TASC PCN Covid Vaccine Success

We are proud to report that we have administered Covid booster vaccinations to 91% of our eligible patient population across the TASC PCN, making us the second highest PCN in Devon.


What is a PCN?  

A Primary Care Network is a group of GP practices working together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital, and voluntary services. PCN's have been developed as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. This is an initiative to develop the NHS over the next decade.  



Our PCN is made up of three GP Practices, Townsend House Medical Centre, Axminster Medical Practice, Seaton & Colyton Medical Practice (TASC). The TASC PCN is led by a Clinical Director, Dr John Twaddle from Seaton and Colyton Medical Practice.   


We have worked tirelessly to offer every eligible patient a Covid booster vaccination, and we have been delighted with the uptake from our patients. Our staff have given up many weekends to provide as much availability as possible to all patients across our three practices.

Covid Vaccine Q&A

Why are patients being asked to not contact their GP surgery regarding covid vaccine invites?

As well as the extra work involved of inviting, setting up clinics and vaccinating patients, the practice must still be available to patients who require urgent and non urgent care. We must ensure that our phone lines are accessible to a patient who may have an urgent issue and needs to speak to a clinician. 


The practice is currently inviting other patients in my age group, why have I not been contacted yet?

Each cohort that the practice invites for a vaccination has hundreds of patients. Once a notification of a delivery is received the practice sets up a clinic and works through our cohort list for the amount of vaccinations we have been allocated.

The vaccination programme is being carried out by PCN’s (Primary Care Networks), within our PCN we are partnered up with Townsend House & Axminster practices. If you have not received an invite, you have not been forgotten, we are working through the cohort list and you will be contacted and offered an appointment.


How will the practice contact me?

Patients are being contacted via telephone. If a patient does not answer, if possible a message will be a left and a note will be made on their record that they have received an invite so that if they call back, a receptionist can book an appointment. 

Unfortunately if a clinic is fully booked when you call back, you will go back on the cohort list and receive another invite when the next clinics are arranged. The practice may also send you a text message with instructions on how to book an appointment.

We have also begun contating patients via text to send them a link where they can book into a clinic at a suitable time when we have clinics available. 


Are the clinics safe?

Yes, the practice has worked very hard to ensure that social distancing measures are adhered to, masks are worn, sanitiser is available and that patients enter and exit through different parts of the building. We ask that patients do not arrive early for their appointments as we need to ensure the footfall within the hospital is kept to a minimum. If you arrive too early, you may be asked to wait outside or come back at your appointment time.

We have received excellent feedback from patients who have attended an appointment at Seaton hospital.


Do I have to go to a vaccination hub?

No, although the practice feels that this is a positive that a patient may have two options of either going to a hub or waiting to be contacted by the practice to have your vaccine locally. It is a patient’s decision whether they wish to attend an appointment at a vaccination hub or to wait until invited by the practice.

PLEASE do not contact the practice to ask when we will be inviting you for an appointment so you can decide which is most suitable.


Can I choose which vaccination I have?

We encourage patients to take the first invite received regardless of the vaccination as both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca (Oxford) are licensed and there is no guarantee for how long you may have to wait to receive another vaccination. The practice has no control over the vaccinations that we receive.

Patients under 40 must have a Pfizer vaccine as opposed to Astra Zeneca in line with government guidance.


I suffer with allergies, can I have the vaccination?

Patients who have had any anaphylaxis reaction in the past have been advised to have the Astra Zeneca vaccination. If you have any concerns, this can be discussed with the vaccinator during your vaccination appointment who has a list of questions which includes a question about previous allergies. A clinical decision can then be made whether or not to go ahead with the vaccination.


Why am I not included in a cohort?

The practice must follow the instructions set by NHS England and the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) as to who we can vaccinate. The majority of cohorts are based on age, except for cohort 6 which is patients 16-64 with underlying health conditions. Although you may feel your condition makes you eligible, the practice must adhere to the health conditions that have been set within cohort 6.


I am a carer, can I be vaccinated?

Devon CCG has updated practices about which carers are currently eligible for a vaccination within cohort 6.

  • If carer is the primary carer for someone is who in cohorts 1-6 i.e. they care for someone who is clinically vulnerable to Covid 19
  • Are registered as an unpaid carer with their GP practice
  • Or are in receipt of carers allowance


I am a health & social care worker, can I be vaccinated?

The practice has worked very hard to ensure that all health & social care workers have been vaccinated. We rely on patients informing us that they work in health & social care, so if you have not had a vaccination, please contact the practice.


I have had my first vaccination, when will i receive my second dose?

The current guidance is that patients will receive a second vaccination by around 8 weeks. We would like to reassure patients that you have not been forgotten and will be contacted closer to the time when your second dose is due. 


I had my first vaccination at my previous practice, what about my second dose?

Ideally patients should be having their second vaccination with the same provider who gave the first dose. If you have moved and registered with the practice you can have the second vaccination with us. You may be asked to provide your covid immunisation card or asked for your previous GP surgery details so we can call and confirm which covid vaccination you received and the date it was given. Your second dose may also depend on which vaccination has been delivered as we have no control over the dates of delivery and which vaccination we will receive. 


What do i need to prove i have had two vaccinations? 

You need to download the NHS app and register. On the app you will be able to see which covid vaccination you have had, the dates and batch numbers. You may also be asked to provide an NHS COVID Pass if you are attending certain event or travelling. Please see link below for further details. 


Can I have the vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

The JCVI have recommended that women who are pregnant or breast feeding are eligible for a covid vaccination. Please find further details on the NHS England website or you can discuss with your midwife services.


Walk-in Covid Vaccines

Walk-in Covid-19 Vaccinations

NHS hub vaccination sites are now offering walk-in vaccinations for first and second vaccinations.

This means you do not have to book an appointment when visiting Greendale for your vaccination.

They are offering Astra Zeneca and Pfizer first and second doses. For second doses, you will receive the same type vaccine as you had for your first.

Second doses must be at least eight weeks after your first vaccination. 


Proof of Covid-19 Vaccinations 

You can now get proof of your coronavirus (covid-19) vaccinations using the NHS COVID pass service. You may be asked to provide the pass if you are attending events if you are travelling.

You can access the COVID pass service via the NHS app. Please see link below for further information.
Patients who have had covid vaccinations outside of the UK may not be able to see their vaccinations on the NHS app. This is because the data is picked up from a system called Pinnacle, which is used at all vaccination sites to record covid vaccinations. We are under strict guidance from NHS England that we cannot add a patient's vaccinations on to Pinnacle that were given abroad, as we did not deliver the service. Practices are only allowed to add the vaccinations as a note on to a patient's medical record. 
Practices have been assured that a technical solution to support the recording of vaccinations overseas in the NHS immunisation management service (NIMS) is in development, and will provided an update as soon as possible.
We appreciate how frustrating this may be for patients, but unfortunately there is not anything the practice is able to currently do to resolve the issue until we receive further guidance. 

Ways in which we contact patients to book a covid vaccination appointment

With thousands of invitations needed to organise covid vaccination appointments, the practice wanted to make patients aware that we are now trying different ways to make contact so an appointment can be booked.
The practice has started to send out text messages to those who are eligible or require a second vaccination, to enable you to click on a link and book your covid vaccination appointment.
Eligible patients may also receive a text message asking you to contact a number to book your appointment.
We will also continue to contact patients via the telephone.

Second Covid Doses

The practice would like to reassure patients that we have not been given any indication that second doses for patients will be disrupted. As per guidance patients will receive their second Covid vaccination at around 8 weeks. 

The practice will contact you closer to the time to offer you an appointment via text message or a telephone call from a member of our team.


Are you aware that excess weight can increase risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19?

If you suspect you have a BMI in excess of 40, please contact the practice to book an appointment to have your weight confirmed. You may be eligible to receive your Covid Vaccination sooner than your age cohort permits.

Health and Social Care Workers

The practice is currently planning covid vaccinations for health & social care workers and we need to know if you are eligible. If your work involves providing direct face to face health or social care, please can you complete an eConsult which you can find on our homepage and select the admin option. 

Example eligible roles inclues - 

Doctors, dentists, midwives, nurses, vaccinators, paramedics, ambulance technician, pharmacists, optometrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiographers, funeral operatives/mortuary technicians and ancillary staff who may have social contact with patients such as ward clerks, hospital porters and cleaners. 

For any residential and care home staff we will make direct contact with your employer to arrange a vaccination. 

Unpaid carers are currently not included in this cohort, but we do hope to be able to offer you a vaccination soon.