No 1 as of – Jan 20th 2021
This simple FAQ page has been put together to allow people to share basic information about the Covid 19 Vaccination programme for Arundel Surgery Patients. There is up to date information on the Arundel Surgery Web Site or on the Facebook page which can be accessed by a link on the web site. Please share this FAQ with others who might find it useful.
This started out as a short 2 pages – but in the end we had so many questions we have included all the information we have here.
I know that the current situation is frustrating worrying and even frightening – but hopefully by all taking care, keeping safe and getting vaccinated we will see our way ahead. Hopefully, we can all help each other in the coming weeks – while maintaining a safe social distance of course!
Liz Horkin – Chair ASCA
When & Where will I get my vaccination?
The first groups of patients that are eligible for vaccination are those in Residential Care homes, those over 80 and frontline health and social care workers. Arundel Surgery patients who are over 80 are being invited to appointments now, with the next cohort of over 75 about to start.
Why did I not get called weeks ago?
Eight GP practices in the local area set up a vaccination clinic for their patients based in Bognor, Arundel Surgery tried to organise a local service, once it became clear that this was not going to happen for Arundel, the other 8 practices kindly included Arundel patients in their cohort, so vaccinations started a couple of weeks later but, lots of Arundel clinics were set up and they have been catching up steadily. Despite rumours to the contrary we can assure you Arundel Surgery patients have been vaccinated.
As you are probably aware there is a high proportion of over 80’s in the wider community, the Bognor clinic had over 7000 people over 80 across all the practices they cover, so the clinic is working as fast as they can and at the rate of vaccine availability. The local clinic, up to this point, had only been issued with the Pfizer Bi0nTech vaccine. This has to be stored at very low temperatures until it is sent out for use, it is then issued in batches that will provide around 1000 doses which are sent to the vaccination centres, which then have to be given within 3 days. Last week the clinic had given 2200 doses and had hoped to have given another similar number by the end of this week so just over half-way through, however we are now told they have exceeded this number. Also, that residents in care homes will mainly be finished by this weekend. Appointments can be short notice as the clinic can only plan appointments when they are told about a delivery; in some cases, they don’t get much notice.
The Over 75’s are now starting to receive appointments as supplies of Astra Zeneca have just started to be delivered and this vaccine is easier to manage. Progress on the over 80’s is now heading towards 90%. At the end of the January two new mass centres are planned to open, one in Portsmouth and one in Brighton. We do not know which vaccine they will have. When these centres open people from Arundel might be offered the option of going to one of these centres but ASCA has no details or information yet. Nor do we know if the invitations will be by Text or letter, but we believe it is likely to be letter– we will keep you informed as soon as we know.
There has been a lot on the news about when people are getting their vaccine. The differences across the country are partly due to when individual vaccination centres were able to open, individual centres had to be set up and approved and then allocated vaccine. Vaccine is not a constant flow, vaccination centres are dependant on when they get their deliveries. Some centres did open earlier than others so have finished their over 80 groups and have started at the next level – this has received a lot of national attention as it does not seem fair. There are still some areas that have not started vaccination including some very local to us. Hopefully over coming weeks it will start evening out a bit. The Government has ambitions to ensure that everyone over 70, or on front line services has their vaccination or an appointment for a vaccination by Mid- February. We will all have to watch the news to see if the upgrades to the Pfizer factory being undertaken at the moment changes this timetable.
How will I be invited for my vaccination?
The 8 practices mentioned earlier have set up a call centre (and are also working alongside the GP Federation called IPC Ltd) and are dealing with invitations for vaccination slots for our appointments. In the first couple of weeks patients received phone calls but, since the beginning of this week – If you have registered a mobile phone number with the surgery – or your primary carer has, you will receive a text inviting you for an appointment with very simple on-screen instructions. ASCA have been told by patients and carers using the text system it is really easy and straight forward to follow. If you receive a text and are worried how to manage it do ask someone for help. If you do not respond to the text, do not worry you will be called in 24 to 48 hours later.
If you have not registered a mobile phone you will receive a phone call to your main number.
ASCA is not sure yet how appointments will be offered at the mass centres we will update this when we know.
I don’t use texts / have changed my number or similar will I miss my appointment?
If the appointment is not taken up the booking team will call back within 24 to 48 hours – and if they are unsuccessful after 2 attempts the whole process will start again the next week.
I am over 80 & have not been invited for my appointment yet, who should I call?
Please do not call, e mail or write to the surgery, other surgeries, the clinic or IPC; you will get an invitation for an appointment, there are still a few people over 8o to be called. All the staff are very busy trying to sort out appointments or the clinics, they simply can’t continue to cope with the level of phone calls they are getting. Please remember this is the largest logistical exercise ever taken up in peace time and the pace of set up and delivery has been astounding with people all working long hours to make us safe.
Also please do not call the St Nicholas Volunteer hub for a vaccination appointment, they can only organise transport once you have an appointment – if you receive a Text giving their number to book an appointment please be aware it is some sort of hoax or mistake.
I am / my relative is housebound and can not go out to the vaccination centre!
Separate arrangements are being made to vaccinate housebound, due to the difficulties of transporting the Pfizer vaccine – so if at all possible, please try to get to the hub. Otherwise, separate arrangements are being put in place and news will follow soon- you will not be missed out. We note the delivery of Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine just starting locally so are hopeful this will make it easier for home vaccination.
How can I be sure I will not be missed?
The booking service will contact you but if you are really concerned as you feel time is moving on our local MP Andrew Griffith has set up an on line register “No One Misses Out”, where you can input your details if you or a loved one are worried. His team will stay in touch to ensure that you have been called when appropriate and get the vaccine. This can be found on the Andrew Griffith web site – click on the Vaccination update banner and scroll down. (He has no access to medical records) If you do not use the internet ask someone to do it for you.
Andrew Griffith MP’s “No one misses out” survey (surveymonkey.co.uk)
I have no transport or anyone to take me, how do I get there?
Many of the villages around Arundel have local arrangements in place to help people with no transport, if you live in Arundel or do not know who to contact in your village contacts you can:
Phone the volunteer hub at St Nicholas Parish office 01903 882262 or E mail: email@example.com
The volunteer hub can not make vaccination appointments.
Who are IPC?
Appointments for the Bognor Centre are being organised by Innovations in Primary Care (which is owned by West Sussex GP’s as a shared service – it has offices in Arundel. Arundel Surgery has a lon standing relationship with IPC. Appointments are now being done by the practices as the 8 practices have pulled resources together to make it happen so they can manage the workload between them – each call takes 5 to 10 minutes and 7000+ have to be made, so it’s a very big project.
How do I know it is not a SCAM?
The vaccination is free to everyone once eligible you will never be asked to pay. The NHS will never ask for your details, the text will only offer you options to pick a booking slot and will clearly show it is from Arundel Surgery.
When will I have my second dose?
You will be contacted nearer the time – some time closer to 12 weeks after your first jab.
How can I keep in touch of local news about vaccination?
The Arundel Surgery Web Site – with links to their Facebook page. https://arundelsurgery.co.uk/
Andrew Griffith Web site Vaccine Update — https://www.andrewgriffithmp.com/vaccine-update
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is co-orinating the Vaccine roll out in this area and they have a FAQ
Updates to this FAQ
Please feel free to print and copy this FAQ for anyone who you feel has not got access to information.