GP practices in Surrey will be administering flu jabs at their local airport car park this winter to help protect against the spread of Covid-19.
Surrey Heath Primary Care Network (PCN) has announced that from 21 September, six local GP practices will begin offering flu jabs to patients in their vehicles at a car park near the control tower at Blackbushe Airport.
It’s one of a number of off-site clinics being set up across the country, as practices and primary care networks make arrangements for delivering the expanded flu programme this year.
The clinic, which will initially operate for seven weeks, will be staffed by the Surrey Heath GP surgeries, with volunteers supporting as traffic wardens.
Edmund Cartwright, Surrey Heath PCN’s clinical director, said that the Covid-19 pandemic has meant ‘all health care and services have had to adapt the way they work’ and the drive-through clinic will mean the flu jab can be administered in ‘the safest possible way’.
Meanwhile, Alvanley Family Practice in Stockport has agreed to deliver drive-through and cycle-through flu vaccinations from a local Morrisons supermarket car park, which could begin on 23 September if stock deliveries arrive when expected.
Those who do not own a car will be invited to attend a traditional practice clinic, while those who are bed-bound will receive home visits, the practice said.
Practice manager Kay Keane told Pulse’s sister title Management in Practice that each clinician delivering flu jabs will have admin support with them, and volunteers will be on hand to assist with marshalling.
She added that the ‘Drive flu’ campaign is about ‘keeping patients safe, avoiding queues and of course encouraging people to attend’.
Similarly, Darlington PCN has arranged a drive-through clinic outside Northern Echo Arena, which is a local 25,000 seat stadium, home to a professional rugby team, as well as a walk-through clinic inside a local church hall, which will have a one way system in place.
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust also organised a drive-throgh HPV vaccination service for roughly 120 families earlier this month, which it said saw ‘many GPs and visitors from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) [drop in] to learn valuable lessons to help them deliver the national, expanded flu immunisation programme this autumn’.
Last week, NHS England told GP practices to consider asking patients to wait outside in their cars, if possible, when seeing them face-to-face to limit numbers in waiting rooms. It also suggested other safety precautions such as introducing floor markings and signs to promote social distancing in communal areas.
The CQC has also published guidance for practices carrying out vaccination clinics at an off-site location.