West End Medical Centre

GP practice manager speaks of ‘positive’ steps as docs begin to roll out Covid-19 vaccination to patients across Manchester

  • As the Covid-9 vaccinations begin to roll-out across Greater Manchester, a GP practice manager in Tameside shares his thoughts
  • Martin Cooper is hoping vaccination will be the key to ending battle with the pandemic

Staff at a Manchester GP’s surgery which is rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine have spoken about the ‘postive’ effects mass vaccination brings.

West End Medical Centre in Ashton-under-Lyne has five thousand patients and is aiming to vaccinate 2,000 of those in at-risk groups as quickly as possible.

Practice manager Martin Cooper said: “The most vulnerable will be those first, those in care homes, the over 80s, plus frontline medical staff.

“Also, it is generally linked to availability – the older you are and the most vulnerable these will need it most.

“We are trying to protect those patients the most to reduce the pressure on the NHS.”

All staff at the Tameside surgery have received the Pfizer vaccine.

Janine, 51, practice receptionist, said: “If offered the vaccination, I would urge people to take this. People should not be afraid of the talked of ‘side effects’. 

“From my own experience, I have only had very minimal side effects such as a slight headache and tenderness around injection site.” 

Janine has more than 21 years’ experience working for the NHS. She started working at the practice at the beginning of the pandemic and sess the vaccine roll-out as a positive step.

 She said: “Overall, I believe this is a positive outcome providing hope to this terrible journey for us all.”

In terms of rolling out these vaccines, this will not take place at the practice itself but at Active Oxford Park sports centre a short distance away.  

Martin said: “Our practice specifically operates within the Tameside and Glossop area. There are five to six central sites where these will take place for each area of Tameside. Just a few minutes away from the practice is one of the sites linked to this”.


Oxford Park, COVID vaccine site.
Active Oxford Park COVID-19 vaccine site

Martin siad that preparations for the vaccine roll-out had been tough. 

“All resources are taken. The usual roles required of a practice manager have currently taken a back seat whilst I organise and contact members of the groups eligible. Very time consuming,” he said.

Added to this were technology issues for some age groups.

Martin added: “Speaking to a younger person, asking them for instance to go on the internet and book a slot at one of the central sites, is easy.

“This would be far more difficult for the older age ranges, as they are less technologically advanced.

“Other factors that also contribute (patient may be deaf, or have dementia) may be difficult for their understanding. Thus, resources are hit harder.”