Bedford’s health and social care staff urged to get their Covid vaccinations

Hospital staff are among those eligible to self-refer for their covid vaccine

Health and social care staff working in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes are being encouraged to get their Covid-19 (coronavirus) vaccinations as soon as possible.

Eligible staff can now refer themselves to attend Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) to get the first dose of their vaccine. Bookings can be made here.

The categories of eligible staff include:

· NHS staff who have frequent face-to-face contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care, mental health, urgent and emergency care and community settings
· those working in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings such as hospices, and community-based mental health or addiction services
· laboratory, pathology and mortuary staff
· those working for a sub-contracted provider of facilities services such as portering or cleaning
· temporary, locum or ‘bank’ staff, including those working in the Covid-19 vaccination programme, students, trainees and volunteers who are working with patients
· frontline social care workers directly working with vulnerable people who need care and support irrespective of where they work (for example in hospital, people’s own homes, day centres, or supported housing); or who they are employed by (for example local government, NHS, independent sector or third sector).

The statement from BLMK CCG said that the online booking system will not check whether staff are eligible at time of booking.

However, eligibility will be verified at point of vaccination.

“We would therefore ask that the public do not book if you are not in the categories above as you will not be vaccinated even if you attend. Staff will need to bring photo ID to prove their eligibility,” the statement said.

Those that are unable to get to MKUH can contact the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service.

Staff can book online at here. Staff should try online booking first but if this is not possible, they can phone 119 free of charge, 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week.

As part of the booking process, eligible staff need to self-declare they are a health or social care worker. Staff will be able to book this way for a limited period, until 28 February.

Dr Sarah Whiteman, GP and the Chair elect for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The Government is keen to get as many health and social care staff vaccinated as possible.

“The programme to return to normality includes the vaccination of these key staff who have been supporting the health and social care of our population over the past year.

“The coronavirus vaccine is a key tool in the pandemic fight and I urge all those to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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