The Forest of Dean Primary Care Network Covid-19 vaccination roll out continues at a phenomenal rate – a total of 14300 people have received their vaccinations (up to 14 February 2021) with 6000 patients immunised in the first 2 weeks of February. The target for all those in the top 4 groups being offered an appointment for their vaccine by 15 February has been reached. All Forest GP Surgeries are supporting the effort to get patients booked in and deal with queries. The team at the Centre are running like a well-oiled machine and the system adapts quickly to appointment scheduling and the ever changing number of vaccine delivered every week. Behind the seamless service there are many hands working hard and at constant pace to deliver this week on week.
As previously reported, the housebound are all being vaccinated by their registered Surgery and will be finished by the end of this week. Residents in a majority of Forest’s Learning Disability Homes have also received their first jabs. Focus now turns to the next two cohorts: Group 5 – 65 to 69 year olds and Group 6 – those at ‘clinical risk’ over the age of 16. For 16 to 18 year olds there are licensing issues with the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines and Surgeries will contact patients to ensure they are booked correctly to receive the right vaccine for them.
The Group 6 cohort of those at ‘clinical risk’ is defined by national guidance – to see if you are eligible information can be found on the website for the Forest GP Surgeries www.forestgpsurgeries.co.uk. The NHS has written to those patients aged 65 to 69 offering an appointment to go to one of the mass vaccination centres, it is patient choice to do this or wait to be contacted by their Surgery and offered an appointment at the local Centre in Dockham Road, Cinderford. Please be patient – these two groups are very large and may take a few weeks for invitations to go out to all eligible patients based on when vaccine deliveries are confirmed.
There remains some confusion with booking vaccinations; for patients wishing to have their vaccination at the Forest of Dean Vaccination Centre in Dockham Road, Cinderford:
- Wait to be contacted by registered Surgery either by text or by phone. The new online booking system recently launched has been incredibly successful. Patients receive a text with a link to click on and book directly. By phone, Surgeries will contact patients directly if there is no mobile phone number on their record. Patients are asked not to phone their Surgery unless specifically requested to do so.
- Patients may be contacted directly by phone from the Vaccination Centre in Cinderford and can book over the phone.
Currently, first vaccinations only are being booked at the Vaccination Centre in Cinderford; Surgeries will contact patients to arrange second vaccinations later but within the nationally agreed timescale.
To book at one of the larger national vaccination centres, patients need to follow the instructions in the letter they receive from the NHS. This should not be confused with the local Vaccination Centre at Cinderford – patients cannot book into the Centre in Cinderford from the NHS letter – only via communication directly from their registered Surgery or the Vaccination Centre in Cinderford. If booking into one of the national mass vaccination centres via the NHS letter or phoning 119, patients will be able to book their first and second vaccination appointments.
There is no telephone number for incoming calls at the Vaccination Centre in Cinderford so any queries should be directed to own registered Surgery or information checked on www.forestgpsurgeries.co.uk. There is a highly successful Facebook page running for the Forest GP Surgeries too, up-to-date and useful information gets posted here.
Patients are asked not to arrive too early for their appointment. Recently, queues have been forming for those arriving at their appointment time as others are arriving too early. This has been particularly unpleasant for all during the recent cold weather. Patients are asked to arrive as near to appointment time as possible and to wear a face mask or covering.
To clarify, the Forest’s Vaccination Centre at the old Health Centre in Cinderford is available to members of the public registered at one of the 11 Surgeries in the Forest of Dean. They are:
- Dockham Road Surgery and Forest Healthcare (now based in the same new premises on Valley Road, Cinderford),
- Yorkley Health Centre (also covering Bream Surgery),
- Newnham Surgery (also covering Westbury Surgery),
- Blakeney Surgery,
- Lydney Health Centre,
- Severnbank Surgery,
- Drybrook Surgery,
- Coleford Health Centre,
- Brunston (also covering Lydbrook) and
- Mitcheldean Surgery.
For Forest of Dean residents not registered at one of the above Surgeries they need to contact their own Surgery/look at Surgery website for vaccination details.
When attending for a vaccination appointment, please remember to:
- Arrive on time (not too early)
- Park at the Cinderford Rugby Club whenever possible and walk to the clinic
- Follow social distancing when queuing and wear a face mask
- Cancel all appointments (either at Surgery or for Covid-19 vaccine at the Vaccination Centre in Cinderford) if those attending have any symptoms of Coronavirus
The Forest’s GP Surgeries continue to offer appointments online, by telephone, by video consultation and face to face. Always check the Surgery website for information on how to contact them. Telephone lines can be busy but patients are asked to keep trying or contact their Surgery online.
We would like to thank all the Forest of Dean patients for their support during this extraordinary challenge, remember to:
- Keep an eye on your Surgery website or Facebook page or on www.forestgpsurgeries.co.uk
- Or read updates in The Forester.