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NHS ‘MELISSA’ bus visits Cumbria to support flu clinics at Shap Medical Practice

A double decker bus designed to deliver healthcare education and training visited Shap Medical Practice this week.

The bus visited the Cumbrian practice on 26 November 2020 to support one of their flu clinics which provides patients with flu jabs/vaccines. The new bus layout allowed increased patient capacity and provided safe social distancing space.

The bus is used across the North East and North Cumbria and has been named ‘MELISSA’ which stands for Mobile Educational Learning Improving Simulation and Safety Activities.

Jill Cassells, MELISSA Project Director said: “It’s been a pleasure being able to support Shap Medical Practice with one of their flu clinics this morning. We hope that communities across the North East and North Cumbria will recognise the versatility of MELISSA and our adaptable offering, to run clinics or public engagements, where space and location may be an issue.”

GP Dr Margaret McCabe from Shap Medical Practice said: “The MELISSA bus was an ideal way of providing a vaccination clinic in a covid secure way in a rural community. We were able to take the clinic to a convenient location with good parking and it meant a reduced travelling distance for our patients to attend for their flu vaccination. It was easy to manage a one way system and have social distancing in place.

“Shap medical practice are very grateful for the opportunity to use the bus and to all of our patients who attended for their flu vaccination. We would thoroughly recommend this way of taking a flu clinic out into the community. It was exciting to be part of a new venture and the team from Shap Medical practice enjoyed the opportunity.”

MELISSA is a partnership project that includes the North East Simulation Network, I Can Prevent Delirium, Health Education North East Faculty of Patient Safety and the Find Your Place in the North East and North Cumbria campaign.

For more information on the project visit: www.melissabus.co.uk
Or e-mail: [email protected]

Susan Graham, Practice Manager at Shap Medical Practice said: “We were absolutely delighted to have MELISSA visit us today, it’s such a versatile resource. It was a great support to our flu clinic and our community allowing us to see a greater number of our patients on a given day to provide them with this year’s flu vaccine.

“We continue to encourage all patients to make sure they get their flu vaccine again this year, especially if they are in at risk groups and eligible for the free vaccine.”

This year free flu vaccinations will also be offered to people aged 50-64. This will be taking place from December onwards and if you’re eligible, your GP practice will contact you when they’re ready to give you your jab. Flu jabs are also available from your local pharmacists. Visit: http://nhs.uk/staywell for more information.

Further information is also available about the flu jab in easy read formats and other languages here: https://northcumbriaccg.nhs.uk/flu

Patients in at risk groups who are eligible to receive a free flu jab include:

  • everyone aged over 65
  • women who are pregnant
  • people with a learning disability and/or autism
  • those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups including patients who suffer from a chronic illness, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), kidney disease, hepatitis, Parkinsons, HIV and diabetes.
  • children aged two or three years old (on 31 August of current flu season), all primary school-aged children and children with a health condition that puts them at a greater risk of flu
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers

If you need medical advice you can also contact NHS 111 for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit their website: 111.nhs.uk

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