Vaccine Update - 18th January
I have just been informed that the Pennisula PCN which includes the following GP surgeries: Highparks, Cliffe, Cliffe Woods, Wainscott & Higham, St Werburgh and the Elms has now been approved by the NHS management as a provider to deliver the Vaccine. As I understand the vaccine will only be delivered from one of the sites in the initial stages. I am told that the Vaccine should be started for people in the over 80s priority group from next week with people being contacted as soon as the PCN get the logistics in place. At this stage I do not have the information as to which site will be being used. However I know that the PCN are desperate to get their patients vaccinated and will be working as quickly as possible - I will update you as soon as I have further details - it has been frustrating but we are now getting there. I know you will be keen to know more, but please can i ask you not to contact your GP surgery as they will be unable to give you information about when you will have the vaccine.
I’m continuing to push the CCG for further plans, as the pace of delivery must increase rapidly so that our vulnerable residents get their vaccinations as soon as possible.
I have also been pushing for decisions from the NHS team on Pharmacists who are very eager to get going as soon as possible.
Once again I’m giving you information as I have it. I have a number of further meetings this week with NHS, CCG and Ministers - I will keep you informed. Thank you for your patience.
Vaccination Update - 15th January
Further to my updates below, I have been pushing the Kent and Medway CCG and NHS South East for updates on the progress and plans for the roll out of the vaccine. Please excuse the length of this post but again wanted to give as much info as quickly as possible.
I know people are very concerned about what is happening in the constituency. There have been many press reports showing people being vaccinated, and people rightly have been raising concerns, when they have heard or know of people in other areas receiving the vaccine. This has left people feeling that they have been forgotten and I want to reassure you that this is definitely not case. No one or place has been forgotten. Currently no area has full roll out and plans are still being organised across the county. This will continue as the vaccination rate increases and all is in place for the mass roll out. It is a massive logistical task and it was always going to take time depending on local areas ability to deliver on the ground getting plans operationalised and the number of Primary Care Networks (PCN) signing up to the programme.
As it stands the current information I have now is that the CCG have what appears to have found a solution for the initial roll out of the vaccine for the Strood Rural wards Cliffe, Cliffe woods and Peninsula wards, high Halstow, Stoke, Allhallows, Hoo, Isle of Grain areas working with the PCNs. Approvals are being sought urgently for the GP sites and i should be able to update you with the start dates early next week. This is good news.
There has been issues with some GP sites not receiving approval by the NHS as suitable to issue the vaccine, but the Strood PCN will now be working with the Rochester PCN covering Strood, Cuxton and Halling, people have started to be contacted and will be asked at this stage to go to either Rochester or Lordswood healthy living centres. I am continuing to push for more sites in these areas and will update as soon as I have more information
Many are concerned about travel and transportation to the sites that are initially being used or have been agreed, there will be a limited number as the work continues to bring more onboard. However I must stress no one will miss out on a vaccine because they are too elderly or ill to travel - but if anyone does get a notification to go for a vaccine and has a problem please contact me directly by email or telephone (not FB)
Rochester and Medway South PCNs are continuing to roll out the vaccine from the Lordswood and Rochester health living centres and I understand that this is going well. They are also delivering the vaccinations for Care Homes residents, and social care staff. I am told we are making good progress across the constituency and Medway on this.
St Mary’s Medical centre Strood is continuing to deliver the vaccine for the priority groups registered with GPs in Brompton, Chatham and St Mary’s island.
I have had further conversations with the Health Secretary and the Vaccines Minister on the situation in our constituency, they have been pushing NHS South East to get the plans out as quickly as possible and are monitoring the situation for further intervention. I have made it very clear that we have been unhappy with the speed of the local rollout and the lack of details on the plans.
I have been contacted by people who live in Higham about vaccines. Adam Holloway MP and I have been out and about trying to find a solution, and we appear to have found one, details will also be confirmed next week.
I have spoken with many local pharmacists who are eager to start helping get the vaccine out to residents, and I have been pressing the Regional Director Anne Eden at NHS South East to get the Pharmacists who have applied, approved as soon as possible.
I have received many suggestion and offers of sites that could be used as vaccination centres and I have been passing these on to the CCG and NHS to be considered in their discussions, and approvals with GPs in the PCNs.
I know that everyone is frustrated at the lack of information and certainty, this hasn’t helped with the fact that the CCG has been reluctant to pass on information that hasn’t been fully signed off. We haven’t been forgotten and I have had some very tough conversations with many over the last few days and your concerns and views are being heard by the CCG, GPs and NHS. Thank you all for your patience, please bear with me as I continue to push - but please be assured work is progressing and you will get your vaccination soon.
Vaccination Update 11th January
Further to previous updates below, after pushing continuously for progress I have received very limited information from the Kent & Medway CCG that there is expected to be a vaccination centre in Halling which will be available for priority groups across the constituency for people from Cuxton, Strood, Peninsula, Cliffe, Cliffe woods and Wainscott. I am expecting to get further details very on where the centre will be and when it will go live.
The CCG have been working with the local PCNs across the constituency on this. Whilst I am pleased to hear there is another site being progressed, which means that priority groups will be contacted (however, people will not be contacted until we have a go live date) I have made it clear to the CCG that whilst this is good news it is not acceptable for residents on the Peninsula or Cliffe, Cliffe Woods, Wainscott and large parts of Strood. The CCG recognise this of course and are working with PCNs to run multiple sites details still to be received.
At the weekend I spoke with the Vaccine Minister to update him and again asking for pressure to be put on the CCG and Today I have asked Matt Hancock the Health Secretary for an intervention locally.
I will update you when I have firm information (I am hoping tomorrow) I know many of you are worried and concerned by the lack of information, I am pushing on a daily basis for updates on the work the CCG is doing with the local Primary Care Networks on roll out. As I have said there is no universal coverage across Kent and Medway yet or indeed any part of the country. People will receive the vaccine, but unfortunately I am only able to pass on the information I have. If you have questions please email me. As soon as I have firm information I will update everyone. Thanks for your patience
Vaccination Update 7th January
Further to my last update below, information and plans are trickling through from the CCG about the roll out. Yesterday, I, along with MPs from across Kent held a meeting with the CCG pushing for information and plans for roll out also to raise concerns on behalf of constituents.
As I said on Tuesday, some constituents in the Rochester and Chatham areas who are in the 1st priority group are being called to attend a vaccine at Lordsword healthy living centre this week, this is because some PCNs (groups of GP surgeries) are working together to roll out the vaccine. As of Monday 11th there will be vaccinations taking place at the Rochester Health Living Centre and also St Mary’s Medical Centre in Strood. This does not cover all the GP surgery lists in all of the areas around the constituency and I am expecting to get more details in the next few days about the rest of Strood and also the Peninsula plans. As I said in my last post you may not be asked to attend for a vaccine at your own surgery, you may be asked to go to another place for your vaccine. GPs are grouped together in PCNs and are in general operating 1 vaccination site per PCN (primary care network) and some PCNs are not geographical. I know some people are very worried about the areas they live for example, Cuxton and Halling, Cliffe, Cliffe woods and Wainscott, also the Isle of Grain, Hoo and the surrounding villages, the CCG are currently working with those PCNs on details so I will let people know as soon as I know. I must stress though that people should not ring surgeries to ask when they are getting a vaccination as they will be unable to give you information or turn up at sites without an appointment as people will be contacted. Whilst you may be hearing about people in other areas getting vaccinations already, I must stress that other areas don’t have full coverage yet either. I know it is worrying and frustrating not having the information of when people will get called, but I can assure you that no one or area is being forgotten. I am continuing to push daily for updates from the CCG. I also yesterday raised concerns with the NHS Regional Director Anne Eden about the speed of delivery and information flow. It is sad that some PCNs have decided not to take part in the roll out of the vaccines but that does not mean that people will be missed or be unable to access a vaccine.
Link to CCG updates - https://www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/.../covid19vaccine
Vaccination Update - 5th January
We are well under way with beginning to roll out the Covid vaccine. The are a number of centres offering the vaccination in Kent and more are continuing to be set up as we speak.
There is a huge task ahead of us. Medway Maritime Hospital has been administering its first batches of the vaccine since mid-December and will have delivered over 3.5k doses by the end of this week, but supplies of the vaccine have been limited and there have been some logistical challenges which has meant that it has not been possible for many healthcare settings, such as GP surgeries, to be able to receive this vaccine yet, in part due to the very stringent storage conditions and logistics involved with the Pfizer vaccine.
With the new Oxford/AstraZenica vaccine, I am hopeful that we will now be able to get the vaccine rolled out at a much quicker pace. The government has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine and it can be stored at normal fridge temperatures, unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which makes it much more practical to store and transport for vaccine providers.
Nationally, the UK is at the global forefront of rolling out the vaccine and has so far administered more vaccinations than the rest of the EU combined but I know that many people concerns about how the vaccine is being rolled out in Medway, which I hope that I might be able to provide some further information on.
Locally, Kent & Medway Clinical commissioning group (CCG), which is the NHS body leading the roll out of the vaccination locally, are currently working with Primary Care Networks (PCNs) which are groups of GPs and GP surgeries. The PCNs are working with CCGs, to decide on the sites, staffing and how to deliver the vaccinations. There are some PCNs (groups of GPs) who are further ahead with their logistics and plans, and are now starting to make contact with those aged 80 and over (the 1st priority group) to arrange a vaccination appointment. I am expecting to get confirmation from the CCG tomorrow about which GPs will be operating from this weekend which is the next phase of the roll out. There will be some GP surgeries who may decide not to take part in the vaccination roll out and where that happens the CCG are then working with other healthcare providers and partners in order to identify sites and options for delivery in those areas. It is important to note that It may well not be your own GP surgery where you will be asked to attend for a vaccine but, the plan from the CCG is to make sure that we have coverage across Medway.
Solutions for vaccine delivery are being worked on by the CCG for coverage across the constituency and all localities in those areas including, Rochester, Strood, Chatham, the Pennisula, and Cuxton full roll out will take a few weeks as the local healthcare teams work to get it out as fast as possible. There will also be vaccinations centres which are still being developed by the CCG in partnership with the Kent Community Healthcare foundation Trust, and Pharmacists who have been so important during the pandemic are also working with the CCG to develop vaccine coverage options as the roll out expands and we work towards mass vaccinations.
The focus is at the moment on the frontline health care & Social care workers and the priority groups. I will of course publish more detailed information as I receive it from the CCG here on my website or on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rochesterandstroodkelly/
I am chasing this up on a daily basis. Last night I attended a meeting with the Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi to raise the concerns that local residents have been highlighting about the vaccine and its roll out and he gave a commitment to look at what the CCG is doing in Medway and Kent and to make sure we are getting the service we need. I also had a telephone conversation with Mr Wilf Williams who is the head of the Kent and Medway CCG yesterday stressing the need for information to made available to us as soon as possible and better updated on progress and plans for constituents.
A number of constituents have been in touch to say that they haven’t been able to get information from their GPs, I recognise people’s sense of urgency on this matter but it is really important that we are patient and refrain from blocking GPs phone lines with vaccine queries - people will be contacted directly and GP surgeries won’t be able give people information on when they will be contacted or when they will get a vaccine and as it will be difficult for GP surgeries to manage those enquiries.
I have had enquiries from constituents offering their business premises for use as centres and ex nurses and other healthcare workers volunteering to help with the programme, thank you so much for all the kind offers that have come in and I have raised this with the Wilf Williams at the CCG and asked how the offers of help can best be coordinated. He has said he will provide more information on this to pass to constituents. I will keep you updated with information as I have it as it is fast moving and there are lots of discussion that are going on across Medway with GPs etc. However, I was assured last night by the minister and the NHS national lead that the supply of the vaccine will not be an issue.
Please do keep an eye on my website and Facebook page as I hope to give more details in the coming days. I know that we need to get this vaccine rolled out to as many people as quickly as possible and this is what everyone is working to do.