The five GP practices that form the Ramsgate Primary Care Network are marking one year today (December 17) since they began their covid vaccination clinics.
The team, made up of Summerhill Surgery,East Cliff Practice, Grange Practice, Dashwood Surgery and Newington Road Surgery, have given some 50,000 vaccinations while still delivering primary care services.
Among those to receive their jabs from the practices are patients who are housebound, those in care homes and people who are homeless.
The team have delivered on the immense challenge and the booster drive has resulted in the cancellation of staff Christmas parties so they can continue to give vaccinations.
Julie Hill, who is Practice Manager and non-clinical Partner at The Grange Practice, said: “When we were first approached to be part of Wave 1 of the COVID19 vaccination programme in December 2020, we knew that we had a challenge ahead but did not expect it to be of this magnitude.
“I recall both myself and Dr John Neden, GP Partner from East Cliff practice, spent Sunday 13th December 2020 waiting at the Montefiore Medical Centre for a delivery of computers and an engineer to get us set up to start running clinics.
“The computers arrived but the engineer didn’t and also our first batch of vaccinations got delayed and arrived two dates late – neither of us thought that a year later, our Ramsgate PCN would still be vaccinating and have given over 50,000 vaccines.
“Thankfully, the vaccines now arrive as expected and most of the time, the computers work. Throughout the last 12 months, just like GP surgeries up and down the country, we have continued to deliver routine and on the day GP care in numbers never experienced before and continued to jab not just our patients, but patients from all over.
“The Ramsgate GPs and Practice Managers are incredibly proud of what our practice teams and volunteers have helped us achieve, and what we hope to achieve in the coming weeks.
“Many of the practices have cancelled their staff Christmas parties so that our staff can be working vaccinating. In some cases they are losing the money already paid for these parties, therefore, we request that anybody that has booked an appointment, attend that appointment as we have staff willing and waiting to vaccinate you.
“The challenge has been immense with staff cancelling holidays and working extra days to provide vaccination appointments, with GPs working 12 or 14 hour days but we are rewarded with seeing so many happy patients once they have received their jab and the reward in knowing that we have done our bit in this worldwide challenge.
“In my 30 years working for the NHS I have never seen anything like this and have never been more proud of working for the NHS.”
During the coming weeks, there are a number of appointments available within the Ramsgate practices for those that would prefer a personal service based within a GP surgery setting.
The Ramsgate teams are able to offer a Pfizer vaccination to anyone aged 18 or over as a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or booster dose depending on the individual patients’ clinical needs.
Some vaccinators are also able to jab patients aged 12 and over but this will be site and day dependent.
If you would like to have a vaccination in one of the Ramsgate practices, they are vaccinating on the following days and appointments can be booked:
Summerhill Surgery (Margate Road) ring after 10am to book an appointment – 01843 591758
COVID clinics running Friday 17th, Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st, Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd.
East Cliff Practice – Montefiore Medical Centre – MUST BE BOOKED ON NATIONAL BOOKING SERVICE – Please do not ring the surgery
COVID clinics running
Sunday 19th 8am to 4pm
Monday 27th 8am to 4pm,
Tuesday 28th 8am to 4pm.
Dates in January can be found on the National Booking Service
Grange Practice – Montefiore Medical Centre – can be booked on the National booking service or by ringing 01843 572740 after 11am.
COVID clinics running
Friday 17th 9am to 5:15pm
Saturday 18th 9am to 4pm,
Sunday 19th 9am to 5pm,
Monday 20th 1:45pm -3pm,
Tuesday 21st 9am to 5:15pm,
Wednesday 22nd 9am to 6pm
Thursday 23rd 9am to 3:45pm
Tuesday 28th Dec 9am until 1pm (may extend into the afternoon)
Wednesday 29th 9am to 12 noon,
Thursday 30th 9am to 4pm.
Friday 31st 9am to 3pm.
2nd January 2022 9am to 1pm (may extend to the afternoon)
Other January clinics will be on the National Booking Service.
Dashwood Surgery – please refer to their website or contact the surgery after 10am on 01843 266322 for information over what day and times their clinics run.
Newington Road Surgery – please contact the Grange on 01843 572761 or use the National Booking Service.
Julie added: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Ramsgate practices’ patients for their support during the last 12 months and we wish you all a merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2022.”