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Primary Care news roundup – Friday 13th November

 

Vaccination programme

Primary Care news has centred around the news that broke this week, of the new vaccination for COVID-19 that is due to be available by the ned of this year.

The biopharmaceutical company, Pfizer and BioNTech, have developed the vaccine. They have reported a 90% effectiveness rating amongst their test subjects.

Vaccination

Delivery

NHS England and the UK government have confirmed that the vaccinations will be administered by GP surgeries across the UK. The UK has ordered 40 million doses, which is enough to vaccinate 20 million people. The first people to receive the vaccination will be care home residents and staff.

 

Logistics

Pfizer and BioNTech have instructed that the vaccination needs to be given 21-28 days apart; this will result in GP surgeries having to work together. They will need to utilise large vaccination centres such as sports halls to meet the demand of the numbers of people who need to receive the vaccination. The operation has been described by Matt Hancock as a “mammoth logistical operation”. This means that most of the normal, full range of GP services are going to need to be scaled back well into 2021.

Matthew from Menlo Park as said:  I think it’s a question of priorities and which services to maintain alongside vaccine delivery efforts. It’s unreasonable to expect GP surgeries to maintain the status quo with the huge added workload of administering vaccines but there is none better at deciding which services should be seen as ‘critical’ and therefore maintained than the surgeries themselves.

Working together

In other news

Following on from the introduction to primary care networks last year, a study into their achievements and issues, has been conducted by the University of Birmingham’s Health Services Management Centre and RAND Europe.

Ciaran from Menlo Park said: “I believe PCNs to be a great structure within primary care! A number of surgeries that I have spoken with have said that PCNs create a friendly atmosphere between surgeries. Becasue of this, it leads to better working relationships and also improvements in patient care throughout the locality!”

Patrick added “I think they have been incredibly successful so far. PCNs have encouraged the widespread use of Multi-Disciplinary Teams across England. It seems they will also play a crucial part in the delivery of the Covid vaccine!”

 

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