Issue 28 - 21 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.

NHS pressures – help us help frontline staff

Covid-19 hasn't gone away: our critical care facilities are caring for large numbers of people who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19; 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.  

We have had increasing numbers of reports from both GP practices and hospitals, of staff being verbally and physically abused by frustrated members of the public. This is never acceptable and the NHS has worked tirelessly over the last 18 months to care for people in the best way possible, while under enormous pressure. The NHS Constitution is clear that violence, or the causing of nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises could result in prosecution or people being refused access to NHS services.  

Please continue to be kind to our staff, socially distance where possible and wear a face mask in healthcare settings.

Covid-19 booster vaccination programme

To maintain a high level of protection this winter, the NHS is offering booster vaccines to those who are more at risk from serious illness. The boosters are to ensure a high level of protection in vulnerable adults as data suggests that the protection provided by vaccines decreases gradually over time.

Boosters will be offered to:

  • all adults aged 50 years or over
  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • frontline health and social care workers, and adult carers
  • all those aged 16 to 49 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe Covid-19
  • adults who live with immunosuppressed people.

To be eligible, you must also have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine at least six months ago. The Pfizer vaccine will be given in the booster programme, regardless of which vaccine you had for your first two doses.

If you are eligible you can go ahead and book your booster now at participating sites on the National Booking Service (NBS). You will also be contacted by the NHS or your GP directly and invited to book. We are opening 29 new vaccination sites over the coming weeks, most of which are pharmacies, which means you will have a choice of more, local and convenient, places at which to have it.

Flu vaccinations in winter 2021

Flu vaccination is especially important this winter because fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the pandemic and if you get flu and Covid-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill. Even if you've had Covid-19 or the Covid-19 vaccine, you still need to have the flu vaccine if you are eligible - it is safe and it will be effective at helping to prevent flu. You can find more information here on who is eligible for a free vaccine and information on the vaccine itself.

You will be able to get vaccinated at your GP surgery, at a hospital appointment, at a pharmacy offering the service, or from your midwife if you are pregnant. You can find a pharmacy that offers the flu vaccine here now.

Some vaccination centres will be able to offer a Covid-19 booster and the flu vaccine at the same time, but some won't. While some won't qualify for both vaccines (e.g. young children); others won't want to have both vaccines at the same time. That is absolutely fine and you can have a discussion with staff at the vaccination site and decide what is right for you. 

Covid-19 vaccinations for 12-15 year olds

It was announced last week that all young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. You can read the letter from the four Chief Medical Officers setting out their recommendation here.

You can read leaflets and guides for all eligible young people here.

The NHS and schools across north east London are working together on the best way to deliver these vaccinations and parents will be contacted directly when it is time for their child to be offered the jab.

Vaccines for people aged 16 and over

Everyone aged 16 and over can still come for their free Covid-19 vaccination. Anyone 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 if you are 16 or 17; you can simply walk in and have your jab.

The National Booking Service (NBS) is open to anyone aged 18 or over, and to people within three months of their 18th birthday, but will be open to 16 and 17 year olds from 27 September.

We have now given over 2.3 million Covid-19 vaccinations in north east London. Details of where you can get vaccinated are here and you can visit our website, frequently asked questions and videos for all the facts and latest updates.


Vaccines Teen

90% of patients admitted to ICU in north east London are not fully vaccinated

Between 14 July and 2 September 2021, 203 patients with Covid-19 were admitted to ICU across north east London. Of these, 90% (181) were not fully vaccinated, with most tending to be on average six years younger than patients admitted to ICU who are fully vaccinated. You can watch the full Channel 4 News story here.


Join our AGMs

The NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Annual General Meeting (AGM) takes place on Wednesday 29 September, 4.30pm to 5.30pm. It is open to the public and will bring together GPs, commissioners, local partners and patients. Find out more about how to join the virtual meeting here.

Updated: 21/09/2021