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Plaistow surgery launches ‘drive-through’ child immunisations clinic so people can get jabs whilst social distancing

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 May 2020

Dr Farzana Hussain, centre, and medical director for primary care at NHS England and NHS Improvement, Dr Nikki Kanani, with Project Surgery staff before the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Newham CCG

Dr Farzana Hussain, centre, and medical director for primary care at NHS England and NHS Improvement, Dr Nikki Kanani, with Project Surgery staff before the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Newham CCG

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An innovative “drive-through” child immunisations clinic in Plaistow is ensuring people can attend vital appointments whilst safely social distancing.

The Project Surgery in Plaistow is offering a 'drive-through' child vaccination clinic. Picture: David Jones / PA ImagesThe Project Surgery in Plaistow is offering a 'drive-through' child vaccination clinic. Picture: David Jones / PA Images

NHS England has launched a campaign urging people to attend regular appointments to prevent avoidable outbreaks of other serious diseases, amid concerns that many are avoiding trips to the doctor - including failing to get vaccinations - because of Covid-19 fears,

In response, The Project Surgery in Plaistow set up a drive-through vaccination clinic to minimise the risk of infection and ease the worries of parents and carers.

GP principal at the surgery, Dr Farzana Hussain, said: “The numbers at our weekly child immunisation sessions were well down on usual levels, so we recognised that we needed to give greater reassurance to parents who were clearly concerned about coming to the practice due to Covid-19.

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“Our nurse Shabnam worked really hard in setting up our drive-through clinic, which minimises the risk of infection, and in the past week the numbers have been back to two-thirds of what they were pre-Covid.

“The parents and carers who came along appreciated having just two minutes’ face-to-face contact, rather than the usual 10, and this clearly made the difference in encouraging them to attend.”

Under the new system, The Project Surgery contacts a parent or carer and informs them the vaccine will be administered while they stay in the car or with their child sat in a pushchair.

The parents or caregiver waits outside and rings the practice when they arrive, then the practice nurse holds a short phone consultation informing them how the appointment will work and answering any questions they have. The vaccine is prepared inside the surgery then taken out and administered.

Immunisation records are written up by the nurse back in her consulting room and sent electronically to the parent or carer so they can update their red book - child health record.

NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group managing director Selina Douglas said: “The Project Surgery have been leading the way in showing how we can continue to provide the important health services our patients need in these incredibly challenging times.”


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