GP practices in Vale of York working together to vaccinate homeless people in York and Selby

GP practices in the Vale of York are working with local housing services and community providers to ensure that homeless people have been able to access the COVID-19 vaccine.
woman at healthwatch event listening to speaker

The targeted vaccination programme has been led by NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), with practices based in York and Selby vaccinating people in their temporary place of residence, including rough sleeper accommodation.

York Medical Group and Scott Road Medical Centre, based in York and Selby respectively, have been vaccinating homeless people against COVID-19 as part of the national roll out to ensure that as many people as possible are able to get the vaccine.

Local housing services and community providers have played a key role in the effort by identifying and contacting people who are classified as homeless, along with volunteers who have supported the collaborative efforts of the vaccination programme.

Zulf Ali, Chief Executive Officer of York Medical Group, said: 

“At York Medical Group, we are working hard to vaccinate the homeless in our community. This is an important step towards ensuring that everyone who is eligible has the same access to the COVID-19 vaccine.”

“The success of this outreach programme is due to the dedication of our staff and working collaboratively with our partners. We want to thank the CCG, Nimbuscare, Changing Lives and York City Council for supporting this initiative. The homeless vaccination programme is an excellent example of positive collaboration, and we look forward to more partnership working in the future to address the other healthcare needs of this vulnerable population.”

Vaccinating homeless people has been a learning experience for us because those people really aren’t visible on general practice registered lists. We’ve found out that ‘sofa-surfing‘ is a big problem, but it’s only by working through the voluntary agencies and local authorities, who have some sight of these people, that we’ve discovered how big a problem it is and we’ve only been able to reach out to them through partnership with those agencies.
— Dr Nick Jackson

Primary Care Networks have allowed for close working with local authorities and organisations, enabling better oversight of vulnerable groups and a coordinated approach to their healthcare. As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, general practices will work together at scale and focus on delivery in order to provide a wider range of services to patients across communities.

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