Nick Gibb MP visited the Bognor Medical Centre at the invitation of Dr Tej Bansil and Dr James Bramell to see the Covid vaccination centre in action.
The centre operates from the second floor of the Bognor Regis Medical Practice, in a specially prepared area. It has three vaccination rooms, and waiting areas for those under observation for 15 minutes after receiving the Pfizer vaccine. The centre started dispensing vaccines on 7 January.
The centre is the venue for vaccinations for all of the nine GP practices in the area, serving about 100,000 residents. The GP practices are:
Avisford Medical Group
Bersted Green Surgery
Bognor Regis Medical Practice
Flansham Park Health Centre
Grove House Surgery
Maywood Health Care Centre
The Croft Surgery
West Meads Surgery
The Angmering Medical Centre will deliver vaccines for patients at Coppice Surgery, Fitzalan Medical Group.
Westcourt Medical Centre will deliver vaccines for patients at Park Surgery,Willow Green Surgery and Westcourt Medical Centre.
The Bognor Regis vaccination centre is overseen by a doctor, a local GP. The vaccinations themselves are given by experienced nurses from the GP practices. There are also volunteers on site to help with the process and to look after people before and after their vaccination.
Initially the vaccines were exclusively the Pfizer vaccine, as they had been the first to be licensed. Now, however, the centre is dispensing the AstraZeneca vaccine as well. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be dispensed more quickly than the Pfizer vaccine because there is no requirement for a 15 minute observation period after receiving an AstraZeneca vaccine. As such the centre can dispense about 1000 AstraZeneca vaccines each day compared to about 400 Pfizer vaccines.
The centre is currently focusing on people over the age of 80 and is confident that by 31 January all non-housebound individuals over the age of 80 on the GP practices’ lists will have had a Covid vaccine.
Nick Gibb said: “Local GPs, nurses and volunteers have worked around the clock to establish the Vaccination Centre at the Bognor Medical Centre. And they are working seven days a week to dispense the Covid vaccine to local residents over the age of 80 as fast as they can. I’m delighted that by the end of January all residents over the age of 80 who can get to the Medical Centre in Bognor Regis will have been vaccinated.
“Whilst I was concerned that vaccinations in this area did not start until January, a concern I have raised with the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, we can now be confident that, due to the commitment of local doctors, nurses and volunteers, the vaccination process is operating swiftly and efficiently.
“I am very pleased that all the over-80s who can get to the Health Centre will receive a vaccine before the end of January. I am continuing to press the local NHS Community Trust to ensure that those who are housebound, and so cannot travel to the Health Centre, receive the vaccine as soon as possible. This should be an urgent priority.
“We all owe a great debt of gratitude to everyone at the vaccination centre, led by local GPs, Dr Tej Bansil and Dr James Bramell, who are doing so much to ensure everyone has the vaccination at the earliest opportunity.”
Photo: from left - Nurse Samantha Minto; Dr James Bramell; Dr Tej Bansil; Nurse Zoe Coker; Nick Gibb