A NORTH-EAST GP surgery has told patients to disregard the Government's advice to call their GP if they are over 70 and still waiting for a vaccine.

Yarm Medical Practice in Yarm, near Stockton, said its situation "has not changed" following the Health Secretary Matt Hancock's advice to call GPs last night.

On Monday, Mr Hancock urged people in England aged over 70 to contact the NHS if they had not yet secured an appointment to have the Covid vaccine.

During the Downing Street press conference, Mr Hancock urged people to use the national booking service online, call 119 or speak to their local GP surgery.

He made the comments as he said the country is "turning a corner in our battle against coronavirus" and said the rollout is "going well."

But in a statement to patients on Monday evening, the Yarm Medical Practice said it it would contact patients "when we can" as it said it had no control over its delivery dates or supply.

The statement said: "Following the Government's announcement this evening regarding Covid vaccinations, please be aware our situation has not changed.

"We have no control over our delivery dates on our vaccination supplies. We WILL contact you to arrange your vaccination when we can, so please do NOT contact the Surgery about this."

Meanwhile in Northumberland, a GP called on NHS England to deliver "time-sensitive vaccines" such as the Pfizer/BioNTech jab on the day of the week that the site requires it.

Ben Burville, who tweeted Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS England's Director of Primary Care, made the comments as he asked for a "genuine effort" to introduce a minimum of three weeks notice for Covid vaccine deliveries.

He said: "Every Primary Care Network/GP site I speak to are asking for NHS England to deliver time sensitive vaccine e.g Pfizer on day of the week that the site needs it.

"A genuine effort to move towards a minimum of three weeks notice for Covid vaccine deliveries. We need to be able to plan ahead."

He later added: "We will do our best to improve things for all NHS PCN/GP Covid vaccination sites.

"Some simple changes will make a huge difference for our patients and our staff. It will also improve the efficiency for our patients and our staff.

"It will also improve the efficiency of our Covid vaccine sites to help us "get the job done."

In response Dr Janet Walker, medical director, NHS Tees Valley CCG said: "We are off to a great start in Tees Valley with many eligible people already vaccinated or have appointments to receive the vaccine over the next few days. 

"We want to make sure that everyone in the first priority groups has the opportunity to be vaccinated and as such, we are asking those aged 70 and over, who haven’t yet received your vaccine, to please come forward and make an appointment.

"This can be done when your GP surgery contacts you to book an appointment at a local GP service. You can book online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination, or you can phone 119  for an appointment at a large vaccination centre or community pharmacy venue.  

"Phone lines are really busy into GP surgeries at the minute with increased telephone consultations and we need to ensure that patients with urgent problems can still get through to the practice.

“The vaccine is safe, simple, and will offer you and those around you crucial protection against this virus.”

This comes as people in the Tees Valley were last month urged to wait to be contacted about their Covid vaccine after GPs became "inundated" with phone calls.

SEE MORE: GPs inundated with calls about Covid-19 vaccine

At the time, the Clinical Director of Darlington Primary Care Network, Dr Amanda Riley warned surgeries were dealing with a huge volume of calls.

She said: "Our teams are working phenomenally hard on the vaccination programme which will start in Darlington this week.

"Vaccine supply is being rolled out gradually across the country and this is the limiting factor in the programme at present.

"Please be assured that vaccine is coming and we are ready to deliver. We will contact all those who are eligible by text message or phone call to arrange an appointment as soon as the vaccine supply allows, we need to ask you to be patient in the mean time, please do not call your GP surgery, they will not be able to make you an appointment or bump you up the list and they need the phone lines for people with urgent medical needs.

  • The Northern Echo has contacted NHS England for comment