Teams from Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust working at the Brighton Centre this week delivered their 150,000th COVID-19 immunisation, helping to protect local people from the deadly virus.
The amazing milestone has been reached thanks to all the hard work and dedication teams of healthcare professionals and volunteers.
COVID-19 vaccination centres are one part of the Sussex vaccination programme, which includes GP led services, roving teams, community pharmacies and hospital hubs. Teams from Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) are running a number of vaccination centres in Sussex, in addition to the local GP-led vaccination services that cover all patients in Sussex.
SCFT teams have set up and run five large vaccination centres as part of the largest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS – at The Brighton Centre, The Welcome Building in Eastbourne, Crawley Hospital, Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester and Etchingham Village Hall (run with local GPs), as well as roving teams who have been working with GP teams to deliver thousands of vaccinations to care home staff and residents and people who have been unable to leave their homes.
The Practice Manager at Flansham Park Surgery, Natalie Cole has received a national award for setting up Bognor’s Covid Vaccination System, which helped deliver more than 55,000 vaccines across the region.
Natalie has been with the NHS for more than ten years and like so many, goes over and above. Natalie received the award, which recognises her ‘Outstanding Performance during the Pandemic’, on May 25 and, though it’s her name on the plaque, she insists it represents the hard work of the entire bookings team, almost all of whom were volunteers.
Natalie said: “The award is really for the bookings team and our Primary Care Network. We were very lucky to get nine practices to work as closely as we do and achieve what we have. It’s really rare. My friends and colleagues have been amazing, we really do work as a great team.
“We had 41 people at our peak. And that was mainly practice staff, people who were willing to give up their evenings and weekends, but we also took on friends and family who’d been furloughed or made redundant.”
The Hidden Hero Awards are presented by four companies which have supported practices throughout the pandemic: Dene Healthcare, Gama Healthcare, Interface Clinical Services and Practice Index.
Pop up vaccination sessions are taking place in various city-centre locations in Brighton & Hove this week, as the vaccination is offered to all adults over 30, unpaid carers and those considered to be clinically vulnerable.
Mobile vaccination units will be visiting the following locations in the coming days:
The pop-up clinics are part of a city-wide campaign to encourage as many eligible people as possible to get their vaccinations and remove any barriers people may be facing when getting their jab.
A converted St John Ambulance and a double decker bus, supplied by Brighton and Hove Buses, are visiting locations across the city to provide vaccinations to people who may not be able to reach the larger vaccination sites, such as the Brighton Centre or Brighton Racecourse.
Fiona, who volunteers on the mobile vaccination bus, said: “One of the things I’ve really liked about being on the vaccination unit is that a lot of people come who haven’t been able to be vaccinated before and haven’t had the opportunity.
“I was working on a unit and we had a gentleman who came to us who hadn’t been out for 15 months. He was somebody who had to shield for clinical reasons and this was the first opportunity he had to come out and the first thing he was able to do was get vaccinated.”
Following the success of the COVID-19 quiet session at our larger vaccination centres, we will be holding our first GP-led vaccination quiet session at the Apple Tree Centre, Crawley, on Sunday 13 June 10am – 2pm.
The quiet session is available for people living in Sussex who are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, and who would benefit from a quieter and calmer environment, or a longer more relaxed appointment slot. This may include:
People can book their appointment by calling or texting 07393798050.
There is the option to book free travel to and from the vaccine centre, and any carer with the person being vaccinated can also book to have their first vaccine dose, if they haven’t already had it.
More COVID vaccine pop-up clinics are coming to Hastings in June and July to help people get their jabs that bit closer to home. A number of similar clinics were previously offered in May at central locations, and these proved popular with local people.
People over the age of 30, those who have a serious long-term health issue, and unpaid carers are all currently eligible to receive the vaccine.
These community sessions are for first vaccinations only and you do not have to book an appointment, just turn up during the times below.
If you have already had your first jab at another service elsewhere please wait for them to let you know your second appointment time and go back to them for your second jab.
The clinics are taking place on:
Broomgrove Community Centre, 85 Chiltern Drive, Hastings TN34 3PY
Warrior Square Surgery, Marlborough House, Warrior Square, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6BG
St Leonards Medical Centre, 126 Bexhill Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN38 8BL
I have received a text to bring my second dose appointment forward but I had to cancel my original appointment online and now can’t see anything sooner.
We are aware that some people are receiving a text to say that they can now move their second dose appointment forward to 8 weeks from the date of their first vaccination if they are in JCVI priority cohorts 1-9 and when they try to do this are having difficulties.
Appointments are made available in line with vaccine supply and more appointments are being added each day. We are confirming further vaccine supply for second dose appointments and so even more appointments are expected to be added for the coming weeks.
If you have had to cancel your original appointment to try to arrange a new one but can’t see a date sooner than you had originally had booked, please don’t worry; check back online or call 119 over the coming days and you should be able to book for an earlier date.
This week is Volunteers’ Week – a national celebration of volunteering across the UK and a time to say thank you to all of the volunteers who have supported health and care organisations across Sussex over the last year.
Throughout the week, we have been sharing stories of some of the brilliant individuals and organisations who have given their time to support their local communities and healthcare system. You can read all of them on our campaign webpages.
One such individual is Fay. Fay, along with her dad Alan, has been volunteering as a Vaccination Champion for Sussex Health and Care Partnership since the early days of the vaccination programme. They have been helping to spread reliable information about the vaccine and boost local confidence about the vaccination roll-out through a range of activities such as a local Facebook page and a regular column in a local newspaper.
Hear more from Fay about why she volunteered as a Vaccination Champion and what she has been doing to support the programme in this video.
Much more information about the vaccination programme is available on our website, including details of the services available in each area, latest data, stakeholder 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.