Hailsham Town Council has not been directly involved in the coordination of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. However, we have been discussing this issue with the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and our local county councillors. Of course, we share your concern that the residents of Hailsham are given equal access to the vaccination programme.
The situation appears to be evolving as it progresses, however the latest information we have is that:
“We are pleased to confirm that the COVID-19 vaccination will be available from the town’s three GP practices to make it as easy as possible for people to receive this vital protection.
GPs from the town’s three surgeries are working in partnership with Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust to provide the vaccine to their registered patients, starting with those over the age of 80.
Preparations are progressing positively this week with the aim that the first vaccinations will take place next week subject to vaccine delivery.
Whilst some areas have central hubs that a group of GP practices use, it has been agreed that for Hailsham and the surrounding area the vaccination can take place for patients in all of the GP practices in Hailsham, and we hope that this will be welcomed.
We can reassure people that they will be receiving invites shortly and everyone will be contacted as quickly as possible.
As the roll out of this vaccine continues the timing for when people will be able to get their vaccination depends largely on the availability of the vaccine and the priority group they are in but our teams are working at pace to make sure everyone in the initial priority groups are offered an appointment and receive the vaccine as quickly as possible.
If anyone is concerned about how they will travel to get a vaccine during lockdown, it should be noted that, under the national guidance, it is permissible to receive a lift from someone or there are community transport providers offering this support in terms of transport for medical appointments. You can find information about community and non-emergency transport on the East Sussex County Council website or call the community hub on 01323 443322.
People are asked not to contact their GP practice – no one will be forgotten and you will be contacted by the first NHS service to offer you a vaccine.”
(Update from a meeting held recently with NHS Sussex Commissioners):
“Cllr Bowdler and I have been working with the East Sussex Director of Public Health, Hailsham Town Council, district councillors and our local MP, to prompt NHS Sussex Commissioners to frame a local vaccine delivery solution for Hailsham which circumvents the local delivery challenges imposed by the Pfizer vaccine.”
“Hitherto, residents over 80 were, in the main, only able to receive it at hospital venues. The wider national availability of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine more recently now makes a local GP-led solution possible. It is our expectation that Hailsham will be given priority in order that vaccination rates will catch up with other areas in Sussex.”
“As the vaccine is gradually being rolled out across the county, I know local residents are keen to understand how the local vaccination programme will be run in Hailsham in particular.
The Town Council office and indeed myself, have been overwhelmed in recent days with calls from those concerned about the fact that the vaccination programme is yet to include Hailsham. But, please remember that this is the biggest vaccination programme in history and as I say, it will take time to get through to all eligible people and to fully vaccinate those that we want to vaccinate initially, i.e. those in the top priority groups.
The supply of the vaccine is coming through in batches, which means the NHS is rolling it out, wave by wave. Rest assured that everyone will be contacted and offered the vaccine when it’s their time, so please be patient. Your turn will come.
The distribution plans for the vaccination programme are constantly evolving, and the Town Council will endeavour to publish further updates as soon as they are received from NHS Sussex.”
The main source of information regarding the COVID-19 vaccination programme remains the NHS and the CCG themselves, however, please rest assured that we will continue to liaise with them and our partner local councils to obtain up-to-date information.
A priority in the NHS planning is to ensure that it is as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated when it is their turn.
For more information about the programme, including a Frequent Asked Questions please visit this website: https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme
Terry Hall, Communications & Public Information Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org