We would like to update you on urgent but hopefully short-term changes to the services provided by East Cornwall GP Practices during the COVID -19 vaccination programme from January 2021.
Some of you may have already read or heard that the first vaccination site to go live in East Cornwall is at Millennium House in Pensilva. The 9 GP practices in the East Cornwall Primary Care Network (PCN) are working together to offer vaccinations from Thursday 14th January. It is anticipated that more vaccination sites will go live in the very near future.
The Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has agreed 9 high priority groups (see the table below) and the Government has set an ambitious timetable to vaccinate the first 4 groups by 15th February.
|Priority Group||Risk Group|
|1||Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults|
|2||All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers|
|3||All those 75 years of age and over|
|4||All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)|
|5||All those 65 years of age and over|
|6||Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group|
|7||All those 60 years of age and over|
|8||All those 55 years of age and over|
|9||All those 50 years of age and over|
|10||Rest of the population|
Due to the current Covid infection rates in Cornwall the current advice from NHS England is to reduce all non-urgent work. We have several staff off work with Covid as well as a local community of patients who need our attention. Our doctors are also at the forefront of running the local vaccination hubs which is an urgent priority to benefit our patients.
As a result of this massive challenge, Practices have been instructed only to provide medically urgent care, for emergencies, urgent issues, urgent mental health problems and serious concerns.
For the next 4-6 weeks, we will be only offering urgent and / or emergency medical care. On the days we are actually running the Covid vaccination clinics, large numbers of staff are being redeployed to ensure we deliver the vaccines as quickly as possible to our local population and will not be available for routine care. They will be supported by the PCN Clinical Pharmacists, former NHS healthcare professionals and a pool of non-clinical volunteers to ensure the vaccine rollout is a success.
We appreciate that inevitably this will mean that some lower priority problems will not get actioned in their usual time frame, but please be patient.
We are still here, however, and we remain open and if the nature of your condition means that it is not possible to wait until normal service has been resumed please use the e-consult option on all Practice websites. It is really important that if you have symptoms that you are concerned about you still contact us. However we are asking that if you have a routine problem that can wait, that you avoid contacting us for the time being.
If you are unable to use e-consult and wish to phone, this may take longer than usual, and our staff will be required to ask questions for triage. Problems will take longer to deal with due to fewer staff and prioritisation of urgent issues and vaccines.
Please be reassured we are all working as hard as we can to look after you and ensure a vaccination programme happens quickly and safely to protect us all.
We’re here to help and please do reach out to us if you need urgent help.
If not please do consider alternatives such as self-care, use of www.nhs.uk, NHS 111 online symptom checker, LIVI online consultations out of hours (details on Practice websites) or consulting with your local pharmacy.