A number of you have started to ring in to book your flu appointments. Normally, I would have had all the flu clinics set up for the coming winter and available to book.
All patients over 50 and those under 50 with underlying health conditions will be offered a flu vaccination. We are also being told that there will be a covid booster (3rd covid vaccination) this winter.
Our flu programme will therefore be slightly different this year. Along with other Surrey practices, Surrey Heartlands CCG, are looking at giving the flu vaccine at the same time as the covid boosters and that this will be done at the hubs.
This is a logistical nightmare as practices order flu a year in advance, for example, I have ordered from 2 suppliers, one for the over 65’s and one for the under 65’s. The orders are scheduled to come into the practice in a phased way on agreed delivery dates between September and October. This is the same for every practice but because it is impossible to deliver to every practice on the same day, we all have differing delivery dates. Having made the decision to give the flu at the hubs, Surrey Heartlands now need to work out how to get the flu vaccine from the practices to the hubs.
The reason for doing it this way is to release some time back to practices to help with the increased demand for appointments from patients. Practices will have a commitment to continue working at the hubs so you may well see some of our staff there.
Please do not contact us to make an appointment for your flu jab, the hubs will contact you and arrange an appointment when your group is called.
I know there will be many questions and I am sorry I can’t answer them at present. Suffice to say we will be working with Surrey Heartlands and NICS to cover our care homes and housebound patients and those patients who do not have a mobile phones.