Practice news

Service updates and news for general practice staff in Newcastle

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Vaccine update

As at Sunday 14 February we have vaccinated 40,443 patients at our two Local Vaccination Centers, care homes, assisted living and housebound program.

As you are aware, this includes offering everyone in cohorts 1-4 a vaccine, and we can now invite patients from cohort 5 and 6; that is, all those aged 65 and over and all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.

This week (w/c 15 Feb)

This is our planned schedule for this week.

9 am – 4 pm9 am – 3 pm
9 am – 3 pm 

The offer for practices to deliver vaccinations from their sites still stands, subject to assessment by their Clinical Director and meeting all NHS England requirements. We have produced a simple guide which details all the components which need to be in place to provide appropriate assurance back to Network Clinical Directors – who themselves retain the risk for vaccine delivery. If practices wish to start administering the AZ vaccine, please contact Christian Townend at

Second dose update

We have received notification that patients who received their initial vaccination whilst inpatients in hospital will now be expected to receive their second doses through Primary Care sites. We are working to understand the implications of this and support ongoing delivery.

Patient feedback on vaccinations

Please can all practices ask patients who have received a vaccine to complete a patient survey, available online at The feedback we get is important to help us ensure that the vaccination service at our GP-led sites is efficient, effective and patient-focused.

Vaccination outreach bus update

NGPS are working with Dr Brigid Joughin, Clinical Director of the Outer West PCN, Go Ahead North East, community and voluntary sector organisations from across the city and Your Homes Newcastle on a vaccination outreach project. A bus is currently being kitted out and operational plans being finalised, and we will hopefully be vaccinating those who are homeless in Newcastle from w/c 22 February, with further plans for other community engagement from March onwards. More details to follow once this has been finalised.

Delivering COVID-19 vaccine to adults with learning disability/autism   

The North East & North Cumbria Learning Disability CCG Clinical Leads Group met in November 2020 and issued guidance on delivering COVID-19 vaccination to people with learning disability/autism.

This updated guidance is issued in light of learning from vaccination programme and national guidance/policy as at 12 Jan, 2021. In accordance with The Mental Capacity Act, all adults receiving the vaccine should do so after giving informed consent; this includes people with learning disability and autistic people. If people with learning disability and autistic people lack capacity to give informed consent, then the Mental Capacity Act should be used to ensure a Best Interest Decision is made. This requires forward planning and should not be left to the vaccinator at the time of the appointment. More information is included in the attached update from the North East & North Cumbria Learning Disability CCG Clinical Leads Group which also includes links to Easy Read materials.

Engagement with communities across the city

Newcastle City Council are leading on a campaign to ensure as many people as possible take up the offer of the Covid vaccine, including those in hard to reach communities and people whose first language is not English; more information to follow when we have it. Dr Lorna Longworth, Clinical Director for the WEFH Primary Care Network and GP, is also attending meetings with local Community Champions and community group representatives to answer any questions they have about the vaccine.

If you are a GP or member of practice staff who would like to help us reach as many people as possible and answer questions about the vaccine, for example through recording videos in languages other than English, please get in touch with Lorna at 

Hot site closes Friday 19 February

Our hot site at Elswick Medical Practice closes this week, at the end of the day on Friday 19 February. From Saturday 20 February all hot patients will be seen via our hot home visiting service. Please see attached an updated SOP for the service for more information.

Tuesday 9 February 2021

As at Sunday 7th February we have vaccinated 31,501 patients at our two Local Vaccination Centres, care homes, assisted living and housebound program.

Our priority this week is ensuring that we have offered a vaccine to everyone in cohorts 1-4 so we can move on to cohort five. We are also now planning for the 2nd dose rollout, with expected rollout to start from 15 March

This week (w/c 8 Feb)

We are now operating an additional session this week, on Saturday 13 February at the Racecourse.

There remains a degree of uncertainty around the number of Newcastle residents vaccinated in cohorts 1 – 4, this is because the Mass vaccination site at C4L is unable to differentiate between residents of the city of Newcastle and residents in other parts of the North East. As a result of this, we are now asking practices to fill their allocations with patients from cohort 1- 5 (with the priority for unfilled appointments going to cohorts 1 – 4. Therefore those practices who have exhausted their list of cohorts 1 – 4 can now reach down to cohort 5 and invite them to unfilled slots in their practice allocation this week.

Our plan is as follows this week:

Practices Lists (Cohorts 1-4)Practices Lists (Cohorts 1-4)Practices Lists (Cohorts 1-4)Practices Lists (Cohorts 1-4)Practices Lists (Cohorts 1-4)
1500 (AZ)1500 (AZ)1500 (AZ)1500 (AZ)1500 (AZ)
9 am – 4 pm9 am – 4 pm9 am – 4 pm9 am – 4 pm9 am – 4 pm
 1500 (AZ)1500 (AZ) 
 9 am – 4 pm9 am – 4 pm 

Please note: there are Race Days at the Racecourse on Weds 10 and Thurs 11 February so the East entrance must be used for all patients, staff and volunteers. A map and further details are available on our website at

If you are booked to work or volunteer at one of our sites and haven’t done before, we now have a staff only training video on our website with a site walkthrough and introduction to our GP-led vaccination service.  This can be seen at (password V@cc1ne).

BAME and hard to reach groups community engagement

Work is currently ongoing to engage with people in BAME and hard to reach communities in Newcastle as part of our GP-led Covid Vaccination programme. This work is being led in primary care in Newcastle by Dr Lorna Longworth, Clinical Director of the WEFH PCN, and a working group has been set up with staff from the local authority (including Public Health), the CCG and NGPS to understand the best ways to ensure every adult in the city gets their vaccine. This includes those people who may not registered with a GP, such as asylum seekers, and the group is both looking at operational activity and communications and engagement. There are a number of reasons why there may be barriers to people getting a vaccine, including vaccine hesitancy. Understanding what these barriers are, and why people may be hesitant to have the Covid vaccine, is an important part of the project, as is understanding the possible differences across different communities.

Dr Brigid Joughin, Clinical Director of the Outer West PCN, is working with Go Ahead North East on a possible outreach project for the city, and we are currently working out the logistics. We are hoping to use a bus, donated by the company, to enable us to reach out to those harder to reach communities and to start by visiting homeless hostels later in February. The plan would then be to work with community leaders throughout the city using the bus to spread information and run pop-up clinics in sites identified as welcoming to local communities.

Dr Longworth – with staff from NGPS – has attended NCC Newcastle Community Champions and HAREF Connected Voices meetings and spoken to people from community and voluntary organisations across the city about the Covid vaccination programme and answered their questions about the vaccines. A video guide to one of our vaccine sites has also been recorded in Bangla (Bengali) by one of the Newcastle Community Champions and is available on the NGPS YouTube channel and on Twitter, and we are looking to produce more videos in other community languages. More information in other languages has also been produced nationally – you can download this from

If you are a GP or clinician and would like to get involved in helping with this work please contact Lorna at We are particularly interested in getting GPs from across the city recording videos about the vaccination programme in languages other than English to help with community engagement. If your practice has good links to diverse communities in Newcastle and can contribute to the programme please get in touch.

Patient feedback on vaccinations – please send this survey link to patients

We have set up an online survey to enable us to get feedback on how our vaccination sessions have been run and learn lessons from our vaccination programme so far. The survey is only for patients who have received vaccinations through GP-led services. Please can you send the link to the survey to any patients you book to have a vaccine at our sites so we can get as much feedback as possible. The survey can be found at We would also appreciate this being distributed to patients who have already received the vaccine, if possible. Thank you.

RCGP project on the value of general practice

The RCGP is undertaking a project exploring the value of general practice. They want to create a resource that will explain what general practice does and what makes it valuable. Please could practices could share this video on social media so any patients who wish to take part may do so –

tuesday 2 february 2021

vaccine update

As at Sunday 31st January we have vaccinated 24,988 patients at our two Local Vaccination Centers, care homes, assisted living and housebound program – this is more than 9,000 up from last week.

Once again we want to send our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in this across the city, from our CDs, GPs and practice staff, the CCG, NuTH, the council, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Virgin Media and all of our staff and volunteers on site.

We have received many, many messages of thanks and kind words from our patients, who have praised everything from the car park marshals to the organisation, the friendliness of the staff to the rapid turnaround times. Everyone has played their part, and this has been recognized.

Housebound Update

As at today, the NuTH district nurse team, led by Joanne Meredith and with the support of Dr Guy Clements (PCN CD for JLG), have reached 1,500 of our housebound patients in their vaccination program (in just two weeks!). There is some ‘mopping up’ which the team plan on undertaking once a week for ongoing weeks – this will also include working with patients who are under 70 and CEV. We at NGPS, and the CDs, feel very lucky to have had this support from Elaine’s community team both in terms of the housebound and care home project so a big thank you.

This week (w/c 1 Feb)

UPDATE: Our planned vaccination session for 5 February have been moved to 12 February. This session was originally scheduled for health and social care staff, so will not impact on any patient lists. Anyone who has been booked to work a shift has automatically been booked on the equivalent shift on the 12th. We understand that not everyone may be able to make the new date. If this is the case, please add a note on the shift on Rotify, or email us on .

We will release lists for next week to practices once we have confirmation of supply so please await our initiation for W/C 8th Feb.

In order to vaccinate cohorts 1 -4 by 15th February we have calculated that we need to deliver around seven thousand vaccines a week for the next 2 weeks at our two sites. Our plan is as follows this week:

Practices Lists (Cohorts 1-4)Practices Lists (Cohorts 1-4)Practices Lists (Cohorts 1-4)Practices Lists (Cohorts 1-4)
1170 (Pfizer)1170 (Pfizer)2340 (AZ)2340 (AZ)
9 am – 3 pm9 am – 3 pm10 am – 4 pm9 am – 3 pm

Please see the attached document “Easy Read PCN Hub template letter – Learning Disability” to assist in calling patients and reminder re cohorts 1-4.

Second dose update

We were notified on Friday night that a plan would follow this week regarding our deliveries to enable us to deliver second dose clinics.

We are expecting delivery of vaccines for our 2nd doses in March to enable us to set up vaccination clinics from 15 March (11 weeks from our first clinic on 23rd December).

The allocated quantity will be based on quantity of 1st dose delivered by site so we will work up a way to ensure a method of recall is communicated to our practices next week. A limiting factor for us here is the quality of the data extraction from Pinnacle which we understand is being worked on nationally.

Patient feedback on vaccinations

We are setting up an online survey this week to enable us to get feedback on how our vaccination sessions have been run and learn lessons from our vaccination programme so far. We will be asking practices to distribute these to patients once live so we can get as many people responding as possible and will be in touch with the link to the survey in the next couple of days. Feedback so far from patients has been incredibly positive, but we want to make sure we capture as many views as we can so ask for your help in collecting comments.

Rotify – rota management system

As you are aware, we are now using a new online rota management system called Rotify where staff and volunteers can search for and book shifts themselves, reducing the pressure on our team and making our workforce recruitment much more efficient for everyone. If you haven’t yet had an account set up, please let us know. If you need to cancel any shifts you have booked, you’ll need to get in touch with our team as you can’t do this yourself online. For all Rotify enquiries please always email 

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