Staff from the Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust started vaccinating people on a special bus today (23 March 2021) in an attempt to protect people in low uptake areas across Leeds.
The vaccination bus programme is a partnership between the NHS, Leeds City Council and local voluntary and community organisations.
The first stop was Maud Avenue in Beeston where locals were invited to pop down to receive the jab via a text message from their GP practice, or by Council volunteers knocking on their doors. The bus will be on site until Friday 26 March, before moving on to other low uptake areas across the city in the coming weeks.
Healthcare professionals are working alongside local community organisations and volunteers to encourage people to have their vaccine. It is also an opportunity for people to discuss any concerns they may have on the vaccine.
Dr Kashif Sarwar, GP and Clinical Director for Beeston Primary Care Network, said:
“We decided to use a mobile service to try to encourage people from the local community to take up their vaccine.
“Hopefully delivering the vaccine in a location that people are familiar with and feel comfortable attending will help encourage more patients to attend. We’re listening to feedback from our local communities and are doing what we can to address some of the issues being raised.
“Having healthcare professionals and people from the local voluntary and community organisations will give local patients an opportunity to come and talk to us, especially if they have particular concerns on the vaccine.
“We know there’s a lot of misinformation on social platforms, but we want patients to come and talk to us, so that they’re getting trusted and reliable information.”
Sam Prince, Executive Director of Operations for the Leeds Covid Vaccination Programme, said:
“It’s important for us to look at how we can make it as easy as possible for people to get their vaccinations. We’re looking at innovative ways on how we can increase the uptake of the vaccine and having the vaccination minibus is one of them.
“We want patients to understand how the vaccine will protect them against the disease and reduce their risk of becoming seriously unwell. So, when you receive the text message from your GP practice inviting you to the mobile vaccination minibus, please take up your invite.
“I’m proud to be leading on the Leeds Vaccination Programme, we have embedded the team Leeds approach in all our vaccination work. All partners across the city including NHS organisations, Leeds City Council, universities in Leeds, voluntary and community organisations are coming together as we continue to vaccinate priority groups one to nine, in line with the recommendations from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI).”
Councillor Salma Arif, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing at Leeds City Council, said:
“I’m proud to be part of a city that is constantly looking at innovative ways to increase the uptake of the vaccine. This approach is an opportunity for people in Beeston to have the vaccine in an area they’re familiar with.
“If you do receive the text message from your GP practice, I’d urge you to attend the mobile vaccination minibus. Having the vaccine is our best hope for returning to normal life. If you have questions or you’re unsure about the vaccine, there will be healthcare professionals and people from the community who will be able to address any concerns you have about the vaccine.”
For further information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.nhs.uk/CovidVaccine
Thios post is based on a press release issued by Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Photo (L-R): Councillor Salma Arif, Dr Kashif Sarwar, Councillor Mohammed Iqbal (Hunslet & Riverside Ward) and
Jack Rutter, Senior Mental Health Nurse and Vaccination Team Leader at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust