people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (also known as the shielded patient list) after a new assessment of the health of local communities.
People in this group will receive a letter advising them that they are now on the clinically extremely vulnerable list, putting them at high priority for a vaccination and also a letter from the national vaccination programme to book an appointment.
If you receive this letter, you can book your vaccination straight away by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccinat… or by calling 119. Alternatively, you can wait to be contacted by your local GP-led vaccination service.
You can access more information on how this group was identified on the NHS website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/guidance-and-updates-for-gps-at-risk-patients/.
Westgate Centre vaccination site:
The Sussex Health and Care Partnership and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust have worked tirelessly to find an appropriate site within the Chichester District, and I am very pleased that a vaccination site has opened at the Westgate Centre.
The Partnership, GP practices and the Sussex NHS Trust has met the national target to offer a vaccine to everyone in the first four priority groups. The NHS remains on track to meet the next national target of offering the vaccine to everyone in the first nine priority groups by May.
People aged 50 and over are now able to contact the national booking service directly to arrange an appointment at one of the larger vaccination centres, such as the Westgate Centre, Brighton Centre and Crawley Hospital. You can do so online at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccinat… or you can call 119.
There are a number of ways in which the vaccine is being rolled out to our communities:
- A GP-led vaccination service is where most people living in the district will currently receive their vaccination. At the moment, each area has been allocated one site, but in the case of the district, there are four sites – which is great news for residents and means that the vaccination can be given to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
- Hospital hubs – local hospitals across the country have begun vaccinating frontline health and care staff. St Richard’s Hospital began providing the vaccination in this way last week.
- Roving service - the vaccine will be taken into care homes and into people’s own homes if they cannot attend a vaccination site.
- Large vaccination centres – each county will have access to mass vaccination centres which will be able to give the vaccine to large numbers of people.
- Pharmacy sites - through their place in local neighbourhoods, pharmacies are well placed to reach our diverse communities and help avoid inequalities in access.
Local vaccination services
- St Richard’s Hospital hub has started vaccinating health and social care workers, and some patients that have attended their appointments.
- GP-led vaccination services that have started to deliver the vaccine within the top nine priority groups who are registered with GP practices in the Chichester District:
- South of the district, including those who live in the city
- Selsey Centre
- Tangmere Village Centre
- North of the District, including Loxwood residents
- Pulborough Medical Group
- Riverbank Medical Surgery
- South of the district, including those who live in the city
- The Westgate Centre, The Brighton Centre and Crawley Hospital have opened to provide eligible people across West Sussex greater opportunity to receive their vaccine. People who are in the top nine priority groups will be invited to get their vaccine. They will book their appointment through a national booking system. The centres will be servicing the wider population across Sussex and beyond.
- Midhurst Pharmacy, Midhurst Memorial Hall went live on 29 January and will reach out to those in the priority cohorts who will book an appointment through the national booking system.
- Roving Service to vaccinate those who are housebound and care home residents is underway and is being carried out by GP practices teams and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. You will be contacted when an appointment is available.
Older people in care homes are one of the top priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine due to their high risk from coronavirus. I am in regular contact with the Sussex Health and Care Partnership and the Partnership, GP practice teams and the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust have been working tirelessly to vaccinate both residents and staff across Sussex.
The initial priority has been care homes for older residents. The Partnership have vaccinated all care home residents able to have the vaccine as of 31 January and has met the government's target.
I understand that some care homes are currently experiencing positive cases of COVID-19 amongst their residents and in these cases the home or those residents who are unwell have not been able to have their vaccination at this point. Anyone with COVID-19 are unable to receive the vaccine while they are recovering. The vaccination teams have a clear schedule in place and will be revisiting them 28 days following the positive test. In Sussex, we have one of the highest numbers of nursing and care homes per capita across the country and so this is a significant undertaking, but thanks to the dedication and commitment of the vaccination teams from GP practice teams and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, excellent progress is being made.
What is a GP led vaccination service?
GP-led vaccination services are run by groups of local GP practices working together to provide the vaccination to patients across their area.
The way in which GP vaccination services are delivered has been agreed at a national level and as mentioned above, each area is typically allocated one GP-led vaccination site. The Chichester District will have four GP-led vaccination sites, two that are in the north and two that are in the south. This is to ensure that the vaccination can be given to as many people as quickly as possible.
Where are the locations of the GP-led vaccination sites and which patients will go where?
There will be four GP-led vaccination services covering the populations living across the Chichester District:
- Selsey Centre
- Tangmere Village Centre
- Pulborough Medical Group
- Riverbank Medical Surgery
These will be offering appointments over the coming weeks to patients who are registered at the following GP surgeries:
Selsey Centre and Tangmere Village Centre will offer the vaccine for patients registered at:
- Cathedral Medical Group
- Langley House Surgery
- Lavant Road Surgery
- Parklands Surgery
- Selsey Medical Practice
- Southbourne Surgery
- Tangmere Medical Centre
- Witterings Medical Centre
Pulborough Medical Group is offering vaccinations for patients registered at:
- Pulborough Medical Group
- Loxwood Surgery
Riverbank Medical Surgery will be offering vaccinations for patients registered at:
- Riverbank Medical Centre
- Petworth Surgery
This is a rapidly changing situation and more sites are likely to be added across Sussex over the coming weeks.
What about those who may find it difficult to get to a vaccination site?
The Sussex Health and Care Partnership recognise that some people will have to travel further than others to get their vaccination, depending on where they live. They understand this will pose a challenge for some people, particularly those who are vulnerable, and are looking at how people can be supported to get their vaccination in the safest possible way.
It is important to highlight that attending a vaccine appointment is an acceptable reason to leave the house during lockdown, including accepting a lift or accessing community transport. The Partnership are working with the GP practices to make community transport details available for those who need it.
People will be contacted directly if they are housebound for a home visit appointment via the roving service.
I am aged 50 or over, or on the clinically extremely vulnerable list or on the Learning Disability Register, and have been sent a letter inviting me to book my vaccination – what do I need to do?
People aged 50 and over, people on the clinically extremely vulnerable list and people on the Learning Disability Register as part of priority six group are the next eligible groups for the vaccination. People in these groups are starting to receive letters from the national vaccination booking system inviting you to book your vaccination appointment. You can do this online by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccinat… or calling 119 free of charge.
Through the national system you can arrange your appointment at one of the larger vaccination centres including Chichester, Brighton or Crawley or one of the pharmacy services like in Midhurst.
You also have the choice to ignore the letter and you will be contacted by your local GP led vaccination service when an appointment is available for you.
When will I be contacted about the vaccination?
The national Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) decides the vaccine priority groups and have advised that the vaccine. People will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to receive the vaccine.
The eligible cohorts are:
- Priority 1: Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults.
- Priority 2: All those 80 years of age and over, frontline health and social care workers.
- Priority 3: All those 75 years of age and over.
- Priority 4: All those 70 years of age and over, those clinical extremely vulnerable individuals over 16 years old.
- Priority 5: All those 65 years of age and over.
- Priority 6: Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at risk group.
- Priority 7: All those 60 years of age and over.
- Priority 8: All those 55 years of age and over.
- Priority 9: All those 50 years of age and over.
Individuals are being asked not to contact their GP practices, as they will not be able to book appointments.
Why is my local vaccination service not open all week?
All of the GP led and local vaccination services are working extremely hard to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible with the vaccines they have available, and those in the top nine priority groups can expect to be vaccinated by May.
The days that these services are open largely depends on the supply of vaccine from the national stocks. So not running the vaccination service everyday isn’t unusual at this time. Most local vaccination services are receiving confirmation of their delivery, then working to invite in people for that set number of vaccines, and then will open for dedicated days to use up their vaccine.
GP practices are also working really hard at the moment to maintain both general medical services and the vaccination programme, and so will have teams back in their surgeries to ensure that can continue to provide the day to day care needed by their patients. If your local vaccination service doesn’t appear to be vaccinating one day, they will be back in their GP practices, providing care to patients, making appointments for their next sessions, and getting ready for when the service opens that week.
The NHS has already offered the vaccine to everyone in the area in the first four priority groups and remains on track to offer it to everyone in the first nine priority groups by May, in line with the national target.
People who are now eligible for the vaccine can book their first appointment online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccinat… or by calling 119.
What is the difference between the vaccination centres at Chichester, Brighton and Crawley, and the GP-led services in West Sussex?
The vaccination centres at Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester, the Brighton Centre and Crawley Hospital are offering appointments to anyone eligible living within 60 miles of the location.
GP-led vaccination services provide appointments for patients at specific GP practices.
While GPs invite their patients to get vaccinated at their local vaccination service, appointments at the vaccination centres are made through the national booking system.
The NHS national booking system writes to eligible people, living within 60 miles of a vaccination centre, inviting them to book an appointment at the centre online or over the phone. The letter contains all the details people will need to book their appointment.
Anyone receiving a letter from the national booking service can choose whether to book an appointment at the vaccination centre, or wait until they are contacted by their GP for an appointment at their local vaccination service if that would be more convenient.
How do I get an appointment at a vaccination centre?
The national NHS booking service is writing to eligible people, living within 60 miles of a vaccination centre, inviting them to book an appointment at the centre online or over the phone. The letter contains all the details people will need to book their appointment.
Can I attend any large vaccination centre in the country?
Letters are being sent by the national team to anyone living within 60 miles of a large vaccination centre or pharmacy service. For this service, you can book by calling a dedicated phone line or visiting the national booking system online as outlined in the letter.
At this point you will be able to consider all available vaccination centres and pharmacy services with the radius of your postcode. There are no restrictions to people moving across boundaries in order to receive your vaccination i.e you are able to book an appointment with a Hampshire or Surrey service if these are more convenient for you.
Where can I find out more information?
Please visit the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/faqs-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/