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Slight Changes to the Babies & Pre-school Children Vaccination Programme

From Monday 4 October routine baby and pre-school childhood vaccinations will be delivered by NHS Borders instead of GPs.  Parents and guardians will begin receiving appointment letters with further details from Wednesday 22 September. Most routine appointments will still take place at local health centres/GP surgeries.

In areas with multiple GP practices, parents and guardians of patients will be asked to attend one of the Locality Clinics listed below:

    • Galashiels – there will be a clinic at Galashiels Health Centre for patients of all five Galashiels GP practices
    • Hawick – there will be a clinic in Hawick Health Centre for patients of the two Hawick GP practices
    • Duns – there will be a clinic in the Knoll Health Centre for patients from Duns Medical Group, Merse Medical Practice (including the Duns and Chirnside branches) and Greenlaw patients
    • Lauder – there will be a clinic in Lauder Health Centre for all patients of the Stow & Lauder Medical Practice, including those who usually attend the Stow branch
    • Melrose – there will be a clinic in Melrose Health Centre for patients of the Eildon Medical Practice (Melrose and Newtown branches)

The revised vaccination model will free up GP surgery staff to support more patients, whilst streamlining vaccine delivery and storage. This model was developed using learning from our flu and Covid-19 vaccination delivery, national recommendations and local workshops which were attended by a range of partners.

Feedback on these service changes will be collected via a patient experience survey available at vaccination appointments.

Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, Sarah Horan, said: “Vaccinations offer important protection from many serious and potentially deadly diseases. One of the best things you can do for your child is to make sure that they receive their routine vaccinations. While it can be a bit upsetting to watch your wee one swallowing an oral vaccine or getting a jag, most babies and children forget all about this after a cuddle, song or playing with their favourite toy. Sometimes vaccinations can cause modest side effects for a few days like a sore arm, mild fever or feeling a bit under the weather, which can be soothed by infant paracetamol and spending time with you. Information on routine vaccinations, including care advice can be found on NHS Inform. ”

General Manager for Primary & Community Services at NHS Borders, Chris Myers, added: “These changes are part of our ongoing work to develop our vaccination programmes as part of the national work to develop Primary Care which will enable GPs to spend more time with those patients who require their expert medical generalist knowledge. This will also support us collectively to provide a more responsive service, in the context of significant demand and increasing need and complexity.

“I would encourage all parents and guardians of babies and pre-school children receiving their vaccinations to feedback on their experience of the revised delivery model. This will help inform us as we explore options for bringing additional elements of the vaccination programme over to NHS Borders in the coming months.

“We look forward to bringing you further updates as we gradually integrate selected services that were traditionally delivered by GP Practices into NHS Borders as part of the Primary Care Improvement Plan.”