NHS Kent and Medway is urging school staff not to book for covid vaccinations after a booking link was shared· with some schools and via Whatsapp groups by mistake.
The link is for those who fall into priority groups of:
- aged over 70
- clinically extremely vulnerable as defined by the national guidance
- teachers and staff at special schools working directly with children with complex health needs; and therefore defined as frontline carers.
An NHS Kent and Medway plea to education staff says: “The link was shared in error and we are clarifying this through messages to all school leadership teams.
“We understand that some people have booked in good faith following the circulation of this link through education channels. But we would ask than no one else books a vaccine appointment through this route unless you are in one of the groups.
“By making a booking you are depriving someone else who is in the priority groups, and therefore more at risk of death or serious illness, of the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“Everyone will get the opportunity to be vaccinated, but this is being done in line with a national priority list to vaccinate those most at risk first.”
GP practices in Kent and Medway have also been asked to prioritise services which support the response to the coronavirus pandemic and Covid-19 vaccination programme.
- giving vaccinations
- support for patients with Covid-19
- care home support
- serious acute illness and deterioration in long term conditions
- support for people with mental health needs, learning disabilities and autism
- support for digitally excluded/extremely clinically vulnerable patients with appointments
- essential drug monitoring
- palliative and end-of-life care
- high risk or poorly controlled long term condition care
- postnatal care
- blood tests for medicine monitoring to support high-risk long-term conditions.
Immunisations, vaccinations and cervical screening (smear tests) will also continue.
To give clinical teams the time and space to provide the support needed, GPs have been asked to suspend temporarily some non-essential services.
NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s Clinical Chair Dr Navin Kumta said: “General Practice has an essential role to play in supporting the pandemic response; both with the vaccine and in caring for people with Covid-19.
“This is a practical step at an extremely busy time for the whole NHS. It will maximise how GP teams can focus on responding to the pandemic.
“People will still be able to contact their GP practices, but the following services are being suspended temporarily:
- IUCD checks and change
- pessary change
- new patient checks
- medication reviews in stable patients
- frailty and over 75 routine annual review
- minor surgery
- non-urgent investigations
- vitamin B12 injections unless clinically indicated
- non-core and locally commissioned services, unless clinically deemed essential.
“The suspension is planned until the end of March 2021 but will be kept under review.”