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Response to Covid Queries Posted on 25 Feb 2021

Dear Members

In relation to the phone lines being consistently engaged since Monday- we understand this is due to the government letters being sent to patients:

Thank you for contacting the Practice regarding the cohort you are in for Covid vaccination.

As I’m sure you will understand, all GP Practices are currently under a great deal of pressure ensuring that we book our patients in for their vaccination as soon as possible after we have deliveries of the vaccine. We usually get a maximum of one week’s notice of the date of delivery and quantity of vaccines that will be delivered; this then leaves us with three to four working days to book in up to 1170 patients.

While we would love to be able to take the time to discuss with each of our patients the merits of vaccination/investigate why a patient has been placed into a particular cohort/explain why a particular illness or occupation does not automatically indicate priority for vaccination, this is not feasible due to the demands on our time as indicated by the short turnaround as detailed above.

Our cohorts are dictated by a national mandate. Our clinical systems have searches in place that determine which patients fall into which cohorts.  While you may have heard in the news or on social media that the vaccine is only being offered to particular age groups or cohorts, this may vary on a local basis. If certain cohorts have already been exhausted, we still have a duty and a moral obligation to utilise the vaccines that we have delivered to us in a timely manner.

It may be that you have requested a call back from a GP or the Practice Manager to discuss issues pertaining to the Covid vaccination programme.  If that is the case, please be advised that this letter will be our final response to your query. As has been the case since March 2020, we are having to make best use of our time in light of the increased pressures we are under.

Please do not continuously telephone the practice (01676 540395) with this due to patients needing urgent appointments and subsequently patients cannot get through to the Practice. Our phone lines have been consistently engaged since Monday 22nd February 2021.

We thank you for your understanding.

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