Vaccination clinic for people with learning disabilities in North Central London

Date: 11 March 2021

service users Nana and Salman

Pictured above: Service users, Nana and Salman, after receiving their vaccination.

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust (BEH) has been providing COVID-19 vaccination for people with learning disabilities (LD), autism and serious mental illnesses at its Chase Farm Hospital site in Enfield since the end of February.  

Government data shows that people with learning difficulties have been among the groups most impacted by COVID. They had a 2.3 times higher death rate than the general public and are more likely to be affected by issues such as isolation and the wider mental health impacts. 

The vaccination clinic at BEH is a real collaborative effort between the Trust, London Borough of Enfield, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), with volunteers including local LD nurses and redeployed staff from across the sustainability and transformation partnerships. Since opening, over 60 LD patients and some of their carers have been vaccinated at the clinic.

Emily Burch, Head of Physical Health at BEH

Emily Burch, Head of Physical Health at BEH

Emily Burch, Head of Physical Health, Lead for COVID-19 Testing and Topol Digital Fellow at BEH, said: “The clinic has been adapted to make it more suitable for people who would not be able to attend mass vaccination centres.

“We have made adjustments 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.

Front of house there is support from London Borough of Enfield 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.

Support workers Hannah Lee, Community Link Enfield, and Maria Paraskeva, New Options, assist with booking patients in at the clinic and ensure that they are comfortable

Emily 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 appeared on BBC London News on 11 March – watch the recording here.

Notes

For more information please contact the BEH Communications Team at beh-tr.communications@nhs.net

  • Summary:

    Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust (BEH) has been providing COVID-19 vaccination for people with learning disabilities (LD), autism and serious mental illnesses at its Chase Farm Hospital site in Enfield since the end of February.