Flu Vaccination

What does Frome Medical Practice offer? 

The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.

We are expecting a high demand for flu vaccinations this year and so we have put together the following information to clarify how our flu vaccination clinics will run in Autumn 2020. 

The process of delivering flu vaccination clinics begins several months before the practice starts the vaccination programme each autumn. At the end of 2019 we calculated the number of vaccines we needed to order based on the government eligibility criteria at that time and based on previous demand from our patients to be vaccinated.

Since we ordered our vaccines, the government has added an additional patient group to those who are eligible  - the over 50s. Please see below for further information if you are in this group, as we are not able to offer you the flu vaccination at the current time but will update this group of patients on vaccine availability as soon as we receive information about this from NHS England.

We also anticipate an increased demand this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

And we recognise that some of our patients, particularly those who are at higher risk, may have concerns about attending the practice at this time.

The following information clarifies our process for prioritizing patients who need to be vaccinated early on in the flu vaccination programme and what we are doing to ensure the safety of patients and staff when running our flu clinics. 

 

Who is eligible for the flu vaccination this year?

People with certain medical conditions

If you are under 65 with a long-term condition we will be contacting you by text or phone call to make an appointment for your flu vaccination in the next few weeks.

Please wait to receive your invitation to attend before contacting us to make your appointment.

 
Adults 65 and over (as of 31st March 2021)

If you are over 65 we will be contacting you to make an appointment for your flu vaccination in the next few weeks.

Please wait to receive your text message or phone call inviting you to attend before contacting us to make your appointment.

 
Over 50 and under 65 without a long term condition

You may be aware that the government recently announced that the 2020 flu vaccination programme would be available to people over 50 for the first time.

However, flu vaccines are ordered by the practice 9 months before the flu vaccination programme starts, which means we do not currently have vaccines for this group.

We understand that vaccines for this additional group are being organised by NHS England. We await information on when these will be available but we do not anticipate this happening before January 2021.

This is outside of our control but we will communicate with this group of patients as soon as we receive further information about this. Meanwhile please do not call the practice regarding flu vaccinations for the over 50s. We will contact you as soon as we have confirmed dates for being able to offer vaccinations to this group.

 
Family members of people who have been shielding from coronavirus

As for the Over 50s, we do not yet have vaccines for this group. We will contact this group of patients when we receive further information from NHS England regarding this.

 
Pregnant women

If you are pregnant we will be contacting you by text or phone call to make an appointment for your flu vaccination in the next few weeks.

Please wait to receive your invitation to attend before contacting us to make your appointment.

 
Children

We will be contacting patients regarding childhood flu vaccinations that are not carried out as part of the school programme as soon as we have confirmed delivery dates of these vaccines.

 
Unpaid carers

If you are an unpaid carer for a patient registered at Frome Medical Practice you can join our carers register – click here for more information.

Unpaid carers are able to receive a flu vaccination.  

When the person you care for receives their invite to book an appointment you will be able to book yours too. Please call the practice on 01373 301301 and inform the Care Navigator who takes your call that you are an unpaid carer on our register.

 

Clinic Times

Our flu vaccination clinics will start on Monday 21st September 2020 and will run at the following times:

Monday – Thursday

7.15am – 8.15am

Monday – Thursday

6.00pm – 7.40pm

Saturday

1.00pm – 5.30pm (currently available until 31st October)

 

Booking Your Appointment

We will be texting (or phoning patients for whom we do not have a mobile number) who are eligible for the vaccination.  These text invites will be sent out in a staggered way over the next weeks, to ensure we can see our higher risk patients first.

Once you’ve received your text inviting you to have your flu vaccination, please contact the practice to make your appointment.  You can do this as follows:

  • Please call the practice on 01373 301301 after 2pm to make your flu vaccination appointment.
  • Please avoid calling for to make a flu vaccination appointment in the morning when our phone call demand is at its peak.
 

Keeping you safe

We will be delivering the flu vaccination programme in a different way this year, to ensure it is socially distanced and safe for our patients and staff.

How are we doing this?

  • Appointments will be offered early mornings (Monday to Thursday), early evenings (Monday to Thursday) and Saturday afternoons. 
  • Appointment times will be spaced out to ensure social distancing can take place.
  • Patients attending the practice are asked to wear face coverings.
  • Staff will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). 
 

What to do when you come for your appointment

We are asking patients to follow these guidelines when attending their flu vaccination appointment:

  • Please wear a face covering when attending the practice.
  • Arrive promptly, 10 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Please do not enter the building until 10 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Please follow the signs directing you around the building. 
  • Please wear clothing that ensures your arm is ready for the vaccination as soon as you go in to see the clinician e.g. a short sleeve top, with any jacket / coat / jumper removed whilst you wait.
  • Please cancel your appointment as soon as possible if you are unable to attend – these clinics are extremely popular and this means we can offer the slot to someone else.
  • As with all appointments at the current time, please do no visit the practice if you have a fever, cough or have lost your sense of taste or smell. Please cancel and rearrange your appointment if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Please note you will not be able to use our toilet facilities when attending your flu vaccination appointment.
 

If you are eligible for pneumococcal vaccination…..

Please note that we will not be offering the pneumococcal vaccination alongside flu vaccinations this year.  We will be holding specific clinics for this instead.

If you are eligible for the pneumococcal vaccination we will contact you to invite you to attend these clinics shortly.

 

Other support available

You can read more about the flu vaccine here. This link includes further, more detailed information, on who should get the vaccine, types of vaccine and the potentially serious complications of flu that people in risk groups can experience.