Lesley Jones is a member of the administration team at the Filey Surgery in North Yorkshire and is responsible for planning and running the annual ‘flu’ campaign. The surgery has over 9,000 patients.
Lesley says ‘We start our planning in December or January when we order the vaccines and then look at the detail in July when we set dates for our two Saturday ‘walk in’ clinics in September.
We start by communicating with staff with posters in the staff room and emails asking for help. Everyone is involved: healthcare assistants, admin, the doctors and nurses.
We also enlist our PPG which is a huge asset.
We create promotional material which is displayed in the surgery, within the community and on local buses which pick up the elderly.
We invite patients to attend via letter and text and when they come in for appointments. We particularly target chronic disease and ‘at risk’ patients.
On the day we have a team of runners who get patients ready with coats off and sleeves rolled up and give directions as we have different rooms for administering the vaccines for over 65s and under 65s. We usually have at least 6 clinics at a time and can get through 1000 vaccinations in a morning!
This year the vaccines for the under 65s were late arriving and we had to turn patients away. We’ll be ordering all our vaccines from the same company in 2020 in the hope they’ll both arrive together. Also the over 65 flu vaccines caught us by surprise by arriving nearly 2 weeks early, resulting in a mad panic and the need to urgently purchase a new fridge!!
Once we’ve held the first clinics we allocate time to the healthcare assistant clinics and offer the under 65s late night slots up to 8.00pm.
This was my first year running the campaign. Next year I’m considering blocking off parts of the healthcare assistants’ clinics from the start of the campaign with 5 minute slots and would hope to capture the walk ins straight away rather than them going to the chemist.
If they have their vaccination at the pharmacy it can be a real palaver. We not only lose the income but it takes longer to update records and more importantly we waste time and resource chasing these patients to find out if they are going to attend.
We also offer pneumonia and shingles vaccinations where appropriate.
Every year we run summer and winter wellbeing self help days at the local community centre with the opportunity to have your blood pressure checked as well as height and weight checks and there are lots of useful information stalls.
We’ve made sure that we’ve also been giving training to our NVQ3 Health Assistant so that she’s onboard for 2020.
On the day of the clinics it’s always a lovely relaxed atmosphere helped by the fact that the phones aren’t ringing! The clinics run from 8am - 12pm and everyone’s dressed in civvies. All the staff love doing them so we always have a good uptake from the team - probably helped by the mid- morning bacon butty.
We also have a special initiative for the housebound. I chauffeur a team around the area. In advance I draw up the list, plot the route, print off any necessary paperwork e.g. blood forms and then we can be really efficient in the amount of time we can spend with patients.
We invite all carers including parents of children at risk for jabs and add a note to parents on any letters inviting children to attend. Despite delays in the vaccine delivery we’ve tried to vaccinate as many children as we can.
Things I’ll be trying to do this year will include: trying to add PSDs in bulk before we start the process; bulk text invites to promote the clinics, reminders to the home screens. We need to spread the message that flu is not just a bad cold, it can be fatal, particularly if you have elderly relatives - it’s not just about YOU.
Before we used Docmail we would have to print, fold and put into envelopes nearly 2000 letters, then someone had to go to the Post Office with them all. Now we direct to Docmail and it is done for us, saving an enormous amount of staff time, shoe leather and queuing at the Post Office! .
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