Issue 27 - 7 September 2021


Health and care news from across north east London

Welcome to our public bulletin keeping local people informed about health and care services; and how you can stay well and keep safe.

Vaccines for people aged 16 and over

Sixteen and 17-year-olds are being urged to come forward for their free Covid-19 jab as new vaccination sites open across north east London. 

More and more places, including pharmacies, are offering the jab to this age group, and with schools and colleges returning and case rates remaining high, those aged 16 and 17 are being reminded that Covid-19 does not only affect older people. 

Getting vaccinated reduces the chances of getting Covid-19 at school or college and potentially spreading it to family members; and from having to isolate with the virus and missing out on going out with friends. It also reduces the chances of getting seriously ill – including from long Covid. 

Anyone in this age group can easily find their nearest centre through the ‘Grab a Jab’ NHS online walk-in finder. There is no need to pre-book and no need to bring a parent or guardian; you can simply walk in and have your jab. More than 500,000 people aged 16 and 17 have already had their Covid-19 vaccination in the UK. 

The National Booking Service (NBS) is currently open to anyone aged 18 or over, and to people within three months of their 18th birthday. 

Third jabs for people with severely weakened immune system

People who have a severely weakened immune system are to be offered a third Covid-19 jab. This extra dose will be offered to anyone over 12 who was severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose, including those with leukaemia, advanced HIV, and recent organ transplants. 

This recommendation by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is separate from a potential booster programme. A booster is designed to extend the already strong protection someone has received from their first and second jabs, this third dose is for people whose compromised immune systems mean two are insufficient. We will contact people who need a third dose.

Vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15

The JCVI has advised that children aged 12 to15 should be offered a Covid-19 vaccination if they have specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of serious illness or if they live with people who are immunosuppressed. 

Information on the Covid-19 vaccination for these children and young people is here.  

We have not yet been asked to vaccinate all children aged 12 to 15, but are developing plans to ensure we have the ability to do so if instructed to do so by NHS England.

Blood bottles supply disruption update

The government has announced that there is a global shortage of some equipment used by the NHS for taking blood tests. 

Anyone who needs a test, or tests, for urgent health problems will still get one. But when it is safe to do so, your clinician may delay your appointment and you may experience a short wait.  

We will let you know when stocks are more easily available. Please ask for a review if your condition or symptoms change or get worse. 

On 10 August NHS leaders issued urgent guidance to the whole NHS; and followed this with this letter to provide further clarity.

NHS pressures – help us help you

Covid-19 hasn't gone away: our critical care facilities are caring for large numbers of people who are unvaccinated; our GPs, the London Ambulance Service, mental health professionals and staff throughout the NHS and social care are all under more pressure than ever before. Please support your local staff by treating them with respect, and by working with us in all the new ways that Covid has required.

Awards success in north east London

It was a big night at the HSJ Value Awards on Thursday 2 September - with eight winners from north east London. The awards honour improvements across the health system, many of which have played an important role in the fight against Covid. The number of winners reflects the commitment of our staff across the patch to the health of the people of north east London.

Henry Black, Acting Accountable Officer, North East London CCG, said: “These awards mean so much as they recognise some truly innovative and imaginative work that has real impact on the lives of patients across north east London. After such a challenging 18 months I could not be prouder of everyone involved across the CCG and wider system. These awards demonstrate fantastic partnership working and the benefit of working in a more integrated way for the local population.”

Please see here for full details of the winners.

NHS App

Owned and run by the NHS, the NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. 

Please see here for short explainer videos - co-designed with our communities – demonstrating the NHS App’s key benefits using lively animation; and two video tutorials offering step-by-step guides to registering with the app using NHS login with or without photo ID or an NHS number.

Back to School

Pupils all over the country are beginning to return to schools and colleges after their summer breaks. For many pupils they will be returning with far fewer restrictions than when they left for the summer holidays. 

Now that there are fewer restrictions, pupils will be able to experience a fuller education experience, including, access to more group activities, team sports, playing with friends, plays, and taking part in musical groups. This makes getting tested and having the vaccine when offered really important. 

Here’s what you need to know on going back to school.

Back to school

Updated: 07/09/2021