‘A logistical nightmare’: Steyning doctor highlights vaccination roll-out challenges
A doctor at Steyning Medical Practice has posted a video explaining how the vaccination roll-out is progressing locally.
Dr Sophie Galloway addressed concerns from patients and highlighted some of the issues local GPs were currently facing in the delivery of the programme.
She said: “We are being inundated with queries and requests and people are very anxious and in some cases quite sadly abusive, so we need to let you know what’s happening.
“The Government has arranged what’s called a hub model for vaccinations, that means rather than giving each individual GP practice, there are hubs where the majority of vaccines will be delivered.
“We were asked just before Christmas where ours would be.
“The Glebe in Storrington very kindly volunteered and have been working tirelessly ever since to vaccinate as many people across our locality as possible.”
She said she believed that ‘quite a number of our over 80’s’ in Steyning had already been vaccinated, and said staff were slowly being vaccinated too.
However she went on to explain some of the challenges in rolling out the scheme.
“The Glebe have been very limited by the amount of vaccine they can get hold of,” she said.
“Delivery has been quite erratic and sometimes surprising and sometimes delayed.
“And in that time as well guidance about a second dose has been changed, and then changed again, and then changed again,
“And so for them it has been a real logistical nightmare.
“What I want to say is the programme is developing.
“More and more hubs are going online locally, there is going to be one in Brighton, Worthing Hospital is a hub, there’ll be one at Haywards Heath.
“We are hoping that now the Oxford vaccine is out that we might be able to start vaccinating locally from the surgery but at the moment that’s not how its working.”
She said that despite reports in the media that GP surgeries had received deliveries yesterday, this was not true for them and there were no current plans for Steyning Medical Practice to receive the vaccine.
“That will change. When it does change, we will let you know,” she said.
“What I would like to reassure you is that we do know who you all are.
“We know who is entitled to the vaccinations and we know in what order and we will contact you. You do not need to worry about being lost.
“Our priority is to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible because we hate this as much as you guys do.
“It is happening, but its going to take time.
“Vaccinating the entire country, as I’m sure you can imagine, is a logistical nightmare.
“The vaccine is very new, there are very limited supplies and rolling it out takes time.”
In the meantime, she said the GP surgery was very busy as asked people not to contact the surgery unless they needed to.
She said: “It is a big issue managing our day to day workload, and it’s winter, we are always at our absolute busiest at this time of year and when you add in Covid and the pandemic, it is just backbreaking.”
Dr Galloway reminded people to stay at home, wear a mask and self-isolate if they experienced any Covid symptoms.
Watch the video in full by searching ‘Steyning Medical Practice’ on Facebook.
The Government has set a target of vaccinating people in the top four priority groups – around 13.9 million people – by the middle of February.
Top of the priority list are people who live and work in care homes, followed by people over the age of 80 and frontline health and social care workers.
This is followed by people over 75, then people over 70, and those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.