I do hope you are all keeping well and continuing to stay safe.
I am once again calling for your help and assistance; I would like to provide you with some updates and share some important messages regarding Covid-19 that we would like you to share with your fellow patient members, friends and family.
We are making really good progress both nationally and locally with the vaccination programme. Vaccines are being administered at twelve local sites and three hospital hubs spread across North Yorkshire and York, additional sites being considered in future weeks.
Currently the COVID vaccine is being offered to people most at risk from coronavirus. This includes care home residents, people over 80 and health and social care staff. These are the groups most at risk from the virus. People aged 75 and over and then all those who are 70 and over, together with clinically extremely vulnerable patients will follow.
We would like to remind patients and once again ask that you can share this message and assure people that there is no need to get in touch with your GP practice about the vaccine, they will get in touch with you at the appropriate time when it is your turn.
As you will understand GP practices are currently taking a high volume of calls about the vaccine and we would like to assure people they will get in touch with you and you will not miss out, your help to share this message would be greatly appreciated.
Information on the latest Covid-19 fraud incidents
You may be aware of recent reports of fraud and deception which are arising in relation to the vaccination programme. We want to assure people that:
- The vaccine is free of charge, and everyone will be offered one by the NHS
- The NHS will never ask for banking details, account numbers, pins or passwords, or for copies of personal documents such as a drivers licence, passport or pay slip
- The NHS will never arrive unannounced at a person’s home offering a vaccination, particularly in exchange for payment
There have been reports of a new scam where a person receives a text saying they need to book a vaccination appointment and it takes them to a fake NHS form which then asks for their bank details to prove their identity. If you aren’t familiar with text message cons, please be warned about this latest coronavirus scam which is designed to trick people into handing over their credit card details to secure a vaccination appointment. There is a texting scam leaflet you can download here. The scam has been reported in the media here.
Once again, please share this information, anything you can do to help get these messages to people so they can better protect themselves against fraud would be welcome.
Share your experience
I am aware that some of our patient members have already had their first vaccination and some may also have had their second. In order for us to share this insight with others and make people aware of what to expect, I am calling on those who would be happy to share their experiences of what the journey was like. Telling the story from the beginning, when you first received the invitation, including the details on getting to the vaccination site, was it local to you, was it convenient and accessible and how the whole experience was.
With the current restrictions, we want to share and relay any concerns people may have and we feel by sharing real patient experiences, it will give greater insight into what to expect when you go for your vaccination.
If you are happy to share your experience, can you also advise if you are happy to be identified and if so would you like to share a photograph. The information we collect will be used on our website and we may include quotes within media releases, if you are in agreement with this.
I would like to thank you for your help in sharing these messages. The virus is very real and is in our communities, we need everyone to do their part, follow national guidelines and stay at home unless absolutely necessary. When you do go out please follow the guidance. This is essential for us to protect the NHS and save lives in the short term.
Thank you as always for your continued support.
With kind regards
NHS North Yorkshire CCG