GPs in Sussex begin offering COVID-19 vaccine as part of the biggest NHS immunisation programme

Local vaccination services in the community run by family doctors and their teams open across Sussex today.

This is the latest stage of the roll out of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.

Eight vaccination services go live across today and tomorrow in the first phase of GP led services for our local population.

This follows the launch of the vaccination programme in hospital hubs last Tuesday, 08 December 2020.

Each vaccination service is being supported by one or several GP practices, with their teams working collectively to vaccinate patients at these sites.

At the vaccination services, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other NHS staff will work alongside GPs to vaccinate those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and residents, identified as priority groups for the life-saving vaccine.

Today’s milestone marks significant work from GP practice teams across Sussex to work rapidly over the last weeks to plan for the vaccination programme, redesign their sites and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.

The sites that go live today are the first across Sussex, but more will launch over the coming weeks with more GP practices contacting patients to invite them in for their vaccinations.

People are asked not to contact their GP surgery so that their practice team can focus on arranging the vaccinations and provide day to day for all of their registered patients. You will be contacted when it is your turn to receive the vaccine.

Allison Cannon, Chief Nursing Officer at Sussex Commissioners, said:

“Today marks a significant day in Sussex as we go live with our first GP led services in the greatest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS.

“It has been incredible to see the efforts of GP practices and teams across Sussex coming together to work collectively to prepare for today and I am proud of everyone who is involved.

“Just as with our hospital colleagues last week, GPs and their teams have been planning for this alongside providing day to day care for their patients and delivering the flu campaign, which demonstrates just how important this is.

“These sites are only the first GP led vaccination services for our area and we will see many more going live over the coming days and weeks to reach across our entire population and ensure the most vulnerable are protected against COVID-19.

“We won’t be vaccinating everyone all at once – it will be a relatively small number at first – but this is a phased roll out to reach everyone, and I would urge everyone who is contacted to attend your appointment and receive this important protection.”

Key message for the public

The public have an important part to play to help them do this:

  • please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
  • when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments; and
  • please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.

For straightforward steps to keep yourself and others safe and get help if you need it, visit www.keepsussexsafe.uk