Local GPs encourage coronavirus vaccine confidence amongst culturally diverse communities

Published on Feb 12, 2021

General practitioners (GPs) across the region have filmed an important message in multiple languages to encourage vaccine confidence.

Across England, GPs have raised concerns over a lower uptake of coronavirus vaccination among patients from ethnic minority backgrounds – warning that misinformation has left some patients reluctant to come forward.

NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across the Humber, Coast and Vale area, have come together to coordinate video messages from GPs, and are working to promote them to enhance confidence in the vaccine and to dispel any vaccine myths.

Dr Faisel Baig is a GP in North Lincolnshire, and Chair of NHS North Lincolnshire CCG. He explained how reaching out directly to different cultures in our communities is important.

He said: “Coronavirus is a very serious illness that continues to take the lives of many people, and is still causing suffering and sadness across the world.

Across our region we have a diverse range of wonderful languages spoken. We want to reach out to our culturally diverse communities to ensure everyone has the opportunity to hear and understand factual information about the vaccine from their local doctors and thus encourage vaccine confidence.

We aim to continue to reproduce our vaccine confidence message in as many languages as we can, to enable us to help as many people as possible in our communities to understand the importance of this vaccine, and what it can do to help protect us and our loved ones.”

The Humber, Coast and Vale coronavirus vaccine information videos in different languages can be viewed on their YouTube channel here.

Congratulations to Riverside Surgery – runners up in Professor Keri Thomas Award for Team of the Year

Published on Feb 03, 2021

The team at Riverside Surgery in Brigg have been recognised nationally as runners up for the Team of the Year award in the Professor Keri Thomas Awards, run by the Gold Standards Framework (GSF).

This recognition was based on important work to improve end of life care for Riverside patients, such as becoming the first surgery pilot site for the System Led Interoperability Project (SLIP). SLIP allows real time visibility of patient entries between two systems, which has since been rolled out nationally.

Their nomination also referred to their heavy involvement in the roll out of the Electronic Palliative Care Coordination System (EPaCCS), with Dr Avinash Pillai, a GP at Riverside Surgery, being part of the clinical design team of the EPaCCS project. EPaCCS is a palliative care shared record, which enables different health and care organisations to share information about a patient’s end of life preferences and care plans. The blueprints of the EPaCCS system have been shared online as best practice, as part of the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) Blueprinting programme, you can read more about this here.

Dr Pillai is also a supporter and clinical representative of the Humber CCGs’ Local Digital Roadmap Board, the strategic group which steers large scale IT developments across the area.

The GSF commented that: “Your obvious passion, commitment, IT innovation and effective communication were particularly noted, plus the spreading of your innovation beyond your borders. It’s good to hear how you shared the digital developments as an example of best practice with others, including the SLIP and global digital examples, thereby supporting many more practices to improve their communication.

You are a great exemplar as an innovative compassionate team, striving for the best for your patients, working as one unit, and I hope you continue to thrive and flourish. Well done to all your staff – they are all frontrunners and you all should be greatly applauded for the high quality of your work.”

The team were named joint-runners up for the Team of the Year award, alongside a team in Northamptonshire. Congratulations for this national recognition, and thank you to the team at Riverside for your continued hard work to support patients in North Lincolnshire.

Scunthorpe pharmacy leading the way to deliver hundreds of COVID vaccinations

Published on Jan 28, 2021

A Scunthorpe pharmacy will become the first in the Humber region to offer COVID vaccines from this weekend.

The Ancora Practice will be capable of delivering 2,000 doses of the Oxford vaccine a day, with three clinics per week. The Ashby Road practice is the first pharmacy to take the step and its longer opening hours and weekend slots will speed up the rollout.

Practice Manager Christine Buckley said:

“Staff are working above and beyond to make the vaccinations possible. We’re proud to be the first pharmacy to offer vaccines in the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership.

“It will allow elderly or vulnerable people within a 45 minute drive more opportunity get vaccinated. North Lincolnshire is ahead of the game, and this offers another area where residents can receive the vaccine.”

The pharmacy has received an initial delivery of 1200 doses and will be administering jabs every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, starting this weekend.

Dr Satpal Shekhawat, medical director of the North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“It’s great news to have a pharmacy which can distribute the vaccine in Scunthorpe, as this will give us more supply, more accessibility and more flexibility.

“They have wider opening hours, including weekends, which will enable people to fit appointments around work.

“Some of the primary care networks in our regions are now offering the vaccine to over 70s and those who are extremely clinically vulnerable.

“Every single care home resident has also been offered the vaccine as of Sunday, January 24.

“The rates at which different areas are progressing will start to equalise. We are working closely together and will share vaccines to ensure we’re covering the vulnerable population as quickly as possible.”

Dr Faisel Baig, chairman of the CCG, praised everyone who has donated their time to helping the vaccination programme.

He said:

“The volunteers who have been doing a difficult job in the worst of weathers also deserve our thanks.

“They have made the patient experience a lot better, and we have received a lot of positive feedback from people who have been assisted by them.”

Vulnerable people in North Lincolnshire receive COVID vaccine closer to home

Published on Jan 14, 2021

This Saturday 16th January, hundreds of vulnerable people living in and around Kirton in Lindsey will receive their COVID vaccine locally.

NHS staff from North Lincolnshire’s south primary care network (PCN) will be vaccinating people against COVID-19 at Klassic Park community centre, with a delivery of 300 AstraZeneca vaccines for Saturday, continuing to target those people on their priority list.

This is part of plans developed by NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local general practice teams in the south PCN, to reach out to those in local communities who may struggle to travel to the PCN’s designated vaccination site.

PCNs are clusters of local GP practices grouped together. In line with national guidance, PCNs are responsible for designated sites where the vaccine will be offered. There are four PCNs in North Lincolnshire, click here for more information.

Practice teams have been working rapidly to redesign their own sites and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination. Vaccinating people from this community centre in Kirton in Lindsey will make it easier for local people to attend their vaccination appointments.

Dr Satpal Shekhawat, local GP from Kirton Lindsey Surgery, and Medical Director for NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, said:

“Vaccinations of the over 80s, care home staff, care home residents and some frontline NHS staff is well under way. All four of North Lincolnshire’s primary care network sites are now live and administering both the Pfizer and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines – both of which have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

“We’re very proud to be able to deliver the vaccine more locally for people in Kirton in Lindsey, and we hope to be able to provide more local vaccines across North Lincolnshire in the near future.

“It is important to stress, no one will be excluded from the vaccination programme. Please be patient. This will take months and will not all happen in a few days. You don’t need to do anything at present. People are being prioritised by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation and when it is your turn to be vaccinated you will receive an invitation from your GP.

“While our NHS continues to vaccinate as many people as quickly and as safely as we possibly can, please stay home to protect yourselves and others from this virus.”

North Lincolnshire continues to make good progress with COVID-19 vaccinations

Published on Jan 06, 2021

Health and care staff across North Lincolnshire continue to make good progress with vaccinating the most vulnerable people in our region against COVID-19.  

A high number of over 80s, care home residents, care home staff and frontline NHS workers have either been vaccinated, or will be in the coming days and weeks.

The NHS is working extremely hard to roll out these vaccines as quickly, and as safely as possible.

Local GP and Medical Director for NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, Dr Satpal Shekhawat said:

“Being able to deliver this vaccine to the most vulnerable people in our communities is a huge milestone in what has been a very difficult year.

“I would just like to thank all staff who have been working relentlessly behind the scenes to put these vaccination plans in place.”

“The AstraZeneca vaccine has advantages which will make it easier for us to reach patients. It can be stored in a fridge, as opposed to the Pfizer vaccine needing to be at -70C, and can be used over the course of weeks, as opposed to three and a half days.

“As we don’t need to use all of the vaccines from a batch in one go, this makes it easier to take to smaller care homes and housebound people. We don’t have to be conscious about wasting the vaccines. The fact that there’s more supply also means that the rollout can proceed more quickly.”

“The first few weeks of the programme have gone very well, they’ve been a great success whichever way you look at it. The response from patients has been very good, hardly anyone has declined to have the vaccination. A lot of the work so far has had to take place over Bank Holidays and the festive period, so with those out of the way we can press on with people getting immunised.”

“It is important to stress that no one will be excluded from the vaccination programme. Please be patient. This will take months and will not all happen in a few days.

“You don’t need to do anything at present. When it is your turn to be vaccinated you will receive an invitation from your GP.

“People are being prioritised by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation and the NHS will be in contact with you in due course.”

Thanks to The Birches Medical Practice, Market Hill Centre, Riverside Surgery and Cedar Medical Practice for these pictures.

While we continue to vaccinate, we urge you to please stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

How you can help your NHS this Christmas – Dr Faisel Baig

Published on Dec 23, 2020

A Christmas message from your local NHS

Dr Faisel Baig, GP & Chair, NHS North Lincolnshire CCG and Humber Clinical and Professional Leaders Board


Dear Humber residents

It has been a difficult year for all of us but especially for those who have been very poorly due to coronavirus or for those who have tragically lost loved ones.

We know this is not the Christmas we expected but we really hope that next Christmas will allow us more freedom from this virus.

I’d like to say a few words about how you can support the NHS during this challenging winter period.

Our NHS is still treating significant numbers of coronavirus patients, we are seeing a new strain of the virus and the rate of spread is very concerning.  All the other urgent winter pressures are also mounting.  Our teams are still running the flu vaccination programme.  We have just commenced a huge and momentous coronavirus vaccination programme, which brings us a lot of hope, however, this vaccination programme will take time and we have still to learn whether this vaccination prevents us passing the illness on to those who haven’t been vaccinated.

Our NHS staff have worked such long hours this year, sometimes in unfamiliar environments, with little rest.  Seeing so much illness and death has had a huge emotional impact on the whole country, but especially so on the frontline individuals and teams who have been, and are, treating the most poorly.


So, how can you help our NHS?


  • Please continue to follow the guidance around frequent hand hygiene, the wearing of face masks, and social distancing.
  • Please isolate, along with the household, if you have coronavirus symptoms or meet any of the other isolation criteria (see gov.uk for details), then, go online to gov.uk or call 119 for a coronavirus test.
  • Whilst the national guidance for the Humber Area (Tier 3) allows us to form a Christmas Bubble (see gov.uk for details) on Christmas Day only – you may wish to consider a video call or meeting outdoors briefly.  If you do decide to meet indoors on Christmas day, please try to keep windows and doors as open as is safely possible, try not to share cutlery and keep your distance.
  • Don’t be put off seeking medical help when it’s needed but please try to use services wisely, these include your local pharmacy, GP Practice, NHS 111, or in a life-threatening situation, 999.
  • Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so please seek support if needed (see nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ for more details).
  • Please don’t contact us regarding your coronavirus vaccination date, you will be contacted in due course, and when you are, please accept the invitation and encourage others to do so also.
  • Finally, please be patient with our staff, and be kind to them.  It has been the most difficult year in the history of our NHS and it is the staff that keep our NHS going.  Things may operate in a different manner to usual, or be slower than usual, but please, bear with us.



As we approach the end of 2020, our local NHS would like to say a big thank you for your immense support this year.

In these strange times, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2021.

Dr Faisel Baig

Bank Holiday pharmacy opening times in North Lincolnshire

Published on Dec 21, 2020

A number of pharmacies will be open on the upcoming Bank Holidays.

Please see the table below for further details:

If symptoms suggest something is more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need – and signpost you to the correct healthcare professional.

As qualified healthcare professionals, pharmacists can offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses.

North Lincolnshire joins COVID-19 immunisation programme

Published on Dec 15, 2020

The NHS across the Humber, Coast and Vale area has joined the largest immunisation programme in history, with the first local COVID-19 PfizerBioNTech vaccinations administered today in North Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull.

Nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other NHS staff are working alongside GPs to vaccinate those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and residents, identified as priority groups for the life-saving vaccine.

Like hospital staff, who launched the world-leading campaign last week, practice teams have been working rapidly to redesign their sites and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.

Harry and Mary Williams, 91 and 88, were among the first people to receive their vaccines today in Scunthorpe. They have just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary together.

Harry said: “We’re very pleased to finally get the vaccine. We received the call and we were more than happy to take it.”

Mary said: “It’s been hard self-isolating. We’ve missed our friends. This vaccine gives us hope.”

Local GP and Medical Director for NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, Dr Satpal Shekhawat said:

“Being able to deliver this vaccine to the most vulnerable people in our communities is a huge milestone in what has been a very difficult year.

“I would just like to thank all staff who have been working relentlessly behind the scenes to put these vaccination plans in place, enabling us to join the UK’s effort to protect local people from the devastating impacts of this virus.”

Local GP, Dr Hardik Ghandi, said:

“We are very excited to start the vaccinations in Scunthorpe, with North Lincolnshire patients. I’m very thankful to all patients and staff involved, for the help and support they’ve given. It’s been a team effort that we’ve managed to pull this through.

“Our message to local residents is please do not call your practice to ask about the vaccine, as we are all working through a priority list. Your practice will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.”

EPaCCS – a blog by Dr Avinash Pillai

Published on

EPaCCS is about putting the wishes of the patient at the centre of care and supporting people approaching the end of life, their families, carers and the clinicians that look after them

Dr Avinash Pillai, GP representative for the Humber, Coast and Vale Local Digital Roadmap committee; and the Humber, Coast and Vale EPaCCS team

The subject of death and how we experience it as individuals, families and a society, is a challenging one for many of us. But although the fact of death is an unescapable and sometimes uncomfortable truth, the last few years have seen a marked transition in how we approach and deal with death as a society and as a health and care system.

Conversations about death are emerging out of the shadows and the focus is increasingly on enabling people to die well, with their wishes and those of their loved ones, respected.

So, what role can technology play in how we support people who are approaching the end of their life?

Surely, end-of-life care is about conversations and relationships, not about computers. Of course that is true: end-of-life care is about understanding and being able to act on the wishes and preferences of people at the most difficult point in their lives.

However, it’s also true that people who are at the end of life are looked after by many health and care professionals in different settings, including their GP, hospital team, hospice, community nursing team, as well as social care, out-of-hours providers and emergency services.

All of these organisations use different software, with sharing between the different systems very difficult. The question we faced was: how do we share the latest wishes of a person between all of these different health and care settings in a safe, up-to-date and patient-focused way?

In Humber, Coast and Vale we have used EPaCCS (Electronic Palliative Care Coordination System) to provide a solution to these challenges. EPaCCS enables the recording and sharing of a patient’s care preferences and key details about their care at the end of life, including their preferred place of care and death, the circumstances under which they’d want to be admitted to hospital, whether they would want CPR to be attempted and details about their medications.

EPaCCS was initially rolled out in Vale of York, Scarborough and Ryedale and North Lincolnshire and after a successful pilot EPaCCS is now being extended across Humber, Coast and Vale.

The EPaCCS solution has been instrumental in supporting the coordination of care during the Covid-19 pandemic, when there has been a major focus on advanced care planning for vulnerable patients. EPaCCS has provided a solution to share patients’ end-of-life care preferences and plans in real-time between the different health and care providers looking after them.

To date, over 3,500 EPaCCS records have been created in Humber, COast and Vale and the solution is enabling collaborative working to support end-of-life patients, reducing duplication and ensuring that the most up-to-date view of a patients’ preferences and status are visible and updatable across different health and care settings.

EPaCCS is about putting the wishes of the patient at the centre of care and supporting people approaching the end of life, their families, carers and the clinicians that look after them. The innovative introduction of this digital solution has been recognised as best practice and has been published as a national NHS Blueprint that shares our experience and approach with other parts of the country.

The HCV Partnership digital team hosted an online webinar last week to educate colleagues about EPaCCS, and the progress in rolling it out across the Humber, Coast and Vale geography. The webinar can be viewed here.

Further information about how EPaCCS is being used in Humber, Coast and Vale is available at: https://humbercoastandvale.org.uk/how/digital-futures/#EPaCCS

NHS North Lincolnshire CCG achieves ‘Good’ rating

Published on Nov 25, 2020

NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been rated as ‘Good’ under NHS England and NHS Improvement’s NHS Oversight Framework for 2019/20, which was published today.

All 135 CCGs in England are evaluated each year for leadership, financial performance, planning and patient and public involvement. The NHS Oversight Framework for 2019/20 has replaced what was the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework (IAF).

NHS England and NHS Improvement recognised that the CCG made a ‘well-deserved improved rating’ from last year, when the CCG had a rating of ‘Requires Improvement’. They went on to explain that this ‘reflects a key milestone in the progression of the headline rating over the past few years’.

Having recognised that this year has been particularly challenging, with the Covid-19 pandemic, they said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your teams for the work during 2019/20 and responding to the many challenges that you faced during the year to meet the health needs of your local population.”

NHS North Lincolnshire CCG’s Accountable Officer, Emma Latimer, said:

“I am delighted that this year the CCG has achieved an improved rating of ‘Good’. CCG staff, local health professionals, and our partners always strive to develop services and do the best for our population – and this improved rating is evidence of that dedication and collaborative work. I am personally very proud and grateful.

“I would also like to thank our CCG Board members for their outstanding support and setting the strategic direction that helped us to improve our rating so significantly.”

Chair, Dr Faisel Baig said:

“Considering the challenges we have all faced since the pandemic was announced earlier this year, I am so pleased that the CCG has achieved this improved rating. It is testament to the hard work and commitment of staff and our key partners, so thank you.”

Chief Operating Officer, Alex Seale said:

“The CCG has worked incredibly hard to improve the rating from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’, so this is a great achievement that we’re very proud of.”