City Council staff helping contact vaccine priority candidates

Published: Wednesday, 17th March 2021

Oxford City Council’s community services team is working with the NHS and local GPs to help contact people who have not responded to repeated attempts to contact them for a vaccine appointment.

There are a range of reasons why people may have not arranged a vaccination - from difficulties in booking an appointment or arranging transport to hesitancy or misunderstandings about the vaccine. Beginning this week, outreach workers are calling at the addresses of people who have not responded to repeated contact attempts from their GP in order to offer support – such as providing help with booking an appointment, arranging transport, or simply offering information and advice.

The outreach workers are from the community hub teams in the Council. They have been supporting residents who are shielding or self-isolating throughout the pandemic and so are highly experienced. They will be dressed in clearly identifiable clothing, carry an ID, and follow all social distancing guidelines.

“We want to make sure as many people as possible have the protection of the vaccine, especially in the most vulnerable groups. A chat with one of our experienced team could make the difference to someone needing help or reassurance, better than a phone call or letter. I want residents to be reassured this isn’t to pressure them into a decision, our aim is to make sure people aren’t left out because they have worries or practical problems that we can help resolve. As restrictions ease, having the vaccine will be one of the best ways to ensure you can safely enjoy getting back to those things you’ve missed.”

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for a Safer, Healthy Oxford

“We hope this outreach programme will be a valuable tool in ensuring that everyone who wants the vaccine can be supported to get it and that nobody gets left behind in the rollout of Oxfordshire’s vaccination programme as it moves through the different priority groups.”

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health