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October Update

Updated: Oct 13

COVID -19 Booster and Flu vaccination.


We know our patients are eager to find out plans for the upcoming COVID-19 Booster, and annual Flu vaccination campaign. We too are keen to get started in order to protect our patients as soon as possible. We are delighted to let you know that we have just received confirmation of upcoming availability of the COVID-19 Booster.


As we plan to administer the COVID-19 booster, the information we have received to date is that:

  • The COVID-19 Booster will only be available to those whose second vaccination was more than 6 months ago

  • The COVID-19 Booster that you will be given is likely to be the PFIZER vaccine, regardless of whether you previously received Astra Zeneca or Pfizer.

  • The COVID-19 booster and flu vaccines can be safely administered at the same visit.

We plan to offer the Covid-19 booster and Flu vaccine at the same clinic; this will optimise our capacity to protect our patients as soon as possible from both COVID-19 and Influenza.



Joint COVID-19 booster + Flu vaccination clinic


We would emphasise that our plans for COVID-19 booster are provisional, pending confirmation of vaccine supply. Knock Presbyterian Church have once again generously offered their premises for our large Saturday clinic. Their spacious building will be particularly useful as our patients must remain under observation for 15 minutes after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.


We are planning to hold the first clinic on Saturday 16th October. Patients over the age of 73 will be invited by letter or text message to this clinic and offered the Pfizer booster if their second Covid-19 vaccination was administered before 16th April 2021. These invitations should arrive by Thursday 14th October.

We are planning further clinics for eligible patients and will post details of these in due course.


Flu vaccination clinics


We are commencing flu vaccination clinics from Thursday 7th October. Flu vaccination will be offered to all those >50 years, as well as those who are in 'at risk'

groups. We will initially invite those who would not yet be eligible to receive their COVID-19 booster, and this will be done via text message. These clinics will run in Cherryvalley Health Centre. Please do not attend if you have symptoms of COVID 19, or if you have been told to isolate. Please wear a mask and short sleeves if possible.



Further information can be found on our Vaccination page



Medical services at Cherryvalley Group Practice.


We thought it would be helpful to say a little about how we are functioning and delivering medical services to our patients. Unfortunately General Practice has come under attack from some parts of the media, often fuelled by comments on social media. Whilst this has been misinformed, sadly it has had a significant impact on morale and retention of GPs.


It has been a very challenging 18 months; our Primary Care team have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic, doing our best to meet patients' needs. We have continued to deliver childhood vaccinations, smears, treatment room services, and provide GP cover for the 'Covid Centre' at Beechall, as well as carry out large numbers of consultations on a daily basis -including significant numbers of face to face attendances and house visits. As well as this, we vaccinated thousands of our patients against flu from last October, swiftly followed by double Covid-19 vaccination of our >70 year olds, and Clinically Extremely Vulnerable patients.


We carried out a Patient satisfaction survey in May/ June of this year. This was very positive about the standard of care we deliver, but we paid attention to some of the comments regarding difficulty getting through to the Practice by phone. We have had some issues with our new phone system and have been working hard with the provider to improve accessibility. We have also increased the numbers of administrative staff who are available to answer calls each morning. However, in common with all other areas of the Health service, we have been overwhelmed by patient need and find our capacity is outstripped on a daily basis. We are carrying out more daily consultations than pre-covid and gauge that our old appointment system would not be able to respond to the current demand for our services. We ask for your understanding in this regard, but also wish to emphasise that you should not delay in contacting us if you develop alarming symptoms which may need referral/ investigation.


We do appreciate your patience and ask that you respond to our administrative team with courtesy. They are an integral part of the Primary care team, adhere strictly to patient confidentiality and enable our Primary Care Clinicians to work as efficiently and safely as possible. Unfortunately, we have had a few isolated incidents of patients who have been verbally abusive to our admin team. We will not tolerate this behaviour towards our staff and warn that this may result in removal from our list.


We continue to assess our systems on an ongoing basis as determined by clinical need. We do appreciate your ongoing patience as we continue to provide medical care, alongside delivery of a large, complex vaccination programme.

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