This seems like an opportune moment to express my sincerest thanks and gratitude to everyone who has been involved, but particularly all who have volunteered.
You answered the rallying cry with enthusiasm and without hesitation, you stood in the cold and rain, sterilised the inside of Park Medical Centre, and Biddulph Town Hall over a 1000 times, reassured and attended to fellow patients, helped move and direct 1000s of cars into and out of the Covid Centres. The donation of your time allowed medical staff to deliver over 45,000 Covid vaccines in only a 6 month period, as well as also enabling practices to run a normal day to day GP service in Leek and Biddulph. What also must be acknowledged is that this was done for no monetary reason, and all of you were potentially placing yourselves in harm’s way. For these reasons the PCN will be forever in your debt.
The vaccination program locally (and on a national level) has been a huge success. So far, more than 47 million people have had a first vaccine dose, 87% of over 16 years and nearly 41 million, 75% of over 16 years, have had both doses. A large reason for this was because of the volunteer workforce that stepped up when it was needed, it would not have been possible without you.
Phase three (Covid booster vaccines) will be starting in September, we are unsure of the exact specification for phase 3 as data from JCVI has not been fully analysed at the time of writing. What we do know is that we will be operating slightly differently, in that administration is likely to be done in line with patient’s individual practices, however there will still be collaboration across the PCN, and we will almost certainly need more help from any willing volunteers!
The raison d’etre of the PCN is to integrate patients, GP Practices, and the local community, there has been no finer example of this, than your involvement with the vaccination program. So I say again, on behalf of the Leek and Biddulph PCN and its member practices, a huge thank you to everyone, and hopefully we can build on this platform to continue to improve healthcare in our locality.
Dr Neil Briscoe MBChB, MRCGP, MSC (Pharmacy)
Clinical Director Leek and Biddulph PCN