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Welcome to Proud to Care social care Covid-19 Homepage

Providing information and resources for social care staff and providers relating to Covid-19  and flu vaccinations.

The vast majority of care staff in north central London have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including almost 95% of care home staff as of October 21. We have developed these webpages as a dedicated resource for social care staff and managers to help you access accurate, credible information about COVID-19 and the vaccines.

There is now a campaign to provide all care staff with the flu vaccine and COVID-19 boosters for winter.

By having these vaccinations, you are protecting yourself and those around you including; family, friends, colleagues, the wider community and the vulnerable people who you care for. These vaccines save lives.

covidandflu

 

This will be the first winter where COVID-19 and the flu will circulate together. Scientists are concerned that more people are likely to get the flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic.  If you get COVID-19 and flu at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill.

Fortunately, we have safe and effective vaccines to give us the best possible protection from both.

 

Information for staff

On these pages you can find frequently asked questions about the COVID vaccine for social care staff, a gallery of photos, videos and testimonials from staff who have had their vaccines, and recordings and slides from recent staff webinars.

You can find accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccines, including testimonials from many Londoners on the NHS vaccine facts website.

Further information and frequently asked questions on COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines are available on the North Central London CCG website, the NHS website and the Health Security Agency website.

This film explains the importance of both winter vaccines.

Care Home Staff Vaccinations Vaccination as Condition of Deployment & Exemptions explained

 

Local NHS services are supporting care staff by offering one-to-one clinical conversations for staff who are hesitant. Hundreds of staff have benefited from this offer. To access this please speak to your borough lead to arrange.

The borough lead from your Council:

  • Barnet - Carequality@barnet.gov.uk

  • Camden- socialcarevaccinationinfo@camden.gov.uk

  • Enfield - des.o'donoghue@enfield.gov.uk

  • Haringey - Sujesh.Sundarraj@haringey.gov.uk

  • Islington - Russell.Jones@islington.gov.uk 

 

How social care staff can get the COVID-19 vaccine

Anyone aged 16 or over can book an appointment for their first dose, second dose or booster dose on the National Booking System online or by calling 119. First and second doses are available without an appointment at many walk-in clinics in north central London and booster doses are also available in some clinics. 

Social care staff may also be invited to arrange an appointment by their employers.

Booster doses

All health and social care workers are eligible for a booster dose of the COVID vaccine, from six months after their second dose. There is some evidence that protection from the COVID vaccine starts to decline within six months from the second dose. A COVID-19 booster vaccine helps improve the protection you have from your first two doses of the vaccine and helps give you longer-term protection against becoming seriously ill and needing admission to hospital due to COVID-19 infection.

As a frontline health and social care worker, you can:

  •  book your COVID-19 booster vaccine dose online
  • Go to a walk-in vaccination centre, with no appointment necessary. Not all vaccination sites offer a walk-in service, please check where this is available on the NCL CCG website
  • Receive your booster in the care home or extra care service. When the booster is given to residents, the administering healthcare professional should usually be able to vaccinate staff. If for any reason the visiting team doesn’t have capacity to vaccinate you on site or you miss the visit then staff are advised to book using one of the methods above.

 

Find out more about booster doses

How social care staff can get the flu vaccine

Anyone living or working in a care home is offered, and encouraged to have, both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines.  Where to get your flu vaccine varies from borough to borough. You will be able to get the flu vaccine:

  • At your GP surgery
  • At a pharmacy offering the service – either by booking online at londonflu.co.uk or walking in
  • In the care home or extra care service, when residents are vaccinated. If for any reason the administering healthcare professional doesn’t have capacity to vaccinate you on site or you miss the visit then staff are advised to book using one of the methods above

Find out more about the flu vaccine and how to get it

 

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for care home staff

From 11 November 2021, care home workers will be required by law to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This means that all care home workers must have both their first and second doses of the vaccine by 11 November or a valid medical exemption. 

This law applies to care home staff, agency staff, volunteers and anyone who goes into care homes to do other work, including healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians. It does not apply to friends and family visiting residents or for staff visiting in an emergency. 

The law was introduced to protect residents, staff and families from COVID-19. It has required care staff to make what are sometimes difficult decisions about getting vaccinated and we are grateful to all staff who have been through this process, no matter what their final decision was.

Booster doses are not required by law but are strongly recommended for all health and social care staff.

Medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination

Very few people are medically exempt from having the vaccine. Exemptions are available to those who have a severe allergy to all the available vaccines or their ingredients and to those who had a serious reaction to the first dose of a vaccine. Temporary exemptions are available for those who are pregnant, though the national advice is for pregnant people to get vaccinated to protect the mother and baby.

Only care home staff that have good reason to believe they have a valid medical exemption should apply. If someone makes an application that is unsuccessful then you will have missed the deadline for vaccination and you will not be able to work in a care home until you are fully vaccinated.

There are two processes for medical exemptions:

  • A temporary self-certification that was launched in September and will elapse on 24 December 2021
  • A permanent NHS Covid pass system that is evidenced by a clinician

Care home staff who think that they are medically exempt are advised to self-certify whilst they proceed with the full NHS COVID pass system. Information on how to self-certify is here.

Care home staff are now advised to make applications for medical exemptions through the COVID pass system. It is recommended to do this from now and at the latest by 11 November 2021 to ensure there is sufficient processes time ahead of the 24 December 2021 deadline. To apply, care home staff need to request an application form by calling 119, fill in the paper form that will arrive in the post and then drop it off with their GP who will complete and submit it. There is no need to call GPs to discuss applications or to make an appointment. GPs will use the applicant’s medical records to complete the form.

The outcome of applications will be sent to applicants by post within two to three weeks after completed forms are submitted.

Care home workers who have been vaccinated abroad can self-certify for medical exemption using this form.

 

Consultation on mandatory vaccination for all frontline health and care staff

On 9 September 2021 the Government launched a consultation on making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all front-line health and social care staff (in addition to those that work in care homes). The consultation is open until 11:45PM on 22 October 2021. Guidance on the consultation is available in many languages.