Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If your question is not here, please contact a member of the team who will be happy to help you find the answers your looking for. 

 

 

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We sent a letter to Wolverhampton City Council, Public Health and Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to raise some concerns we had received from the public particularly in regard to vaccinations, below you will see the questions and responses that were received:

1. A member of the public raised concerns / frustration over the ages / health conditions that patients are being offered the vaccination, sharing that a number of people have received the vaccine and they do not fall into the current age group of over 80’s, or work in a care home / health setting, not a resident of a care / nursing home.  It has been shared with Healthwatch that a fit councillor boasted that they had received the vaccine because they “knew the right doctor”.  What is the current process across the city for the vaccine programme, how are patients being chosen and invited for the vaccine?

 

Each GP practice is responsible for contacting patients from its list to invite them to attend vaccine clinic appointments.  Practices have been working through the priority cohorts defined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and have been moving onto the next cohort when they have invited all patients from the previous cohorts and have had approval to do so.   It is concerning to hear reports of patients being vaccinated outside of the approved cohorts in the way that you have described.   I cannot respond specifically without more detail of the individual case but we are confident that overall the programme is being implemented in line with the national plan and the priorities set out in JCVI guidance.

In addition to the offer from local GPs you will be aware that patients also receive communication by letter or text from the national booking service and are able to book at vaccination centres and some pharmacy sites through a national phone line and website.

 

2. A member of the public raised concerns / confusion around the ages of the public being invited for their vaccines, one of the areas they raised was around their GP practice being in the city centre, however they lived in the south west of the city.  The member of public had been following all the guidelines around shielding since March and they had health conditions and were in their 70’s, however friends and neighbours in the same age bracket and younger have been invited for their vaccine.  How does the location of the GP and where the patients live have an effect on when they are invited to have the vaccine?  Why are patients from different ages being offered the vaccine?

 

Where patients live does not affect when they will be offered the vaccine.  Each of the six PCNs in the city has set up a vaccination site for patients from its practices.  There was a phased opening of these GP sites from mid-December to early January and so at the beginning of the programme patients registered with practices in the first wave will have received invitations up to three weeks sooner than patients registered in practices that were in the later phases.   Allocations of vaccine are made to individual Primary Care Networks and depending on the timing and volume of the allocations received and the number of patients in each cohort there will be some variation in the timing of when people were invited to attend for vaccination.  This was though within the context of an overall programme that is moving through the cohorts in a planned way and there has not been any significant difference in the pace at which the individual PCNs within the city have implemented the programme.

 

3. It has been shared with Healthwatch that patients attending the Millenium Point are being informed by staff that they are having to throw a number of vaccines away. Can you confirm what the protocol is for any vaccines that it looks likely may be leftover at the end of the session? Can you confirm if Millennium Point or any other vaccination Hub has indeed thrown away unused vaccines? 

 

Practices are advised to maintain a list of patients who can be called in at short notice in the event that there is vaccine that still needs to be used towards the end of a clinic session.   I am not aware of any reports of vaccine wasted at the end of a session in Wolverhampton.   I cannot confirm the position for centres outside of our area but I am sure that every effort is made by all centres to avoid wastage.

 

4. It has been shared with Healthwatch that the council in Wolverhampton are behind other neighbouring authorities with the hub for the mass vaccination rollout.  What is the current location being considered in Wolverhampton for the hub? Will the WV active sites in Aldersley and Bert Williams be considered?  What is the timeframe for the decision to be made and who is making the decision of the location in the city?

 

The vaccination programme in Wolverhampton has gone well and at no point have we been behind other areas in the roll out of Covid vaccination to local people.    As you will be aware from the reports that I have made to the city’s Incident Management Team meetings we decided in Wolverhampton that the vaccination programme would principally be delivered through our GP Primary Care Networks who are providing vaccination at a number of sites across the city and we do not have a national vaccination centre in Wolverhampton.   We have worked with City of Wolverhampton Council who have supported the use of the WV Active sites in Aldersley and Bert Williams as GP-led vaccination services.  

 

5. Patients have shared their frustration on receiving a text message from their GP practice to attend for their vaccine, however when they arrived, they were turned away as they were not in the right age category.  Healthwatch contacted the practice and had been informed that the text messages have been sent out in error and they have sent patients another text apologising.  How will the learning from this error in the practice be shared across other practices so it does not happen again?

 

I am sorry to hear that this happened.   The GP leads for each of the PCNs are working closely together and with the CCG primary care team to support delivery of the programme and to share learning as they do so.

 

6. Families have shared their frustration around not being able to get through on the phone number they have been given with some waiting over an hour before the call as answered.  Why are patients not being given an appointment first then being provided with the number if they need to change / amend the appointment?

 

It is important that non-attendance rates at clinics are kept as low as possible and for this reason GPs will need positive confirmation that a patient will be able to attend a clinic slot before booking it.   Since you wrote to us GPs have started to use the Simply Book system so that patients can book appointments via a website and the local authority customer services team is also providing support to the vaccination booking process.

 

7. As there are 3 different vaccines being produced and distributed.  What vaccines are currently being distributed in Wolverhampton and how is this being communicated to the patients?

We are currently receiving the Pfizer and Oxford/AZ vaccines.   Patients are informed when they attend the clinic which vaccine they will be receiving.

I hope that is helpful in addressing the questions and concerns that have been raised with you in relation to the vaccination programme and please do let me know if you would like any further information.

 

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