Hemel Hempstead GP surgery ready to support COVID vaccine programme

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group confirmed that the vaccination site for Dacorum will open this week

Monday, 4th January 2021, 1:23 pm
Updated Monday, 4th January 2021, 1:28 pm

A surgery in Hemel Hempstead is ready to support the NHS with the COVID vaccine programme in Dacorum.

Mark Jones, the managing partner at Fernville Surgery, has spoken to The Gazette about the surgery's recent flu vaccination programme, and how Fernville is ready to support the roll out of the COVID vaccine programme.

He said: "When the prospect of a COVID vaccine programme was first talked about we said that our number one priority would be to support that.

The flu clinic at Fernville Surgery

"We are keen to support the roll out in the best way possible and we started to plan for that with the flu vaccination programme. This year we had to make sure that everyone was following the social distancing guidelines when coming for their vaccination.

"We put a project manager in place and we got half a dozen students to act as marshals for patients.

"People were invited down and they would queue outside the surgery, when they arrived they were met by a marshal who took them to the queue and explained what would happen.

"No one queued for more than 15 minutes and when they got to the door they were met by another marshal who took their temperature and then they would wait inside, and they they would meet another marshal who took them through for their jab, and then another marshal would show them the way out.

"The marshals provided constant support and guidance for patients.

"The system worked really well, and I'm really happy with how that all went, but some of the things we had in place would not work so well with the COVID vaccine programme.

"When patients left, they had to go down to a next level, which involves stairs, we had to close the car park, both of these would be difficult for the elderly and those who struggle to walk or are in wheelchairs.

"Ideally, the venue would have one level, with two entrances for patients to keep two metres apart.

"You also have to manage the routine work at surgeries, you can not afford to roll out the programme, at the expense of other services for patients.

"If you do not support the locality effort, you undermine it.

"So we support the locality effort to deliver the COVID vaccine programme and will help in any way we can to support the programme, for the whole of Dacorum."

Last week, Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group confirmed that the vaccination site for Hemel Hempstead and Dacorum will open this week. Read full story here.