You may have seen in the national press that spring Covid booster vaccinations will be on offer for eligible patients. Leek and Biddulph Primary Care Network (PCN) has participated in all but one of the previous phases, primarily because we understand that a number of our patients are geographically isolated and struggle to travel to more centralised centres.
Unfortunately and reluctantly we have made the decision not to offer spring Covid booster vaccinations, thus patients will not be able to receive Covid vaccines at their GP practices. (This is a decision that has been mirrored by many other PCNs both locally and nationally.) Over the last year as individual practices we have faced huge access demand for appointments. We expect this demand to only increase into 2023-2024 and as such a difficult decision between administering vaccines and meeting patient expectation for access needed to be made.
There are a number of National Booking Service (NBS) centres locally where patients will be able to attend, but we appreciate these are often not local enough for many. We are currently working with our Local ICB to try and on-board new NBS sites in and around our PCN geography to mitigate this issue.
Any housebound or nursing home patients that are registered with our PCN practices will still be vaccinated by an approved third party, and we will keep you updated on the specifics of this as we move forward.
We appreciate this will be disappointing news to many of our patients, but hope you can understand our reasons for not participating. If an autumn 2023 Covid vaccination program is needed we are hopeful that we can run this alongside our planned flu vaccination campaign, again we will keep you all informed nearer the time.
Leek Health Centre
Leek & Biddulph Primary Care Network