34,000 people in Horsham given life-saving jabs ... but confusion leaves empty appointments

Around 34,000 people in the Horsham area have now received life-saving jabs against Covid-19 - but the figure could have been higher.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 11:33 am

Nearly 18,000 people have been vaccinated at Christ’s Hospital and another 16,000 at Horsham’s Park Surgery.

But the Horsham Collaborative Primary Care Network, which covers Horsham’s Courtyard Surgery, Cowfold Surgery, Rudgwick Surgery and The Village Surgery in Southwater - and administers vaccines at Christ’s Hospital - has been left with 1,000 empty appointments.

Network clinical director Dr Matt Greenwood said it was ‘very frustrating.’

He said patient confusion had been caused by multiple invitations for vaccines going out, patients not keeping their contact details up to date and interruptions to the vaccine supply chain.

He said: “Our Primary Care Network, with the support from Horsham District Council and Christ’s Hospital School, have set up a very large and efficient service capable of vaccinating 2,500 people a day.

“This means we could - when vaccine supply allows - vaccinate all our registered patients in the 40-49 year old group in just two days.

“Our patients will have the fastest access to vaccination locally via their GP.”

He added: “The site takes a huge amount of time to set up and run with over 600 hours of volunteer and surgery staff time for each day we are running, so we do like to see it used to its full capacity.

“Whilst we are 50 per cent empty the ‘mass vaccination sites’ have 2-3 weeks of waiting. Patients of Courtyard, Southwater, Cowfold and Rudgwick would have been vaccinated faster if they had gone via their GP Surgery.”

He said the local Clinical Commissioning Group and MP Jeremy Quin had been ‘really helpful and involved.’

“They have been feeding back to the Government and NHS England the local picture to try and get a solution but it’s a national decision due to supply of vaccine so we have to sit tight.”

Patients are being kept informed on progress via the Courtyard Surgery Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CourtyardSurgery and practice websites.

Meanwhile, Horsham’s Central Primary Care Network - which administers vaccines for patients at Park Surgery, Holbrook, Orchard and Riverside surgeries -

has now vaccinated more than 16,000 patients and has started to administer second doses.

It says it is still continuing at the same time to move down through the cohorts giving first doses.