Martlesham PPG continued to meet online throughout 2020 and will do so for as long as necessary. We were very aware of the pressures facing our surgery staff, so some meetings have been patient members only. Progress on our projects has been slow going so I will tell you more once we know they can go ahead and are nearer to implementation.
At the time of writing, this is what we know about Covid-19 vaccinations for patients of Martlesham Heath and The Birches surgeries. Any updates will be on the surgery websites (mhdoctors.co.uk and thebircheskesgrave.co.uk) and notices in surgery windows.
Patients of both practices will be offered appointments at The Grove Medical Centre in Felixstowe (we are in the same Primary Care Network) where they have bigger premises. They will have direct access to our patient records, so you don’t need to take your NHS number (as being circulated via social media).
Vaccines are expected to be delivered to The Grove on Friday 15 January and, assuming that happens, they intend to start vaccinating the next day. A few of our practice nurses, receptionists and admin staff have volunteered to deliver vaccines or act as volunteers at The Grove and will be called upon if needed.
If you are housebound, you will not be expected to travel to Felixstowe. Your vaccine will be administered locally, the same as care home residents. Please do not contact any surgery to request a Covid-19 vaccination. You will be contacted and offered an appointment when it is your turn so please make sure your surgery has your current contact details if these have changed recently. Once an appointment is accepted, please make sure to attend so as not to waste it.
There is a priority list for the vaccines starting with care home residents and staff, then the oldest patients aged 80 and over and health and social care workers. They will be followed by patients aged 75 and over, then 70 and over and adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable (not including pregnant women). The next two groups are 65 and over, then adults in an ‘at risk’ group. After that, the priority list goes down in five-year age bands and finally, the tenth band is everyone under the age of 50. You can see the full priority list and who is included in the ‘at risk’ groups on the surgery websites.
When you go, please wear a face covering and go alone unless accompanied by a carer. Also, please bear in mind that you may have to wait outside for your turn so dress appropriately. After you’ve had your vaccination, please continue to maintain social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands to reduce transmission of the virus and keep us all safe.
While you are waiting to hear, flu vaccinations for patients aged 50-64 are still available, so contact your own surgery if you’d like one. Hopefully, by the time you read this, spring won’t be far away, and we can all look forward to the warmer weather and less worrying times.
Prue – Chair, Martlesham Heath PPG
In collaboration with the chair of The Birches PPG
This article runs in the February edition of Kesgrave & Rushmere which you can read in full by clicking on Magazines.