Update on blood tube shortage

The current national blood tube shortage is affecting every area of the country.

Working closely together as a health and care system, we are following national guidance to prioritise blood tests for those with the most urgent clinical needs. As a result, routine and non-urgent blood tests are being delayed but only when safe to do so. This guidance is being regularly reviewed by clinicians across our area.

While we appreciate this will be concerning for those affected, we are asking people not to contact GP practices or healthcare providers about a delayed blood test unless their condition worsens, changes or  have particular worries.  Please be assured that we will be reinstating routine and non-urgent testing as soon as it is possible to do so, and in line with national guidance.

Regular updates will also be published online at www.bnssgccg.nhs.uk/blood-tubes


NHS jabs 27 people a second on ‘Super Saturday’ as local GPs encourage eligible patients to come forward for vaccination this week

NHS staff delivered almost 100,000 Covid-19 vaccinations in a single hour on 20 March as ‘Super Saturday’ took the vaccine programme to new heights.

A record 756,873 jabs were recorded across England, including 686,424 first doses to cap a bumper week. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists and countless others delivered 96,834 vaccinations between 11am and 12pm on Saturday, an average of 1,614 a minute or around 27 a second.

One group of GP surgeries in Kingswood, known as 4PCN, vaccinated 1,909 people in a day across four sites in Bristol.

Dr Neil Kerfoot, GP at Kingswood Health Centre and Clinical Director at 4PCN said “The incredible hard work of our vaccination teams has been on full display over the weekend.

“We have a strong supply of vaccine for the coming week, so if you are aged over 50 or eligible for vaccination due to an underlying health condition, don’t delay. Now is a great time to book your Covid-19 jab – it’s quick and efficient, safe and effective, and painless.

“If you are over 50 or have an underlying health condition that means you are eligible for vaccination, please contact your GP surgery to book your appointment.”

Since the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in the health service’s history, kicked off little over 100 days ago, 371,303 doses have been delivered providing protection to 348,491 people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Doctors, nurses and countless other staff, supported by volunteers and others, are delivering the life-saving jab at a range of sites across our area from GP surgeries, community centres and mosques to sports stadiums and schools.


Two more pharmacies in Bristol join those delivering the Covid-19 vaccination

A further two pharmacies in Bristol have joined those delivering the Covid-19 vaccination to people in the community.

Kellaway Pharmacy in Westbury Park and Boots Pharmacy at Cribbs Causeways will opening vaccination clinics from today (4 February). Car parking for the Kellaway Pharmacy is available at the nearby Cairns Road Baptist Church.

All those eligible for the vaccine will be invited to attend by letter or phone call.

Read more about local vaccination for COVID-19


More high street pharmacies join local vaccine delivery programme

More pharmacies in Bristol and South Gloucestershire have joined the national programme to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations to local people on the high street.

Clinics led by two pharmacies in Bristol and one in South Gloucestershire are now open. They join Superdrug in Broadmead and Locking Pharmacy in Weston-super-Mare which started delivering clinics last week as part of a national drive to see the life-saving vaccination being offered on local high streets.

The pharmacy clinics support the vaccinations taking place at the local mass vaccination site at Ashton Gate Stadium as well as those at the 19 GP-led vaccination sites across our local area.

Read the full story on the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG website
Read more about local vaccination for COVID-19


High Street Pharmacies in Bristol and Weston-Super-Mare among hundreds across country delivering NHS COVID-19 vaccination

High street pharmacies in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare will start to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations from today as part of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history. Superdrug in Broadmead, Bristol and Locking Pharmacy in Weston-super-Mare will be among the first of hundreds of community pharmacies to offer vaccinations protecting against the virus.

Over the next two weeks, more community pharmacies are due to start vaccinating in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area. Vaccinations are also being offered at 19 GPs sites across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, two hospital hubs and Ashton Gate – the super vaccination centre.

People invited to make an appointment through the new national booking service will be given a choice between a vaccination centre or a pharmacy service. You can choose the site most convenient and accessible to you or wait to be contacted by your GP.


All primary care COVID-19 vaccination centres across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are now live

Three more primary care network sites in Bristol began their COVID-19 vaccination roll out, meaning that all 19 general practice sites in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are now open and vaccinating people against the virus.

This means that every neighbourhood area in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire now has a GP practice vaccination centre.

The centres are working alongside the super vaccination centre at Ashton Gate and the hospital hubs at Southmead Hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary and Weston General Hospital to ensure the priority groups as set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are vaccinated as soon as possible.

Read the full story on the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG website

Read more about local vaccination for COVID-19


New Oxford vaccine rolled out in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

The new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is being rolled out in local General Practice-led services today, making it easier to protect care home residents and other vulnerable people against Covid-19.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be approved, the Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is much easier to move, making it easier to use in care homes and to vaccinate the housebound.

Bristol’s Ashton Gate Stadium will be among the sites coming online locally next week, alongside further GP Practice sites. By the end of next week, every neighbourhood area in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will have a GP practice vaccination centre up and running – 19 sites in total.

Local GP and member of the clinical team responsible for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire COVID-19 vaccination programme, Dr Neil Kerfoot, said:

“We’re delighted to have received the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine here at Kingswood Health Centre and in other sites across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire today.

“There's still much to be done, and we are working tirelessly to ensure the vaccine is rolled out effectively to everyone in the area who needs it.

“Our shared priority at the moment is to visit and vaccinate care home residents and staff, as well as vaccinating the over 80s across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. My primary care network here in South Gloucestershire should have completed our care homes by the end of next week, which is fantastic. Now that we have more vaccine coming through, other sites won't be far behind.

“This has involved a lot of work over Christmas and New Year, and I’d like to thank all of our staff who are working so hard to make this happen - as well as the public for their patience and support.

We want to reassure our over 80s population that if you haven't yet been contacted - please don't worry, we will be in touch very soon.”

Alongside people over the age of 80, care home residents and staff have been set as the highest priority group by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

While the approval and delivery of the Oxford vaccine means the NHS will be able to ramp up its vaccination efforts, it will still take some time to reach everyone who needs to be vaccinated. The NHS will be in touch when it is your turn.

Read more about local vaccination for Covid-19


Ashton Gate Stadium confirmed as one of seven “Super Vaccination” Centres

Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol is one of seven ‘super vaccination’ centres across England that will be delivering Covid-19 vaccinations from next week.

Across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, there are now two hospital hubs in operation and 14 GP sites vaccinating the most vulnerable in our communities in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) prioritisation guidance.

This is a really exciting development, but it will still take time to reach everyone who needs to be vaccinated. We ask for the public's continued support and patience - the NHS will be in touch when it is your turn.

Everyone who is vaccinated at Ashton Gate will be invited by the NHS - please do not attend the site expected to be vaccinated if you do not have an appointment.

Read more about local vaccination for Covid-19


GPs in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire begin roll-out of Covid-19 vaccine

Local vaccination services run by GPs will open across the area this week, as the roll-out of the biggest immunisation programme in NHS history gains momentum.

GPs and other primary care staff have been working round the clock to ensure those most at risk are able to receive the vaccine first, with four sites starting to vaccinate in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. A phased roll-out will continue into the New Year.

Practices have been working together in groups called ‘Primary Care Networks’ to provide the vaccine across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. People aged 80 and over, as well as colleagues in our community services and care home workers will be the first to be invited to get the jab – with local people urged to wait their turn to be called.

The sites administering vaccinations this week as part of the ‘Wave 1’ GP-led programme are:

  • Kingswood Health Centre, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire
  • Riverbank Medical Centre, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset
  • Greenway Community Centre, Southmead, Bristol
  • Pudding Pie Lane Surgery, Langford, North Somerset

People over 80 who are most at risk from Covid-19 are the priority cohort, based on advice from the national independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Local GP and member of the clinical team responsible for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire COVID-19 vaccination programme, Dr Neil Kerfoot, will be vaccinating people at Kingswood Health Centre from Tuesday. Dr Kerfoot said:

“We are really excited to be able to start vaccinating local residents to help protect them against coronavirus.

"We have been booking patients in for the last few days and inviting those over the age of 80 to come and get their jab. We are asking everyone to be patient and not to contact their surgery in relation to vaccination - we will contact you when we are ready to book you in.

"To be in this position is testament to our incredible workforce - they have pulled out all the stops to ensure we are able to start vaccinating. This includes identifying suitable sites and putting in place strong processes to meet the logistical challenges of a programme of this size and scale.”

Sara Blackmore, Director of Public Health at South Gloucestershire Council, said:

“This is fantastic progress, and it has been a real partnership effort to get ready for this week’s local vaccinations.

“It is still vital that we keep following the guidance: Hands, Face, Space; to protect ourselves, our family, friends, neighbours and our whole community. While there will be vaccine for everyone who needs it, the scale of the task means it is going to take some time, and we need to stay mindful of the threat of the virus and do everything we can to limit spread.”

Due to limited early supply of the vaccine, the Wave 1 sites have been selected on the basis of geography, the number of over 80s in the local population and operational readiness. More local sites will be announced in the coming weeks.

More information about the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine


Future of healthcare in the region under the spotlight at Bristol conference

The ‘Healthier Together’ Conference took place on Thursday 17 October at Ashton Gate Stadium and provided attendees with an opportunity to hear about the vision for healthcare in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and to feed back their ideas on plans as they are drawn up.

The day featured a number of talks and presentations including an overview of some of the health and care issues we’re tackling, our developing five year system plan and an inspirational talk from Happy City, Chief Executive, Liz Zeidler, on the importance of well-being in everyone’s lives.

There was also a number of interactive workshops, with delegates able to join in lively discussions and share their views on mental health and well-being; personalisation and shared decision-making, prevention and self-care; digital transformation, primary care; and urgent care.

Joint Executive Lead for the Healthier Together Partnership and Chief Executive of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Julia Ross, said:

“It has been fantastic to get so many people in the room talking about what matters most to them. More than 200 people, including members of the public, elected members, representatives of third sector organisations and partner organisations, attended the event and there was such a fantastic energy in the room.

“Everyone has been really focused on how we can make health and social care fit for the 21st Century and of course for the future. The workshops were focused on just some of our current programmes of work; we’ve presented what we have done to date and asked people what they think; getting their feedback and input so, as we go through to write the plans, it can properly reflect the range of views of our population.

“Of course, this is just part of the conversation, and we will continue to talk to people and gather views from as many people as possible as our plans develop.”

Healthier Together is our Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP). It comprises 11 local health and care organisations, working together to develop long term plans for healthcare in the region. The views of the public, patients and staff form a significant role in shaping our Healthier Together plans. If you are interested in hearing more about our long term system plan or giving your views as it develops, visit our Get Involved page.