Collaborative working in the NHS leads to successful vaccination roll out

Wed 20th January 2021

Since December, NHS organisations across North Tyneside and Northumberland have vaccinated tens of thousands in the fight against Coronavirus.

NHS North Tyneside and NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have worked closely with Primary Care Networks (groups of local GP practices) to ensure a smooth roll out of the vaccination programme and have already vaccinated over 46,000 people. This includes care home residents and staff, over 80’s, including the housebound, and health and care staff in line with the prioritisation guidance provided by the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI).

Northumbria Healthcare, which delivers hospital and community services across Northumberland and North Tyneside, has also vaccinated more than 5,300 people. This includes their staff and other health and social care staff from across North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Richard Hay, Head of Planning and Operations at Northumberland CCG, said: “There has been an amazing, positive response from Northumberland GP’s delivering this life-saving medication. This is an incredibly fast-moving programme which changes daily and I cannot speak highly enough of all the teams’ resilience and dedication at this time and for all of their efforts in keeping people safe.

“At the moment we don’t have a constant supply of vaccines but our Primary Care Networks are booking appointments for patients as soon as we receive notification of deliveries and are making sure vaccines are administered to patients as quickly as possible.”

Dr Richard Scott, Clinical Chair, North Tyneside CCG said: “It is fantastic that the North East and Yorkshire is leading the way in delivering the vaccine. I am so proud of our NHS system. . We have demonstrated incredible resilience, determination and care and compassion for our patients in the local communities we serve.

“I would urge everyone to attend their vaccine appointments when they are invited. This is the best way for us to protect ourselves, those we love and our communities. A heartfelt thank you to all the teams who have worked so hard and continue to work around the clock. We appreciate every one of you.”

GP practices in North Tyneside and Northumberland are well versed in delivering large numbers of vaccines, as they do every year with flu immunisations, and are well equipped to deliver the COVID-19 vaccinations at this scale.

Alistair Blair, medical director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and GP partner at Wellway Medical Group said: “This is a very exciting time and a pivotal moment in the fight against COVID-19. The health system across Northumberland has truly demonstrated excellent partnership working and it has taken a monumental effort from a huge amount of people. It is fantastic that tens of thousands of people across Northumberland now have protection against this awful disease. I know we would all have done even more, had supplies allowed.”

GP practices are working together and with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services as part of Primary Care Networks to meet the healthcare needs of their local areas. As a result, they have been able to support each other within practices and at vaccination sites across North Tyneside and Northumberland.

The NHS would like to remind people not to call their GP surgeries or other parts of the NHS to enquire about their vaccination appointment. People will be invited to attend an appointment and will be given all the information they need at that time.

If you have received an invitation letter for a Covid-19 vaccination at Centre for Life in Newcastle, but if you are unable to travel or would prefer to have it locally, you can choose to have it done in North Tyneside or Northumberland. However, you will need to wait for your local invitation. We are still vaccinating priority groups.