COVID-19 vaccination update, 2 February

Vaccination reassurance for those who are housebound

Home visits for people who are eligible and considered housebound across Sussex are underway, and people are being reassured they will be contacted in the next two weeks.

The NHS is on course to offer the vaccination to the top four priority groups by the middle of this month, in line with the national target. This includes those in the priority groups who are considered housebound.

This is being carried out by a ‘roving’ service, which involves NHS teams taking the vaccination to people’s place of residence to be vaccinated. This is being carried out by a combination of either the GP-led vaccination services or Sussex Community Foundation NHS Trust.

Allison Cannon, Chief Nurse for the Sussex NHS Commissioners, said:

“People who are considered housebound are being contacted and vaccinated in their home. Because this involves taking the vaccine into people’s individual homes, it takes longer to vaccinate these people than it does in the GP-led vaccination services or the larger vaccination centres.

“We are aware there has been some concern from people who are housebound who have not yet been contacted, especially as they are seeing other people who are able to travel being invited to get their vaccine. We want to assure those people that you have not been forgotten about and that you will be contacted as soon as possible for your vaccination.”

Myth-busters

I need to call my GP practice or the venue of a clinic to arrange my vaccination

We understand that in some cases when people who are eligible are speaking to the national booking service after receiving a letter inviting them to book an appointment, they are being directed back to their GP practice – or in some cases to the venues where clinics are taking place.

If you are eligible and have not yet had your vaccination, and would like to receive it at your GP led vaccination service, you do not need to do anything. You will be on their list and you will be contacted in the next two weeks to arrange an appointment.

We have had reports of people being advised to call the Selsey Centre and venues in Crawley – please do not call. You will be contacted by your GP led service as soon as an appointment is available. We remain on track to have offered a vaccination appointment to all those in the eligible groups by mid February.

I have phoned the national booking service and now need to call my GP to book an appointment locally

People who are eligible for the vaccination are starting to receive letters inviting them to use the national booking service to arrange a vaccination appointment at one of the larger vaccination centres, including Welcome House in Eastbourne, and pharmacy-led services.

This is one option for you. You can also choose to wait to be contacted by your GP led service in the next two weeks – or attend an appointment you have booked with your local GP led service.

If you are contacted by the national booking service but would like to have an appointment with your GP led service, please be assured you don’t need to take any action. You will be on their list and you will be contacted in the next two weeks.

Please don’t call your GP practice as they are often not directly booking these appointments and so cannot make the arrangements for you. You will be contacted as soon as an appointment is available. We remain on track to have offered a vaccination appointment to all those in the eligible groups by mid-February.

I can’t get a second appointment for the Brighton Centre through the national booking service

Both first and second dose appointments are now available via the national booking service – either online or over the phone – at the Brighton Centre. We understand that there was an admin issue earlier this week which was preventing second dose appointments being made at the time of booking and people were being offered appointments much further away. This has now been updated and if you have received a letter from the national booking service and choose to use this route to book your appointment, you can now select the Brighton Centre for your first and second appointments.

Share your vaccine story to help encourage others to take up the offer

Have you had your vaccine, or has someone close to you had it?

We hope it went well and we would like to hear your stories about your vaccine experience, or that of your loved one, so that we can share it with others.

The NHS has been working tirelessly to care for people during the pandemic, and now is rolling out the biggest vaccine programme in its history. By sharing your story you will be helping the NHS to do this as it will show other people like you, or your loved ones, what the experience of being vaccinated is actually like.

Anyone who would like to share their story will be asked to answer a few short questions by email or over the phone, and then these answers would be written up article by the NHS communications team to be used to promote the vaccine in Sussex, for example on NHS websites or in local newsletters. Their story will not be used anywhere without their approval and express permission.

If this is something that you would like help support, please email sxccg.commsresponseteam@nhs.net for more information.

For more information

Much more information about the vaccination programme is available on our website, including details of the services available in each area, latest datastakeholder briefings, answers to frequently asked questions and links to all the national leaflets and materials.

Thank you for your support in helping to keep our local communities updated and informed about this fast-moving and unprecedented vaccination programme.

> Find more information about the Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme