In October, we took the difficult decision to withdraw from the optional Covid Booster Vaccination Programme. This was on the understanding that our participation would make it difficult for us to safely deliver all aspects of the mandatory GP Contract whilst providing the best standards of care for our patients and meeting the high levels of demand for our services.
We stand by the decision taken at that time and are pleased that the Booster rates for our patients, who have obtained vaccinations from other providers, have been comparable with other surgeries who have delivered them in-house.
However, recent changes now allow GPs to temporarily pause some routine care and administration requirements, in order to prioritise delivery of Covid Booster Vaccinations, and this has enabled us to re-join the Covid Vaccination Programme.
Urgent same-day GP and Nurse appointments will still be available, following telephone triage by our clinicians. Urgent blood tests, annual reviews for higher-risk patients, cervical smears and other vaccinations will continue. Suspension of some non-urgent services such as minor operations and routine reviews for lower risk patients will free up some nursing and GP time, which we will devote to giving Covid Vaccinations.
With the rapid rise in cases due to the Omicron variant, we strongly encourage our patients to book Booster Vaccinations through the national booking website at ayn vaccination site available to you. We will initially be prioritising clinically vulnerable patients such as the housebound elderly and those in other high-risk groups, starting this week. It is also not too late for patients who have not yet been vaccinated to come forward for their first dose