Coronavirus: News from our partners – Shropshire patients get the vaccination against COVID-19 closer to home
News from our partners Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)
Patients aged 80 and above have started receiving the vaccination against COVID-19 in south east Shropshire, the first community site in the county to offer the service. The local Primary Care Network, which is made up of nine local GP practices, started to offer the vaccine at the Bridgnorth Medical Practice on Tuesday 15 December 2020, and expects to deliver nearly 1000 vaccinations by the end of the week.
GPs and their teams from across the 180 square miles covered by the nine practices contacted eligible patients over the weekend to invite them to book appointments, and then joined forces to deliver them in the spacious Bridgnorth practice.
Caroline (82) and Kenneth Harrold (83), patients at the Cleobury Mortimer Medical Centre, had the first two appointments to receive their vaccinations. They said:
“We were pleasantly surprised to be contacted so soon and offered an appointment. We think it’s really important that people have this vaccine. It’s so easy and we’d encourage people not to hesitate when contacted.”
Maureen Lloyd celebrates her 83rd birthday next month and is registered with a GP in Ditton Priors, some 18 miles from Bridgnorth. She said:
“I think I was the fifth patient today to receive the vaccine and I’d like to thank everyone at my GP practice for making sure we are all being booked in. Like most people my age, I really don’t want to get the virus, so while the vaccine is important, we must all continue to stay safe and be sensible to protect ourselves and everyone around us.”
Brian Hill, 82, from Cleobury Mortimer, added:
“I have two fantastic great grandchildren aged five and three years old and I want to be around to see them grow up. The vaccine is a good thing for us all and I’m looking forward to sharing this Christmas and many more with them.”
The community service comes just one week after the opening of the Hospital Hub at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Patients are prioritised according to government advice and must have an appointment to receive their vaccination. Patients without an appointment cannot be seen as all booking slots are allocated before arrival.
Dr James Swallow, GP partner at Bridgnorth Medical Practice and Clinical Director for South East Shropshire Primary Care Network (PCN), said:
“We are glad to be welcoming people from across the area, many of whom live in rural communities, to take up the opportunity to receive their vaccination at a location close to home. This saves them from travelling longer distances to one of the counties larger towns.
“Patients over the age of 80 are our priority at this time and it’s great to see that they are very enthusiastic and pleased to be offered their vaccine so soon after it has been made available.
“Colleagues in all roles across the nine practices have been fantastic in getting this service up and running over this weekend and in starting delivery today.
“The vaccine is a fantastic opportunity to restore a degree of normality. I would encourage anyone offered the vaccine against COVID-19 to step forward when asked to do so.”
Health chiefs from Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin will stand up more vaccination services over the coming weeks. People will be contacted when they are eligible for the vaccine. In the meantime, patients are being asked not to contact their GP or the hospitals, and should wait to receive a letter or phone call inviting them to book their appointment.
Local people continue to be asked to do everything they can to stop the spread of the virus, by following the Government guidance and adhering to the Tier 2 restrictions which are currently in place in Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin. The advice continues to be to not socialise indoors, wash your hands, wear a face covering where appropriate, and maintain a distance of two metres from other people.
The South East Shropshire Alliance Primary Care Network is formed of nine practices:
- Albrighton Medical Practice
- Alveley Medical Practice
- Bridgnorth Medical Practice
- Brown Clee Medical Practice
- Cleobury Mortimer Medical Centre
- Highley Medical Centre
- Much Wenlock and Cressage Medical Practice
- Broseley Medical Practice
- Ironbridge Medical Practice.