St Georges is experiencing a very high volume of calls from patients who are asking for information with regards to the booking process for the COVID-19 Vaccine. Hopefully, the following information will be able to clarify the procedure for you and your family.
The Cheltenham Central Hub is responsible for sending out letter, emails, or text message on behalf of all the surgeries in Cheltenham with the aim of getting you to book your COVID-19 vaccination. The different forms of communication that are being used have different benefits, if you don’t have an email or smart phone then you will get a letter with clear instructions on how to book your COVID -19 at the Fire Station.
The confusion and this is very confusing is that NHS England are also sending letters inviting you to book your COVID-19 appointment, the huge difference is that these appointments usually will be for a “mass vaccination site” and often these NHS England invites are asking you to book outside of the Cheltenham area because Cheltenham currently does not have a mass vaccination site.
This is to allow you the choice so you choose where you want to have your COVID-19 vaccine. However, if you don’t want to go to Worcester or Malvern then you don’t have to, and you can ignore this particular letter and wait for communication in any format which will say “on behalf of St Georges Surgery “inviting you to attend the fire station in Cheltenham.
If you choose to attend one of the “mass vaccination sites” you must not attend the fire station for your appointment as they will not have an appointment for you as you will be turned away.
Equally, if you have your 1st vaccine at the fire station please attend for your 2nd vaccine at the fire station to enable the administration team to calculate the number of vaccines for the future. Whichever vaccine you have had for your 1st Covid-19 vaccine will be the same for your 2nd
The Surgery Clinical team have the responsibility of vaccinating the housebound patients. This service is only for the housebound patients who currently have no family or support network who could assist or take them to the fire station or for patients who have learning disabilities who would find the Fire station set up to stressful, all housebound patients also need to be coded on our system. When we are vaccinating the housebound patients we will have less available clinical staff based at the surgery so please be aware as this will affect the availability of appointments.
We are all guilty of ignoring withheld numbers but it is now important that you do answer these withheld number calls as this could be the Cheltenham Hub trying to book your Covid-19 appointment. It is also extremely important that we have your correct mobile number. Please make sure we have your current communication details, use the Administration tab on our website to update your details if necessary.
The Cheltenham Hub are using a system for texting called accuRx this allows you to book your own appointments at a date and time to suit you and all the information you will need will be in the body of the text. If you are not sure how to use this system and feel anxious about responding then please don’t worry. Patients who fail to respond to one method of communication will get a 2nd or 3rd recall using either an email or letter. St Georges are also reviewing any serial non-attenders to see if we can understand why a patient has not responded. Again we can only action this if we have your correct home address, mobile or house telephone numbers and email address.
We are following the government guidelines with regards to the age groups that are being recalled for the COVID-19 vaccine and we are on track to deliver these vaccines.