Health and care partners from across south east London have been working together to vaccinate more than 324,000 residents in the four priority groups – over 70s, the clinically extremely vulnerable and residents and staff in care homes for older adults – before the 14 February deadline. One hundred per cent of people in groups one to four have been offered a COVID vaccination thanks to the outstanding efforts of staff working across south east London.
Work has been underway in south east London since December to vaccinate residents and to help protect them from COVID-19. The first patient – 81 year-old Lyn Wheeler – was the first to be administered the jab by staff at the vaccination centre at Guy’s hospital. Since then, health and care partners have worked together to establish 41 vaccination centres across south east London. This includes 25 vaccination centres coordinated by Primary Care Networks (groups of local GPs), nine hospital sites, seven pharmacies.
In addition, a number of community-based, pop-up vaccination hubs have been set up in local boroughs, for example, the Al-Emaan Centre in Bromley and a double-decker bus in Greenwich – more of these pop-up hubs will be introduced across south east London. Local GPs have also helped to ensure 100% of care homes in south east London have been visited and as a result, 86% of older people have been vaccinated. Work continues to ensure health and social care staff, including care home staff, receive their vaccination.
Our Healthier South East London Integrated Care System Lead, Andrew Bland, commented:
“The work of our partners across south east London to ensure those most at risk get their vaccination is outstanding. I would like to thank all of the staff, community groups and volunteers who have played their part in this mass vaccination programme so far.
“Whilst we celebrate this milestone achievement and move into the next vaccination group, we are by no means complacent. There are still residents eligible for a vaccination who are yet to be vaccinated and we encourage you to do so. Whilst we have made every effort to contact all patients in the first four priority groups, the opportunity to get vaccinated continues to be there. Simply contact your GP or use the national booking service to get booked in.”
Dr Andrew Parson, local GP and the COVID Vaccination Clinical Lead added:
“Getting your COVID-19 vaccination will help to protect you and your family and those you care for. Our message to anyone who has not yet come forward to have their vaccination is that we are here for you, and when you decide to have your vaccination, your local GP practice can make an appointment for you as soon as possible.
“We have made a commitment to vaccinate all those people who would like to have their vaccination according to the government’s timetable and we are providing residents with the information they require to make an informed decision, we will do our best to get vaccinators out into the community and increase the number of access points.”
As the next chapter commences in the COVID vaccination programme, residents over the age of 65 and those with an underlying health condition at high or moderate risk from COVID-19 will be invited to have their vaccination from today (Monday 15 February). Healthcare professionals from across south east London are working together to apply the learning from the first round of vaccinations to reduce hesitancy and remove any barriers to vaccination. Ultimately, all Our Healthier South East London Integrated Care System partners seek to maximise vaccination rates and reduce variation amongst all people in south east London.