I was concerned to hear that people were queuing for hours outside Jenner Health Centre recently. The South East London Clinical Commissioning Group confirmed that the issues have been resolved and ask that everyone is mindful of their appointment times.
It is important that the Covid-19 vaccine reaches everyone in the UK and that access to health services continues safely alongside this.
The full text of the CCG’s response is as follows:
14 January 2021
Dear Vicky Foxcroft MP
Re: Jenner Centre Vaccination Centre
Staff from Modality Lewisham Primary Care Network (PCN) have been working hard to vaccinate local people against Covid-19 at the Jenner Practice Vaccination centre which opened on Friday 8 January. By the end of this week they will have vaccinated over 2,000 people within eight days.
We are sorry that unfortunately, early on the first day of opening, there were long queues outside the Vaccination Centre. Many patients turned up between 30 and 60 minutes before their appointment time. Some also turned up several hours early as they were concerned that the vaccine supply would run out. There are a number of logistical challenges associated with delivering the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine including the need to deliver all doses within 3.5 days of receipt and the need to observe patients for 15 minutes after their vaccination. The inside space at the centre is very small so it was necessary for people to queue outside to keep them safe.
Staff in the clinic learnt valuable lessons during this first day. Modality Lewisham PCN, responded quickly by doubling the numbers of staff delivering the vaccine. This reduced the queue and later on that first day patients were turning up and going straight inside. This meant the clinic finished on time. The team were also requesting that people in the queue follow social distancing and infection control measures.
A small number of patients who had appointments on Friday 8 January left without receiving a vaccination. However they were all contacted and booked in and received a vaccine on Monday 11 January. The team have been contacting patients and requesting they turn up no more than 5 minutes before their appointment time and to reassure them that if they have an appointment they will receive a vaccine. Things have been running much more smoothly this week with either no, or very small, queues. The team has also now provided a heated marquee outside the building to keep people warm if they do need to queue.
We are concerned that the video clip which circulated widely on social media will put people off attending their vaccine appointment. If you are able to help reassure people that this was the centre’s first day and the issues with queuing have been resolved it
would be greatly appreciated.
MP enquiries COVID-19 and vaccination response team
NHS South East London CCG