Local Vaccination Update
PACC and PODs have met with leads from the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups, along with representatives from the MPFT adults with Learning Disabilities Team to discuss how we can ensure that there is an effective roll out of the vaccination programme to the local Learning disability community.
We discussed the need for clear messaging, both for the learning disability community and family carers, as well as for GPs, along with the need to ensure that we minimised any chance of anyone who is eligible for the vaccine due to a learning disability not being contacted. It is likely that GP learning disability registers will be used to issue invitations for vaccination for those with a learning disability, however it is acknowledged that these are not complete and the number of young adults (16-25) on the register is very low. We also discussed how GPs lack of familiarity with this group, the inconsistent use of a learning disability diagnosis and the fact that the learning disability register does not distinguish between different levels of learning disability, could all contribute to creating barriers to accessing a vaccination. With this last point in mind, it was agreed that the focus of any locally agreed activity should be on the whole learning-disabled community, rather than just a section of it.
The MPFT adult learning disability team raised the issue of ensuring that reasonable adjustments were made where necessary, such as timing of appointments and allowing two carers to support an individual with learning disabilities during the vaccination process when necessary. Further discussion was had around how for some individuals there might be issues around capacity to consent to the vaccination and there may need for support with contact holds.
The CCG shared that those who have previously received a shielding letter because they are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, should receive an invite for vaccination letter in the next few days and the letters for those individuals in the Priority 6 group imminently. This Priority group includes those with a learning disability and unpaid carers. They also confirmed that staff had now been to all residential colleges in the area to vaccinate residents, including those with a learning disability and that the vaccination should be made available to young people with a learning disability from the age of 16.
Going forward a number of actions were agreed:
- Contact would be made with the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin SEN and social care (children’s and adults) managers to discuss how to identify those with a learning disability in the two areas. It is hoped that this will allow a comprehensive list to be compiled that can be sent to GPs so that invitation to vaccination letters can be issued.
- The possibility of implementing a specialist school/college - based vaccination programme would be explored as a matter of urgency.
- The barriers to those with a learning disability and unpaid carers accessing the vaccine appropriately, would be raised by the CCG at the weekly Primary Care Network meetings, to raise the profile of these issues.
- Consideration would be given to what information individuals with a learning disability and their families should share with their GP when contacting then about eligibility access to vaccination (it was agreed that email contact should be promoted due to surgeries currently being so busy).
PACC and PODs will continue to work with the CCG and providers to support delivery of the vaccine roll out and communication about this with the SEND community. If you experience any difficulties accessing the vaccine for your family member or yourself as a carer, please do get in touch so that we are aware of any current issues.
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