Dear All, I’m writing to you with some important updates about the vaccination programme, which is picking up pace in Buckinghamshire. This is one of the biggest peacetime operations in the UK’s history, and information gets updated on a regular basis so please bookmark or keep an eye on the vaccination page on our website. This page includes recent stats on how many people have been vaccinated in Buckinghamshire so far, as well as detail on the priority groups, and the
locations of vaccination sites.
That said, we are aware of feedback on the need to ensure that residents without easy access to the internet are kept informed. Please rest assured we are doing everything we can to reach all residents, and that the core message on the vaccine rollout – that GPs will call patients when it’s time for them to have their vaccine, or that a local mass vaccination site will write to them – is unlikely to change. All patients, regardless of whether they have access to the internet, will be contacted by phone or letter when they are eligible to make an appointment.
If you have any thoughts or questions about keeping residents with limited internet access informed, please email email@example.com, or reply to this email as we welcome your feedback on what will work best in your community. Thanks, as ever, for all you are doing as we work through this last difficult leg of the pandemic.
Kind regards, Gareth Williams Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health Buckinghamshire Council
Help with transport to vaccination appointments Ideally, a family member, friend, or neighbour is the best person to support patients with no access to a car to get to and from their vaccination appointment. Additionally, Buckinghamshire Council concessionary bus passes will be valid for travel to vaccination appointments at any time of the day. However, where none of these is an option the council can step in. The Community Transport Hub is working on providing transport for patients who have no access to other transportation, to help them get to their vaccination appointment. While GPs are not reporting overwhelming volumes of transport support requests, we’re continuing to monitor the situation, with particular attention to more rural areas.
Organisations, both voluntary and non-voluntary, who can help by volunteering to drive residents to their vaccination appointments, should email Community Impact Bucks at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who want to offer volunteer transport support can register their details with the volunteering matching service on the Community Impact Bucks website. Where possible, Community Impact Bucks will signpost the organisation(s) to local active community transport schemes that could benefit from their support. There is more information on the Community Transport Hub page on our website, including guidance on car sharing safely and how patients can access this service if needed.
Where to get vaccinated Last week, letters from the NHS were sent to people aged 80 or over who live 30 to 45 minutes’ drive from one of the seven new national vaccination sites, inviting them to book a vaccination appointment through the national booking service. More of these are expected to go out in coming days, and they have been causing some confusion.
Whilst residents who have received the letter can choose to book through the national booking system if they wish, the NHS intends to offer all patients over the age of 80 a vaccination appointment locally through their GP Practice by the end of January.