South Milford Surgery has worked with a local airfield and NHS England to set up a local flu vaccination site to create a greater capacity for vaccinating vulnerable patients this October.
Patients eligible for the free flu vaccination will not need to visit the main surgery building. The surgery, which is located on the high street in South Milford, comprises one entrance and exit and narrow corridors not suitable for the increased number of eligible patients expected though the doors this year.
Practice staff involved in developing the Sherburn airfield site for safe use worked with NHS England’s Time for Care team who supported the planning process. The team facilitated joint planning sessions to ensure the venue was fit for purpose to administer the vaccine to those individuals who may be elderly, vulnerable or at high risk to infection.
Stephanie Drury, Practice Manager at South Milford Surgery said: “We had seen the covid testing sites and read about some surgeries doing child immunisations via drive through and wondered what could work for us. Our surgery car park is too small and so we had a look around the area for suitable sites. The Sherburn airfield was mentioned and we approached them for a conversation. They have been really helpful in letting us use the site for vaccinations for as long as we need, which will help protect many local patients from the effects of flu.”
Over 1000 eligible patients could be vaccinated at Sherburn airfield this October and the reduced visits to the main surgery will enable more social distancing space for health professionals to continue seeing patients with other health concerns.
Dr Steve Lovisetto, GP Partner at South Milford Surgery said: It is more important than ever that this year our vulnerable patients receive their flu vaccination to protect them from the effects of flu. We want to ensure that all of our eligible patients are vaccinated as quickly as possible and by using the airfield we have more safe space to do this, alongside those who still choose to come into the surgery, patients in care homes and those we need to visit at home.”
Although the majority of flu vaccinations are happening away from the main surgery this year, Dr Lovisetto stressed that day-to-day GP services are open, adding: “GP services are continuing safely at the main surgery and we encourage anyone with a health concern such as finding a lump in your body, discovering blood in your urine, if you’re struggling with your mental health or you’re due a cervical smear to get in touch for an appointment.”
The site will open on Tuesday 13th October and has already started receiving bookings from patients.
Brian Riddington, Sherburn Airfield Director said: The present Aero Club has been here since the 1960s and has always enjoyed a close relationship with the local Community. In our country’s time of need, the locals and aviators rallied at Sherburn Aerodrome to make aeroplanes and associated items for the war effort. Now in the countries time of need in this current health crisis, we are pleased to be able to support the local health initiative by providing a more covid safe environment for vulnerable people to get their flu jabs. We all have to do our bit during this pandemic and we will certainly do ours.”
For more information on the flu vaccination programme in the Vale of York please visit: https://bit.ly/VOYfluplans2020