Enfield Council has been helping Chase Farm Hospital protect people with serious mental illnesses, autism and learning disabilities from coronavirus by helping them get vaccinated.
The drive has been launched because Government data shows that people with learning difficulties are among the groups most impacted by coronavirus.
They are more than twice as likely to die of the virus than the general public and are more likely to be affected by issues such as isolation and the associated mental health problems.
A specialist vaccination clinic at Chase Farm Hospital was set up by Enfield Council, the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust (BEH), the North Central London (NCL) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), with volunteers including learning disabilities nurses and redeployed staff from across the partnership. Since opening on 22 February 2021, more than 60 learning disabilities patients and their carers have been vaccinated at the clinic.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Alev Cazimoglu , said: “Enfield Council is committed to protecting the most vulnerable in the society by ensuring they have an opportunity to get vaccinated in the most comfortable and convenient way possible.
“The council has provided front of house support from staff who work in the Integrated Learning Disability Service to book patients in, talk and interact with patients and their carers to keep them calm and support them with any adjustments that are needed.”
Emily Burch, Head of Physical Health, Lead for COVID-19 Testing and Topol Digital Fellow at BEH, said: “We are working collaboratively with the Integrated Learning Disability Service and London Borough of Enfield Council, Enfield Day Services and colleagues from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to identify and reach out to patients via supported living, day services and on the MyLife page, we then have the option to book via email or telephone.
“I’m really proud that we are playing our part in enabling these patients to have their vaccination in a specially adapted environment.”
The clinic has been adapted to make it more suitable for people who would not be able to attend mass vaccination centres .
Adjustments have been made for longer appointments, more space, quiet areas, sensory equipment, easy to read and pictorial consent and patient information forms, plus a dedicated telephone booking service for those who struggle to book online.
The vaccinators are a mixture of mental health and learning disability trained nurses who are specially trained to support patients with complex needs.
Elizabeth, an Enfield resident shares her story about her experience of getting the vaccine. Watch the video here
The clinic appeared on BBC London News on 11 March 2021. Watch the recording here.