Matt Hancock video-calls Norwich surgery staff to say 'thanks'

Members of the  Norwich Primary Care Network (PCN) met with the health secretary about their part in the region's...

Members of the Norwich Primary Care Network (PCN) met with the health secretary about their part in the region's vaccination rollout. - Credit: Norfolk and Waveney CCG

Staff from Norwich GP surgeries have been praised by the health secretary for their work in the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Matt Hancock held a video call with members of the Norwich Primary Care Network (PCN), which has been vaccinating people over the age of 80 at Lionwood Medical Practice, Gurney Practice and Trinity and Bowthorpe Medical Practice in the city.

Staff have also set up roving teams going into care homes to vaccinate residents and those who are housebound in the area.

Mr Hancock spoke to the network's head of transformation, Tracey Bullard, Dr Raija Blenk, Dr Saffana Rasul and pharmacy team lead Duncan Martinez Hanson.

Mrs Bullard said: “It was such an amazing surprise. Last night I received a phone call to say the Secretary of State had heard how well we were progressing with the roll out of COVID-19 vaccinations in Norwich and that he wanted to speak to us and thank us for our efforts.

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“The call was arranged for today and we spent about 20 minutes talking. He was keen to learn more about the vaccine rollout in the Norwich area and thanked us. It was a really nice gesture and we were grateful for the call.”

Melanie Craig, chief executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) described the call as a “welcome boost” for primary care staff.

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She added: “Our health and care staff in primary care, hospitals, large scale vaccination sites and pharmacies are doing an incredible job to get the COVID-19 vaccine to those who need it the most.

"We have made considerable progress in Norfolk and north Suffolk (Waveney) vaccinating those aged 80 years and over, care home residents and staff and frontline health and care workers. This is welcome news but we will not rest until all those who are most vulnerable to this disease are vaccinated.”

The CCG gave an update about the vaccine programme at a governing body meeting on Tuesday which included that  76,234 vaccines have been given to all age groups across Norfolk and Waveney up to January 17.

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