THERE was confusion this weekend when local people in their 80s received NHS letters inviting them for a Covid vaccination miles away. In a statement today the Bucks Clinical Commissioning Group, which includes both Penn Surgery and Highfield Surgery, reassured patients they did not necessarily have to use the mass vaccination sites. The statement read:
Letters from the NHS began arriving this weekend as the national vaccination programme “rapidly accelerates”.
These letters have been sent to people aged 80 or over who live 30 to 45 minutes’ drive from one of the seven new sites, including residents who live in Buckinghamshire.
The sites closest to Buckinghamshire are:
- Epsom racecourse in Surrey (South East)
- Excel Centre in London (London)
- Robertson House in Stevenage (East of England)
The letter explains how they can book a slot – over the phone or online through the national booking service.
Whilst residents who have received the letter can choose to book through the national booking system if they do not want to use the local system, we want to absolutely reassure them that it is our intention that all patients over the age of 80 will be offered a vaccination appointment locally through their GP practice by the end of January.
All local Buckinghamshire sites will be operating by 25 January with two additional sites going live next week in Aylesbury and High Wycombe and further sites to follow later in the month. We are also finalising the plans for the two mass vaccination sites in the county.
Meanwhile nearly 10,000 vaccinations had been administered in Buckinghamshire by today, many of them at the local vaccination centre at Adams Park in High Wycombe. New sites in Marlow, Chesham, Aylesbury and Princes Risborough are being established this week.
Our local hospitals ‘on the brink’ of being overwhelmed
THE Health Service Journal magazine reports that three of our local hospitals are operating at capacity and need to expand critical care.
Wycombe, Wexham Park and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals are at Critcon 3, an NHS term meaning they are on the brink of being overwhelmed, says the publication. The level is just one below the highest alert.
New cases of Covid continue to rise in our local area. In the seven days to four o’clock this afternoon there were 395 new cases in the Wycombe area, which includes Tylers Green and Hazlemere. This compares with 114 new cases in the seven days from Boxing Day to last Sunday.
In the Chiltern area, which includes Penn, there were 551 new cases compared to 438 the previous week. And in the South Bucks area, which includes Beaconsfield, there were 719 new cases compared to 632 the previous week.
- Buckinghamshire NHS Trust has set up a special email address to enable friends and relatives to contact hospital patients whom they cannot visit. It is email@example.com. Emailed good wishes sent to that address will be passed onto the patient by hospital staff.
- Although the village’s green garden waste collection service is due to resume this week the council has warned that in the neighbouring South Bucks district the service may be delayed because of staff shortages due to Covid or self-isolation.
- Tylers Green Methodist Church has joined St Margaret’s and Holy Trinity in stopping personally attended church services for the foreseeable future.
- Preliminary discussions between Government and local government officials have been held about the consequences of postponing May’s local elections although decisions will not be made for several weeks. In Buckinghamshire the new unitary authority was formed last April with elections to it due last May. The authority still has councillors on it who intended resigning last spring, so consequently the desire to keep to this year’s election timetable is strong.