Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Statement January 2022
Primary Care and the wider NHS family have faced a very difficult and challenging couple of years since the pandemic first hit our shores. Since participating in the Covid-19 vaccination programme, Lichfield Primary Care Network (PCN) has delivered approximately 45,000 vaccinations. This vital programme of work was in addition to our day to day activities at the Practice. This task has been undertaken by practice staff, additional clinical staff, who had recently left or retired, and volunteers.
Providing and conducting this additional service has increased the workloads of all staff and placed extra pressure on them. The administration of vaccinations began in earnest in January 2021 and has been unrelenting for the past 12 months; going forward this is not sustainable on a reactive and unplanned basis.
After careful consideration, the PCN has made the difficult decision that from 31st January 2022 they will be withdrawing from offering this service. We have throughout the Pandemic offered first, second, third and booster doses to all patients aged 16 years and over, but feel now is the right time to take a step back from the programme. There are now many different providers of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, ranging from Community Pharmacists, mass vaccination sites, walk in centres and pop up clinics.
However, general Primary Care services can only be provided to our patients by their GP Practice with whom they are registered and it is vitally important that we continue to offer appointments, long term condition reviews and other services during this challenging and uncertain time.
We understand that some patients may be concerned by this announcement, but hope they understand the pressures facing Primary Care. Patients who receive a text message or letter from the NHS to book a Covid-19 vaccination are advised to ring 119 or book via the National Booking Service online. Should any future vaccination programmes be announced, the PCN will of course review the specifications and assess whether it is a service that the PCN is able to offer.
We would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to plan, co-ordinate, and run the clinics and to those who have given up their time to answer the call to help with the national effort to administer vaccines and volunteer. We would also like to thank patients who have played their part in coming forward for vaccination and following Covid-19 guidance to keep themselves and others safe.
The Langton Medical Group – Lichfield Primary Care Network (the Westgate Practice and Langton Medical Group working in partnership)