Expanding vaccination services into areas not yet covered by a vaccination site, Retrolink Pharmacy and Jardines Pharmacy in Bedfordshire are opening vaccination centres at The Rufus Centre in Flitwick and The Weatherley Centre in Biggleswade today, 21 January.
The Rufus Centre is for patients registered with GP surgeries in the H for Health Primary Care Network (PCN) which brings together Cranfield & Marston Surgery, Flitwick Surgery, and Oliver Street surgery and the Hillton Primary Care Network which brings together Houghton Close Surgery, Greensand Surgery and Barton Le Clay (Dr Hughes & Partners) Surgery
Whilst the Weatherley Centre covers the Ivel Valley North PCN which covers Ivel Medical Centre, Saffron Health Partnership, Sandy Health Centre and Greensands (Potton) Surgery.
Patients who meet the criteria set by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation will be contacted by their practices and prompted to book via the national booking system for an appointment at their local site. They will be told which site name to look for and, as at all sites, vaccines may be given by a pharmacist, GP or nurse.
The main difference between these blended models and the PCN centres set up across the region, is that the patient needs to go through the national booking system for their appointment rather than booked direct by the practice.
These sites have been chosen to ensure there is plenty of room for social distancing when waiting, as well as a recovery area, where people will be monitored for 15 minutes after the vaccination as appropriate.
It is important that people only attend at either of these Centres if they have booked via the National Booking Service and arrive at the time stated. People arriving early compromises social distancing and we need to keep everyone safe while they wait.
Dr Sarah Whiteman, the Medical Director and putative Chair of BLMK CCGs, said: “Delivery of the biggest ever NHS vaccination programme has been a huge undertaking so I am thrilled that we can now say we are administering vaccines to the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes footprint that we cover.
“I can appreciate that local people will be keen to get their jab as soon as possible, but we would ask that patients do not contact their practices at this time.
“GPs are working through their lists and making appointments according to the criteria provided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.”
For further information please contact the BLMK Comms Team on [email protected]