Leeds city council: inclusion vaccination

At the beginning of the Covid 19 vaccination programme, the emphasis was on vaccinating people most at risk from the virus, as well as frontline workers who were working directly with them. This was mainly older people, but also included clinically extremely vulnerable people too. We were also concerned about communities of interest who were at risk because of social issues and were less likely to access mainstream services.


Introduction

At the beginning of the Covid 19 vaccination programme, the emphasis was on vaccinating people most at risk from the virus, as well as frontline workers who were working directly with them. This was mainly older people, but also included clinically extremely vulnerable people too. We were also concerned about communities of interest who were at risk because of social issues and were less likely to access mainstream services. We defined the communities that we wanted to engage with - Gypsy and Travellers, Roma, Sex workers, Refugees, Migrants, Drug and alcohol users, Homeless people and Domestic violence refuges and prison leavers – and got sign up from the citywide vaccination group to support. We partnered with Bevan healthcare, a Social Enterprise committed to helping people get the health care and support that they need through NHS General Practice.

Approach

We were able to take a whole system approach to vaccinations. This was based on developing a trusted relationship with the third sector and a flexible approach from Bevan to vaccinate people. We contacted all the third sector and community organisations that Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds CCG commissioned that work with the communities we wanted to engage with. We asked them questions to inform our approaches. These included If they had any plans or ideas to promote and support uptake of the vaccination, barriers to uptake, areas of support and where best to deliver the vaccine. We were able to discuss simple but important things - for example, we used more positive language – an inclusion vaccination approach rather than vaccination for vulnerable groups. We were able to share innovative approaches that were bespoke to each community of interest. For example, Basis (one of the HCT partnership) offered pizza alongside vaccinations and Migrants were offered vaccinations at English as a Second Language (ESOL) provision. By developing trusted relationships between the communities of interest, the third sector and clinical providers (Bevan), we were able to reach people who would not have accessed the vaccine

Contact

Tim Taylor, Head of Public Health

Localities & Primary Care, Adults and Health Directorate, Leeds City Council

Email: tim.taylor@leeds.gov.uk

Association website – www.local.gov.uk