The Chair of the CCG to present an NHS update, including pressures and COVID related pressures, vaccinations and boosters, rollout and any other key messages to promote.
The Chair of the CCG presented an update on the NHS including vaccinations and the Booster rollout.
Booster campaign:- before Sunday’s announcement, Devon had delivered 400,000 Boosters to those eligible (800,000). There was now an expectation to deliver 112,000 per week from now until the end of December; previously 55,000 were being delivered so now the number of weekly boosters had to double. Additional capacity had been added to the booking system and large vaccine centres were extending their opening hours across Devon – Home Park Plymouth stayed open until 2am until the last person received their booster.
The NHS had been inundated with offers of volunteers in Devon which was fantastic. 122 GP practices were being brought in as part of the booster campaign; some were under pressure to deliver needs in their community and staff shortages, so would be working with those surgeries. Community Pharmacies were also part of the booster campaign, along with the Hospital Hub opening in North Devon and Piloting a drive through service at Greendale. The flow of traffic at Greendale had been an issue but overnight workman had laid an access road and more parking spaces over one night to help tackle the backlog of people arriving for walk-in appointments.
Managing housebound individuals: 10,000 individuals required the booster vaccine who were housebound. The 15min observation period previously required for the Pfizer vaccine had now been lifted which meant teams visiting at home could now do more each day. Community nurses were also assisting ,so all those housebound would be covered and should be boosted by Christmas Day.
NHS providers had been supportive of the booster delivery rollout as a priority for the next 3 weeks. It would not impact on emergency care, and any redirected resources for the booster campaign would not be taken from emergency care, both primary and secondary care. However, there would be a stepping down of some routine appointments and messages would be going out to the public to advise of this.
People were encouraged to book their COVID Booster online where possible, drop-ins were available, but booking was helpful.
The impact of Flu on NHS services was always significant at this time of year as well, so it was important to also push the flu vaccine at the same time as COVID vaccine.
Delivering Booster – in 3 days Devon had delivered 43,000 vaccines and was therefore on target to achieve rollout targets. People were getting their Booster which was very positive, and with the extra resources Devon was on target to achieve booster jabs by end of December.
There were 131 individuals in hospital as of 15 December, some of those were vaccinated and most were stable – 18 on intensive care. The RD&E had a COVID capacity of 150 beds, as a result there was not a lot of scope to cope with an increase in COVID patients and still be able to do other emergency care. Staff absences also presented an issue and this was expected to become more of an issue with Omicron; currently just over 2,000 staff were absent, of which 30% were COVID related absences.