PPG Update Feb 2021
Patient Participation Group Update February 2021
The last meeting of the Patient Participation Group was on 5th December 2021 when Dr Helen Salisbury gave everyone an update on the plans for the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccinations.
While we have not had another PPG meeting, many of us have volunteered to help out at the vaccination clinics and have met each other at these sessions.
Jericho Health Centre is the vaccination hub for the 5 practices in the Central Oxford Primary Care Network. The practices are:
⦁ Observatory Medical Practice
⦁ Dr Leaver and partners
⦁ King Edward Street
⦁ 27 Beaumont Street
⦁ 28 Beaumont Street
Patients are being vaccinated in order of priority, as set out nationally by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). It is basically an age-related priority list, but also includes those who are clinically vulnerable.
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics
The first sessions were run before Christmas, over the weekend of 18th – 21st December. The Pfizer vaccine was given to the 80+ age group and some health and care professionals. Patients were also given their appointment for the second dose 3 weeks later.
Members of the PPG volunteered to be stewards outside of the practice on the Saturday, which was the busiest day with 800 people coming for their vaccines. It was a really emotional day for both patients, practice staff and volunteers.
Early in the new year the government changed the requirements about giving the 2nd dose of the vaccines from a 3 week interval between doses to up to 12 weeks. The practices decided to honour the original appointments and patients got their 2nd dose on 9th January 2021.
Since then the practices have been receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is less fragile and can be stored more easily. There have been clinics on Monday afternoons, and some Saturdays. PPG volunteers have helped out at all clinics, and they have introduced friends and neighbours so that we now have a pool of more than 20 people who can help out.
We have acquired excellent traffic management skills, although have been less successful persuading traffic wardens not to issue tickets to those waiting in Walton Street. It is still a rewarding task, and so far we have been lucky with the weather. I’m not sure it will be so great if was raining.
In terms of numbers, the practices have been vaccinating 300-400 people in a half-day session and up to 800 in a full-day. By mid-February they will have offered everyone in the top 4 priority groups their first vaccine – everyone over 70 and the clinically vulnerable.
What happens next depends on the government. If supplies of vaccine continue to be sent to the practices then they will continue to give it to patients. As volunteers we will also help out where we are needed.
The volunteers are patients at different practices in our Primary Care Network, so when this is all over we can plan a joint meeting (celebration)!
The Oximetry@Home scheme is a national scheme designed to identify patients who may be deteriorating but not realise it.
Patients aged over 65 and those who are clinically vulnerable who have had a positive test result, or who the practice think may have COVID-19 will have a pulse oximeter delivered to them at home.
They will be monitored by the practice for 14 days and asked to check their oxygen levels several times per day. They will be given instructions and a diary with the oximeter.
What is a pulse Oximeter?
A pulse oximeter measures the level of oxygen in the blood. COVID-19 can cause oxygen levels in the blood to drop to dangerously low levels – without them even noticing. This is called “silent hypoxia”.
Volunteers from both practices at Jericho Health Centre have offered to deliver Oximeters to patients as required. The idea is that the practices contact the volunteers at lunchtime and the meter is delivered during the afternoon.
If you are interested in finding out more about the PPG and volunteering contact
Published: Feb 1, 2021