By Local Democracy Reporter Katie May Nelson
A large-scale vaccination centre is set to open in the county next week.
Plans for the site are still waiting to be signed off by the Kent and Medway NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and its exact location is yet to be revealed.
UPDATED: Folkestone MP Damian Collins confirms the mass site will be in Folkestone
Brilliant news just in from the @HouseofCommons: next week a new mass #COVID vaccination centre will open in #Folkestone, adding to the brilliant work of GPs, nurses & volunteers at the Civic Centre, Hythe Oaklands surgery and Lydd Airport- thank you @MattHancock @DHSCGovUK ⏯️ pic.twitter.com/vqEeZMUEhA
— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) January 21, 2021
The CCG’s director of nursing and quality, Gail Locock, has pledged “no one will be left behind” as it prepares to open the centre on Monday, January 25.
She addressed a virtual meeting of the CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee today (Thursday, January 21) and said she hoped more details about the plans could be made public by the end of this week.
The CCG, which plans NHS services in the county, is also looking to open at least two extra large-scale centres to roll out the vaccine to more people in the coming months.
As of this week, the CCG had set up vaccination centres in all of its 42 planning areas, and is working towards the national directive of vaccinating the top four priority groups by Monday, February 15.
For Kent and Medway, this means “ambitious plans” to protect a total of 410,869 people.
As well as looking into getting all health and care staff vaccinated, Ms Locock told the committee the CCG was “leaving no stone unturned” in trying to identify frontline health and social care providers who aren’t employed by the NHS.
This involves approaching different groups including dentists, opticians, funeral directors, domiciliary care providers and volunteer groups.
Ms Locock also said the CCG expected supplies of vaccines to increase over time and had so far seen stock being “a little bit patchy” in some areas.
The CCG has been working towards establishing vaccination centres within 10 miles of everyone living in the county, however, Ms Locock said: “Some of our areas have not been able to achieve that so we are looking at other strategies.”
Ways of working around this are being planned and include setting up an outreach programme and schemes to get those administering the vaccine to drive to people’s homes.
Addressing the delay some people in county may be experiencing in being approached for a vaccine, Ms Locock said: “Some people may think they’re being left behind in their areas but no one will be left behind.
“We are making sure that there is coverage but I think it’s about understanding the phased approach that there is to this programme.
“It was never going to be possible to stand up all our nearly 50 sites from day one; it needed to be done in a phased approach so that we can ensure our delivery programme was robust, that workforce was employed and that we can do it in a safe manner.”
So the CCG is not run by an algorithm after all.
After days of non response or gnomish statements of ‘working hard’ or ‘technical issues’,finally after being pushed and heavily criticised, they emerge from their bunker,blinking, into what passes for sunlight in January.
Lets put the case for the prosecution:
1. The entire country knew that mass vaccination was probably the only viable, get out jail free card, in containing the pandemic back in March.
2.Plans ought to have been drawn up in detail between at least April and November, when the first vaccine was approved.
After all the air defence of GB in the summer of 1940, was not set up at the last minute.It was the culmination of ongoing work since 1917, during the Gotha scourge of that period, which led to the formation of the RAF. Air Marshal Dowding did not wander around saying that there were ambitious plans to install RADAR, the Chain Home system was there ready to go.
In 1944 the Allies did not turn up in Normandy with a last minute plan;planning for that battle, started just after Dunkirk!
So, you have to ask what were they doing in this 9/10 month period?
3.They seem to be unaware of the types of patients they are dealing with.80+ year old’s may not have transport or be able to stand outside in the cold and the rain for very long, and sending them long distances, shows a lack of foresight or empathy.
4.They and some of the large Primary care networks seem to have played ‘pass the parcel’ in parts of Kent, while small PCN’s and individual doctors and their volunteers are doing a magnificent job, vaccinating at great speed.
5. Thanet has not allowed the CCG to hamper progress, which is why it is at least keeping to schedule, or forging ahead with vaccination, in some surgeries.
6. Kent + Medway CCG and Total Care excellence in Dover+ Folkestone, should be broken up and the senior staff put to better use elsewhere.This is an organisational and logistical project, with some medical oversight required, and can be done by anybody with drive and organisation. Their performance has been shameful,poorly organised,badly planned and not worthy of the NHS.
I feared progress in Ramsgate would be glacial before we even started, our GPs are just too stretched in normal times never mind taking on a huge vaccine roll out.
We have always needed a jab site in Thanet.
Progress is glacial but we can’t verify this as no data is shared.
We were promised acceleration across the whole of the UK and there are just a few weeks left ahead of the mid Feb target. GPs are still on the over 90s in Ramsgate.
Our GP hubs must be urgently assisted.
Well done to everyone involved.
According to an article in the IoTN, the Eastcliff/Grange mini hub has done over 80s , is currently working through the over 75s, and is about to begin on the over 70s.
I think it’s a huge task, and given that it’s only been going a couple of weeks or so a huge amount has been achieved.
I think the super hub places are not really intended for the elderly and infirm, more like nursing and care staff.
You can book online for over 65’s and or vulnerable groups. Go to http://nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. You will need your NHS number. Or can call 119. I live in Ramsgate and have just booked (13 Feb) my 1st jab for next week in Deal pharmacy, and 2nd jab 12 weeks later at same place. That was the nearest centre on offer (7.5 miles). Nothing available in Thanet.