Bexhill vaccine programme continues at pace but will not offer phase two appointments

A total of 38,000 vaccine doses have now been administered by the Bexhill Primary Care Network, according to the programme’s clinical director.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 5:21 pm
Dr Binodh Bhaskaran SUS-210318-160324001

As of today (May 6), the rollout – which is being carried out at the Sidley Medical Practice, in care homes and visiting housebound patients – has offered 22,000 first doses, and 16,000 second doses to the priority groups one to nine (all people aged 50 and over). The Bexhill PCN started offering second doses of the vaccine from March 15.

However, the Bexhill PCN will not be offering phase two of the vaccination programme, clinical director Dr Binodh C Bhaskaran confirmed on Thursday (May 6). In that phase, people aged 18 to 49 will be directed by the national booking service to a large vaccination centre in Hastings or Eastbourne for their vaccination appointment.

The Bexhill PCN has been left to offer around 5,000 second doses of Oxford vaccine and 1,000 second doses of Pfizer vaccine which Dr Bhaskaran hopes to do in the next few weeks.

Dr Bhaskaran said residents living in care, nursing and residential homes have received second doses. The Bexhill PCN has offered 730 residents and 260 staff both doses, administered in the care home environment. Around 20 care home residents in total are now awaiting final second dose vaccines due to timings.

Almost all people with learning disabilities living in care homes or supported accommodation – around 100 – have had both first and second doses, Dr Bhaskaran said.

Around 700 people who are housebound have had their first doses and 80 per cent of them have had their second dose, according to Dr Bhaskaran.

The clinical director added: “As a PCN we have taken a hard decision not to offer Phase two (18–49-year-olds) of the Covid vaccination programme. This indeed, as mentioned, was a difficult decision but practical at the same time. People belonging to the group under 50 years of age, eligible for Covid vaccine would be directed by the National Booking Service to a local larger vaccination centre in Hastings or Eastbourne for their vaccinations.

“GP practices have started to increase access, especially for face-to-face consultations and also other aspects of our GMS services.

“From April 1 we have started our journey through the road to recovery and restoration of all aspects of health care services. Hence, we had to recalibrate and direct our workforce to all urgent and routine primary care work. This added pressure on us to staff the vaccination services properly. At a point we had to seek help and support from the Army medical team who became part of our vaccination team for 2 weeks.

“Words cannot express our gratitude towards all those involved directly and indirectly in helping to vaccinate our vulnerable people.

“The support we received from members of the public living in Bexhill and neighbouring areas, various Charity and service organisations, CCG and NHSE, have been outstanding.”