We are working in collaboration with 8 other city centre Practices to deliver the Covid Vaccination Programme this winter/spring. This programme is being project managed by BEMS (Bath Enhanced Medical Services), a GP alliance, non-for-profit organisation and is being delivered at the Pavilion on North Parade Road (next to the sports centre). This grouping of Practices is called a Local Vaccination Centre. This is not to be confused with the Mass Vaccination Centres (such as Bristol Ashton Gate). If you have received a letter inviting you to book an Covid vaccination at Ashton Gate but you would prefer to wait and receive the vaccination in Bath, you do not need to do anything. Please do not contact the Practice to book a vaccination, we will contact you.
It is important to understand the Practice is under a significant amount of pressure to enable us to deliver this programme. Although BEMS are managing this project, we are providing the staff to run these clinics during normal Practice hours and out of hours. In addition to this, front of house and back office staff are working tirelessly to invite eligible patients for their vaccination.
NHS England are responsible for distributing the Covid-19 vaccinations to all vaccination centres and we have no control on when these deliveries are scheduled or what vaccine we will receive (either Pfizer or AstraZeneca). Often, we receive only a few days’ notice before delivery so it's very much 'all hands on deck' to invite all eligible patients into these clinics. This can mean that we only have 2 or 3 working days to contact 300-400 patients.
For the reasons mentioned above, you may have to wait longer than we would like for a routine appointment. There are also significant delays on the phone. For that, we apologise but hope you understand the reasons why.
NHS England have given us strict instructions on the priority order in which we vaccinate our patients. We cannot place an order for stock and do not have a say in how many vaccines we will receive or when. There is also not currently a regular delivery of stock so we have to act very quickly once we get the news of a delivery. Of the stock we do receive (as a grouping of Practices), there has to be an equitable split of appointments for each Practice within the grouping. This means that we are not able to invite all patients in the age group at the same time and have to prioritise the most vulnerable in that age group and cannot invite everyone in that age group at the same time.
We are currently receiving hundreds of phone calls each week from patients asking when they will get their vaccine. Not only does this take our administration team away from booking patients in, but also clogs up our phone lines for patients who have an emergency need to contact a doctor for a non-Covid related problem. Please do not contact the Practice asking when you will receive your invitation. We will contact you once your age group has been approved by NHS England, stock has been assigned and we are ready to book you in. We will contact you.
We are currently contacting all patients aged 80 and over and are hoping to be in a position to contact all patients in this age group (subject to vaccine stock availability) by Friday 22nd January. Once again, please do not contact us, we will contact you.
Thank you for your understanding.
Update 14/07/20: As we move towards the 'new normal', we are grateful for all visitors for wearing face coverings and following our guidance on hand santitisation whilst visiting our premises. You may notice that some of our staff are not wearing coverings. We can assure you that we have fully risk assessed our staff and working environments to protect our staff and visitors. You will notice the glass screens at reception, for example. Thank you for keeping our practice safe.