Please note that with immediate effect our reception staff will not be taking any telephone calls regarding COVID vaccinations. This is to ensure that they have the capacity to deal with calls from patients who require urgent medical attention and to also ring patients who are eligible for the vaccination. Unfortunately they cannot do this and answer queries at the same time.
Please note that our staff are under additional pressure at the moment. We are staffing the vaccination site on our days off, since we must also maintain services at the Surgery. We also have the additional workload of calling people for vaccination and dealing with queries.
As a result, we have put together a Q&A.
I am a Carer when can I get vaccinated?
It is likely that you will be part of Cohort 6 – but we are waiting for national guidance on how to manage the group of patients who are not registered as carers on our GP system /receive Carer’s Allowance. In the meantime there is work underway with local carer’s organisations and the Local authority to confirm the process for identifying and calling those who are eligible.
We will update once we have a process for people to register their eligibility and we expect to be able to confirm this very soon.
It will take the NHS several weeks to call all of those who are part of Cohort 6, so please be patient.
Some carers may have already received or been invited for their vaccination by the practice, these individuals have been assessed by a clinician due to the vulnerability of the person they care for.
Why are some practices inviting different groups?
Castlehead Practice is part of Keswick and Solway Primary Care Network along with Aspatria, Caldbeck, Dalston, Kirkbride, Silloth and Wigton, with a joint population of over 41,000. Vaccine deliveries come to the Primary Care Network and information on the delivery dates are notified to the Clinical Director of the PCN a week before. The vaccines are then allocated to the practices depending on their populations and so that distribution is done fairly across the Primary Care Network. Currently our PCN is receiving less vaccines than that of other PCNs who have smaller populations, this has been reported to the regional vaccination board and we have been assured that they are looking into this as a matter of priority.
Why have I been invited to a Mass vaccination site?
NHSE have sent letters out to all patients in groups 5, 6 and now 7 inviting them to book an appointment through the National Booking system, which will direct them to the Mass vaccination site, you can book your appointment with them or you can wait to be invited by the practice to have it done here or at the PCN site at Wigton Hospital.
I am due my second vaccination what is happening? When will I be invited? I was told my appointment would be 11 weeks’ time same day of week at the same time is that correct?
If you had your first vaccination at the PCN site at Wigton Hospital we will be contacting you very soon to arrange your second appointment, which will be at Wigton hospital. Due to the unreliability of the delivery days we will be making new 2nd appointments for all our patients.
If you have had your first vaccination at another site which is not part of Keswick and Solway PCN i.e the Cumberland Infirmary or West Cumberland Hospital, you will be asked to go back to them for your second dose.
I am/I have a family member with learning disabilities when will I/they be invited?
Patients on the practices learning disabilities register are in group 6, the practice are currently inviting patients in group 5. Those patients with downs syndrome have already been vaccinated
Why are people younger than me getting vaccinated?
Patients who are clinically extremely vulnerable aged between 18- 69 yrs have been invited and vaccinated as part of group 4.
I think that I am in the wrong group what should I do?
If you feel that you are in the wrong group to be vaccinated please put this in writing to the Manager(s) at the practice. It may be that someone who appears to have been vaccinated ahead of you is in an at-risk category. Also some areas of the country have had better supply than us- it is difficult to exactly synchronise deliveries country-wide. Rest assured that we are vaccinating as soon as we receive delivery, in the priority order that the JCVI/ NHS have dictated to us. You won’t get missed, and you will get your invite when we have vaccinated those at more risk than you.
My Consultant at the hospital says I have to have my second vaccination before my operation / next round of treatment.
JCVI have guidance that the 2nd vaccinations are to be given at 12 weeks, requests for this to be done sooner can only be after 10 weeks have passed and to coincide with any treatment schedules.
Please ask your consultant to confirm this in writing to your GP practice.
Please can we ask that patients do not contact the Keswick and Solway Hub at Wigton Hospital regarding COVID vaccines. The Hub has nothing to do with the organisation or appointment booking for any of the vaccine clinics and therefore cannot answer any of your queries, if you have any questions please refer to our Q&A. Wigton have dedicated a section of the hospital to the practices to allow us to deliver vaccinations for which we are very grateful but we do not want their staff to be inundated with queries about the vaccine as they have their own important roles to do.
If you have any other queries which have not been answered above, please put this in writing to the Manager(s) at the practice.