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With two new sites in Princes Park and Croxteth opening their doors in the last week, there are currently 13 GP-led vaccination sites across the city.
Each of Liverpool’s 85 GP practices is linked to at least one vaccination centre – eligible patients are told which location they need to attend when they are invited to receive their vaccination. All vaccinations are by appointment only; no drop-in vaccinations are available.
The focus of the vaccine programme remains on the initial priority groups – over 80s (followed by over 70s and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable), care home residents, and health and social care staff. So far, more than 75% of those aged over 80 have been vaccinated.
Local GPs are now working with NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to identify even more sites in key neighbourhood locations, focussing on some of the city’s most deprived communities. Instead of creating a single mass vaccination centre for the city, the plan is to deliver the same capacity through a bigger network of sites closer to people’s homes.
“Our strategy in Liverpool is to make access to vaccination as easy as possible for people, particularly in those communities which we know are being disproportionately affected by Covid-19.
“It’s important to stress that this doesn’t reduce the amount of vaccinations we can deliver, but is about making sure we deliver them in the best way for local people. Using our current model we have already visited all of the city’s 57 older people’s care homes to offer a first dose, and we are on track to offer the vaccine to all people across the first four priority groups by mid-February, as planned.
“We’ve also looked at Liverpool’s recent experience with Covid-19 mass testing, which told us that a very local approach – rather than focussing on larger centralised locations – would work better for our population.”
A roving vaccination service for Liverpool has recently been established for housebound patients who are unable to attend a vaccination centre for medical reasons. This team will also look at how best to reach people who might not normally access mainstream NHS services, such as the homeless population.
In addition to local GP-led vaccination services, there are a number of regional vaccination centres for use by people across Cheshire and Merseyside, including one in St Helens. People who are eligible, and who haven’t already been vaccinated by their local GP-led vaccination service, will receive letters from the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service, telling them how they can book their appointment at one of these regional centres. There are also plans to extend this service through a number of community pharmacies shortly too.
Those who receive an invitation letter from NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service do not have to take up this option if they don’t want to, and will still be contacted by the GP-led vaccination centres closer to home when it’s their turn.
The local GP-led vaccination centres and regional vaccination centres are in addition to hospital hub sites, run by NHS trusts, which are focused on vaccinating the local health and social care workforce.
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