COVID VACCINATION PROGRAMME & LATEST UPDATES

NHSEngland wrote to all Practices this week (15th February 2021) to update on a new, data-driven risk assessment, called the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment.

This has been developed to help identify people who may be at high risk from COVID-19. It has been used at a national level to help identify an additional group of patients with specific multiple risk factors which, combined, may put them at similar risk to those who are clinically
extremely vulnerable to severe outcomes.

As a precautionary measure, this group will now be added to the Shielded Patient List (SPL), on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer. This is to enable them to be prioritised for vaccination if not already vaccinated, and to provide them with additional advice and support. In practice, this means they will now be offered vaccines at the top of cohort 6.

What does this mean for patients?
Additional patients identified by this risk assessment will be added to the SPL by NHS Digital, starting with those aged 19-69. They will be contacted directly to inform them from this week. Patients will be informed that this measure will allow them more rapid access to vaccination if they have not already been vaccinated. They will also be advised to follow Government guidance for those who are high risk, which currently includes shielding, as a precaution. Government communications will recognise that whilst people may feel that the advice is not so relevant as infection rates decline, it is still important that they are aware of their risk status.

If you think you should be included in the newly updated at-risk group, then please wait to receive your letter, this should be sent to you, directly from NHSE within the next two weeks. If after this time, you have not received a letter, then please e-mail the Practice cuckfield.reception@nhs.net to ask to be added to our list and we will review and discuss this with you. Please also be aware that our clinical systems will take longer to be updated by these central searches and you may receive a letter, but our system does not show that information yet.

On request of NHSE we will now be prioritising Cohort 6 which will include those patients who have been sent a letter letting them know they have been identified by the new risk assessment.

Summary and eligibility. JCVI priority Cohort 6 includes ‘all individuals aged 16 years to 65 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality’. This also includes those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
The list of at-risk conditions can be further subdivided into three main sub-cohorts:
• Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group which includes:
o Chronic respiratory disease
o Chronic heart disease and vascular disease
o Chronic kidney disease
o Chronic liver disease
o Chronic neurological disease, including severe or profound learning
disability
o Diabetes mellitus
o Immunosuppression
o Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
o Morbid obesity
o Severe mental illness
• Younger adults in long-stay in-patient, nursing and residential care settings
• Adult carers:
o Those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole
or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk
of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

Patients who are within Cohort 5 – patients aged between 65 and 69 will receive a letter inviting them to have a vaccination at one of the mass sites in either Crawley or Brighton. If travelling to these sites may cause you an issue, you can choose to have the vaccine locally at Clair Hall. Please contact the Practice so that we can book that for you.

For Translated COVID-19 Resources – please click on https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/translated-covid-19-resources/

Please click on https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/ for information from the CCG regarding the vaccination programme. The CCG have set up a dedicated inbox for enquiries about the vaccination programme, we ask that you please direct any queries you may have to this email address rather than contacting the Practice – sxccg.vaccineenquiries@nhs.net

Update on the COVID-19 vaccination programme: national vaccination letters

We are aware that some of our patients are starting to receive letters from the national vaccination booking system. The letters are labelled only from the NHS and invites you to book your vaccination appointment.

Please don’t worry, our service is not affected.

These letters are offering the opportunity to book an appointment at one of the larger vaccination centres, such as the Brighton Centre or a local pharmacy. You cannot book at our vaccination service through this system.

Our vaccination service at Perrymount Hall (formerly Clair Hall) is working alongside these other services. You have a choice where you receive your vaccination – at our service, at a larger vaccination centre like the Brighton Centre or at a local pharmacy service.

Our team will contact you directly to arrange an appointment at our vaccination service. Appointments for the larger vaccination centres and pharmacies are available through the national booking system set out in the letter – either online or by phone.

You can either follow the details in the letter to book at one of those services, or we will be contacting you in the next two weeks to arrange an appointment in our local service.

We thank you for your support.

COVID Vaccine update – Haywards Heath has had confirmation of further vaccine supplies being delivered and therefore we will be contacting patients in the eligible cohorts to provide appointments.  We have nearly vaccinated all of our over 80 year old patients that have wanted the vaccine and will be moving on to the over 75 year group this week.  PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE PRACTICE TO ASK ABOUT YOUR APPOINTMENT – we will contact you, this will be either by SMS text or by phone.  The system we use for booking appointments uses texts, so despite some unhelpful misinformation recently on the BBC One Show, you may get a text from us for your appointment.

In addition – Housebound patients will be contacted this week and next week to start the delivery of those vaccinations, again please don’t phone the Practice, our lines are really busy and we will be contacting you to organise your visit.

Reminder calls following national COVID-19 vaccination booking letters being sent – The national NHS Immunisation Management Service is starting to call people that have received letters to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments through 119 or www.nhs.uk, where they haven’t already booked an appointment. The number that people will see when receiving the call is 0300 561 0240.

The service will make it clear that if people have already had their first dose, they just need to wait for their local NHS services to contact them about the second dose. They will be clear that booking through 119 or www.nhs.uk is one option and they can wait to be contacted through their local GP services if they haven’t been already. The callers will remind people that they will not book people into appointments on the phone.

As always, the NHS will NEVER:

• ask people for their bank account or card details

• ask people for their pin or banking password

• ask people to prove their identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips

If anyone believes they are a victim of fraud or identify theft they should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

To date Haywards Heath COVID vaccination programme, of which our Practice is one of six member Practices, have vaccinated over 7,000 patients. This is an incredible achievement only made possible with the support of our Federation Alliance for Better Care,  https://abcltd.org.uk/ who have supported Practices all over Mid Sussex and East Surrey set up their vaccination hubs.

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