Tower Hamlets COVID 19 vaccination scheme for PAs

The government are rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination to the UK population, prioritising 9 priority groups. Health and social care staff fall within priority group 2. This includes PAs and carers employed by people who receive a direct payment or personal health budget. From now on we will just refer to these people as “PAs”.

Tower Hamlets have decided that the recipients of direct payments can get vaccinated at the same time as their PAs, even if they ordinarily fall within a lower priority group. This is to make effective use of resources.

To allow as many eligible people to book vaccinations as quickly as possible, Tower Hamlets Council and Real worked together to set up a vaccination booking system and over 220 people were able to get vaccinated using this.

A council call centre will now replace this in order to increase the number of centres where you can access appointments and to have one point of access for people in the borough.

Booking via the council’s vaccine helpline

From Monday 22 February, personal assistants and direct payment recipients are being supported to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment through the council’s vaccine helpline – 0207 364 3030. If you cannot use the phone, you can email: LBTHSelf-IsolationSupport@towerhamlets.gov.uk

The helpline is staffed with call handlers who can speak eight community languages.

The team are both proactively calling direct payment recipients and answering incoming calls from eligible people who want to book their appointment or ask questions.

If you think you are eligible and have not yet had your vaccine, you can book your appointment through the helpline or call for advice – 0207 364 3030.

If you have had your first dose of the vaccine, you cannot book your second dose via the council’s vaccine helpline. You will be contacted via text message or call phone by your vaccination centre less than 8 weeks after your first booking to arrange your second appointment. If you booked through the nhs.uk national portal then you should book through the portal again for your second appointment.

If you have not been contacted within 8 weeks of your first appointment and did not book using the national nhs.uk portal, please contact PeoplePlus on 0330 123 2815 or ILSTowerHamlets@peopleplus.co.uk.

For further information about the process for receiving your second dose, please see the fact sheet below.

Why direct payments recipients need to take action themselves

Tower Hamlets Council does not have the ability to contact PAs directly. This is because you are the employer. It is therefore your role to bring this opportunity to the attention of your staff. You should do this by informing your PAs of their ability to get vaccinated.

You cannot force your PAs to get vaccinated. That is a personal choice for each person. But there is significant evidence to show that this will protect everyone in our society, especially older and disabled people, and so we recommend that you encourage them to get vaccinated.

Further information

More information on making a booking, travelling to your vaccination appointment and other frequently asked questions are available in the following fact sheet.

Fact sheet on COVID 19 vaccinations for direct payments recipients and their PAs

The council also keep up to date information on COVID-19 vaccinations and have opportunities to ask questions. Click here to find out more

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