How BEVAN PCN are managing increased demand for the flu vaccination this winter

Published: 23 November 2020

We all know that getting the flu increases the chance of hospitalisation and mortality, however, this year it feels more important than ever to protect ourselves and our loved ones from illness.

As a result of this, Hull vaccination clinics are dealing with a significant increase in demand for the flu jab this winter.

Additional challenges local clinics are currently facing are:

  • An increased number of patients wanting to protect themselves and others compared to previous years;
  • The introduction of the additional ‘overs 50s’ category, who were previously ineligible for the flu jab;
  • Current restrictions introducing greater complexities to running a clinic, including the need for Covid-safe environments, use of PPE, sterilisation, and increased time between appointments.

This has meant that more clinicians have had to be recruited and services have had to prepare to manage increased demand effectively.

Despite these challenges, BEVAN, a local Primary Care Network (PCN) which comprises of 8 practices in the local area, acted quickly to ensure that they could deliver flu clinics in unprecedented times.

One example is the way in which the service hired the Alf Marshall Community Centre, a Council-owned building based adjacent to Bransholme Health Centre, when it became apparent that the current building would not facilitate the Covid-safe environment they required for vaccinations.

The new space allowed for a one-way wheelchair-friendly system where patients could get vaccinated whilst keeping in line with social distancing and Covid restrictions. The team were able to follow all NHS guidance regarding delivering mass vaccinations in the times of a pandemic.

This space has been successfully shared between practices from BEVAN PCN, meaning that they were all able to work together to deliver clinics to their patients, keeping everyone safe and protecting them against flu this winter.

This is also a great display of the commitment and support both the local NHS and community have shown at this time.

From September until now, thousands of patients have been vaccinated. Staff have adapted quickly to the new ways of working and feedback from patients has been exceptionally positive, with many commenting on how quick and streamlined the process was.

A special thanks goes out to Layla Hendow, Scot Richardson, Rachel Trees and all Alf Marshall Centre and BEVAN PCN staff for their hard work and support in realising this project and making it the success that it continues to be.

This work puts the team in good stead for any upcoming COVID vaccination programmes and fills the team with confidence that they can safely and effectively tackle any future challenges that may come as a result of the pandemic.

To find out more about the flu and how to protect yourself this winter, please contact your GP or visit the NHS website here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/

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