You will probably be very keen to get your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible and will want to know when and where you can get your jab.
The NHS is working extremely hard to get the vaccine to everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. We have been making very good progress in the short period of time since the vaccination became available. However, we all need to recognise this is the largest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS and it will take time to get to everyone.
Further information (which will be updated)
The local vaccination services for Riverbank Medical Centre, Midhurst are currently:
- Riverbank Medical Centre
- Midhurst Pharmacy
WSCC – Frequently Asked Questions – 28 January 2021
We know that people want to know more about the vaccination programme and how it will affect them and their loved-ones.
To help us get information out to people and deal with the high volume of enquiries that we are receiving, we are regularly updating our FAQs on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website, to address common questions and queries.
I have been sent a letter inviting me to book my vaccination – what do I need to do?
We are aware that patients are starting to receive letters from the national vaccination booking system. The letter is labelled only from the NHS and invites you to book your vaccination appointment. We recognise that these letters are causing confusion and we want to provide a simple summary of how people can receive their vaccination and the purpose of these letters. In our area, people in the eligible groups are able to receive their vaccination at either a GP led or local vaccination service, a larger vaccination centre such as the Brighton Centre which went live this week, a local pharmacy service, or a roving service which is visiting care homes and those who are housebound. All of these services are working alongside each other and provide people with choice to decide where they would like to receive their vaccination. GP led or local vaccination services are contacting patients directly by phone, text or letter to book an appointment. People will also be contacted directly if they are housebound and not able to access a service.
Appointments at the larger vaccination centres and local pharmacy services are available through a national booking system and the letters set out how you can access this – both through a website and a phone line. The letters are being sent to anyone in the eligible priority groups who live in a 60 mile radius from a vaccination centre or a local pharmacy service. It is important to say that this is not just in Sussex and if you live in proximity to a vaccination centre or pharmacy in Hampshire, Kent or Surrey, you are able to book for these and have your vaccination there.
If you have received a letter, you can either use the national booking system to arrange an appointment at a large vaccination centre or pharmacy, or you can leave the letter and you will continue to be contacted by your GP led or local vaccination service (supported by your GP practice) to arrange an appointment.
Why is my local/GP-led vaccination service not open all week?
All our GP-led or local vaccination services are working extremely hard to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible with the vaccines they have available, and we expect all those in the top four priority groups to be vaccinated by mid-February. The days that these services are open largely depends on the supply of vaccine from the national stocks, so not running the vaccination service everyday isn’t unusual at this time. Most local vaccination services are receiving confirmation of their delivery, then working to invite in people for that set number of vaccines, and then will open for dedicated days to use up their vaccine before it expires (for the Pfizer vaccine this is usually within a three day window).
GP practices are also working really hard at the moment to maintain both general medical services and the vaccination programme, and so will have teams back in their surgeries to ensure that can continue to provide the day to day care needed by their patients. So if your local vaccination service doesn’t appear to be vaccinating one day, they will be back in their GP practices, providing care to patients, making appointments for their next sessions, and getting ready for when the service opens that week.
I am housebound – when and how will I get my vaccination?
We are now starting to vaccinate those in the first four priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination who are housebound and cannot access vaccination through local vaccination services or the vaccination centre. This is being supported by the GP practices in their primary care networks and in some cases by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. We expect those who are housebound and in the initial priority groups to hear within the next two weeks about when an appointment will be available for a home visit. Those contacts will be made directly by GP practices.
What is the difference between the vaccination service at the Brighton Centre and the GP-led services in West Sussex?
The Brighton Centre is a large-scale vaccination centre serving the wider population of Sussex and those living beyond county boundaries. It will offer appointments 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and could deliver up to 3,000 vaccinations a day (subject to the supply of vaccines), enabling the NHS to significantly increase capacity to deliver vaccinations. GP led vaccination services provide appointments for patients at specific GP practices.
While GPs invite their patients to get vaccinated at their local vaccination service, appointments at the vaccination centres are made through the national booking service. The NHS national booking service writes to eligible people, living within 60 miles of a vaccination centre, inviting them to book an appointment at the centre online or over the phone. The letter contains all the details people will need to book their appointment. Anyone receiving a letter from the national booking service can choose whether to book an appointment at the vaccination centre, or wait until they are contacted by their GP for an appointment at their local vaccination service if that would be more convenient.
Both large-scale vaccination centres and GP-led services are focused on the vaccination of the first four priority groups, with a focus remaining on the over 80s, with the over 70s and clinically extremely vulnerable to follow shortly.
How do I get an appointment at the Brighton Centre, or any of the other vaccination centres?
The national NHS booking service will be writing to eligible people, living within 60 miles of a vaccination centre, inviting them to book an appointment at the centre online or over the phone. The letter contains all the details people will need to book their appointment.
At present eligible people prioritised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are:
- people aged 80 and over
- people who live or work in care homes for older adults
- frontline health and social care workers
While the over 80s remain the priority, vaccinations can also now be offered to people aged over 70 and the clinically extremely vulnerable, to ensure that all vaccination appointment slots are filled and available vaccine is used and not wasted.
Can I attend any large vaccination centre in the country?
Letters are being sent by the national team to anyone living within 60 miles of a large vaccination centre or a local pharmacy service. For these services you can book by calling a dedicated phone line or visiting the national booking system online. At this point you will be able to consider all available vaccination centres and pharmacy services with the radius of your postcode. There are no restrictions to people moving across boundaries in order to receive your vaccination, i.e. you are able to book an appointment with a Hampshire or Surrey service if these are more convenient for you.