NHS ready for busiest ever COVID vaccination week as thousands more appointments made available

Progress continues this week across Sussex to rise to the challenge to accelerate the COVID-19 booster vaccination programme.

Vaccination teams are working endlessly to extend opening hours, open on further days during the week and do all they can to increase the number of appointments available.

Teams from Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust are moving mountains in the herculean effort to offer all adults a booster COVID jab by the end of December – with Christmas week forecast to be their busiest yet.

Over the next five days staff are expected to deliver up to 20,000 vaccinations in the run up to Christmas.

In the 7 days since the government announced it was accelerating the booster vaccine programme, more than 150,000 vaccinations have been delivered in Sussex, an increase of 30,000 compared to the week before.

As part of that SCFT has delivered a total of 21,000 vaccinations, 5,000 more than the week before while working around the clock to do everything it can to add even more appointments, including extending opening hours, recruiting more staff and volunteers and reopening a vaccination centre in Crawley.

In Brighton;

Staff have increased the number of people they are vaccinating at the Churchill Square Centre from 1,400 to more than 2,000 per day, with a plan to increase further in the coming days.

In Crawley;

Staff have re-opened the vaccination centre at Crawley Hospital, where teams will be able to deliver up to 1,500 vaccinations a day

In Chichester;

Staff have increased capacity to deliver more than 2,000 vaccinations a day from the site in Northgate, with a third Mobile Vaccination Centre due to be delivered today (Monday, December 20).

All appointments are available to book via the national booking service or by calling 119.

Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive of SCFT, said: “The way colleagues have come together to rise to this challenge is nothing short of phenomenal and represents everything that’s great about the NHS.

“We have delivered more than 750,000 vaccinations from our centres since they opened in January and we have again worked around the clock to increase that capacity every day since last week’s government announcement. We are doing everything we can to make sure our communities can access a booster vaccine by the end of the year.

“I encourage everyone to get their vaccination as quickly as possible. We’re adding appointments every day to the National Booking Service and our teams are ready to welcome you.

“This huge effort just wouldn’t be possible without our army of amazing volunteers and I want to say a special thank you to everyone who has stepped forward to help, and of course all NHS colleagues who continue to work so hard to keep our day to day community services running for the people who need our care.”

Amy Galea, Senior Responsible Officer for the Sussex COVID-19 and Influenza Vaccination Programme said:

“Our vaccination teams are working extremely hard to continue to significantly increase the number of appointments available and ensure that everyone who is eligible is able to receive their vital protection.

“All of our teams have been taking steps to stay open for longer, offer more appointments at each session, and reach as many people in their communities as possible.

“The measures that SCFT are taking this week are fantastic for our population and our thanks go out to all of the site teams from the vaccinators and site teams to the many, many volunteers supporting this effort.”