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Covid-19: Bishop's Stortford GPs ready to innovate to immunise more patients



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Residents aged between 16 and 64 with underlying health conditions are being targeted by Bishop's Stortford's GP Covid-19 vaccination programme this week.

The Stort Valley and Villages PCN (Primary Care Network) which represents Church Street, South Street and Parsonage Practices in town, Sawbridgeworth's Bell Street surgery and Much Hadham Health Centre, has also organised an outreach clinic to vaccinate homeless patients.

Dr Sian Stanley, clinical director of the PCN and a Church Street partner, said: "Being homeless should not stop people getting care from a GP. Please call us if you would like to register or if you know of someone who needs to register with a GP. We want to make sure that everyone has access to the vaccine."

Dr Sian Stanley (44773331)
Dr Sian Stanley (44773331)

She added that anyone not currently registered with a GP should sign up to receive the vaccine in due course. Both Church Street and South Street surgeries are accepting online applications to join their lists.

The PCN has set up a vaccination centre at the Bishop's Stortford Football Club at Woodside which runs alongside Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust's operation at the new Avanti Meadows primary school at St Michael's Hurst, but Dr Staney said her team was ready to innovate to innoculate more people.

The PCN is a top performer in East and North Herts and she said: "Each population has its own unique demographic, some areas have done pop up vaccine clinics in mosques, synagogues etc. If there are any suggestions for Bishops Stortford, we will try and accommodate. Some of my colleagues covering large areas have developed a vaccination bus and one team has its own black cab! All ideas are welcomed if it improves uptake."

BSFC Mitre Rooms, Woodside, Bishop's Stortford. Covid vaccine centre. Angela Alder receiving one of the first injections in BS and Sawbridgeworth from Caroline Cowler (Church Street Surgery). .Pic: Vikki Lince. (44773327)
BSFC Mitre Rooms, Woodside, Bishop's Stortford. Covid vaccine centre. Angela Alder receiving one of the first injections in BS and Sawbridgeworth from Caroline Cowler (Church Street Surgery). .Pic: Vikki Lince. (44773327)

The PCN is bound by the Government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation protocols on age groupings. After Cohort 6 - those aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions - are protected, the next group due for first a first jab as the second round of doses rolls out - is Cohort 7, those aged 60 to 64.

Dr Stanley said: "We are bound by the age groupings so are not able to vaccinate specific professions. However, if there were groups who would benefit from a pop-up clinic, we are happy to take all suggestions to reach everyone."

So far there has been a total of 7,984 Covid-19 cases in East Hertfordshire. Because it takes time for tests to be processed, if the most recent five days of results are excluded, there have been 70 cases in the last week resulting in an incidence rate of 46.7 cases per 100,000 population. In the week beginning February 12, there were eight deaths in the district.



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