With pockets of low COVID-19 vaccination uptake, data showed certain areas/communities in Essex were not engaging in the national vaccination programme. As part of a wider programme of activities, we wanted to support the NHS to shift the power and bring vaccinations into the community.
Thanks to a unique partnership with Ford and conversion partners Venari, we developed bespoke-built COVID-19 vaccination van, designed around the exact needs of NHS frontline staff. This initiative was led by one of our GP/PCN leaders, Dr Smitesh Patel.
The model enables the NHS to work with local people to shape the services that they need and promote opportunities to contribute as creative citizens to solve COVID-19 vaccine and other health challenges.
Through engaging community leaders, trusted voices are taking control, ensuring slots are filled sharing key information in a way others will respect and understand.
The original ambition was to increase uptake of the vaccine across all ethnic groups visiting multiple locations across the ICS footprint including mosques, traveller sites and a organising bespoke clinics.
As a consequence mid and south Essex:
- Became the first system in the region to achieve over 75% uptake on all ethnicities.
- Had the highest uptake across the region for White Other, Black African, Bangladeshi and Chinese ethnic groups.
- Had the lowest gap in uptake between White British and White Other is the lowest in the region, as is the gap in uptake between White British and Black African, White British and Bangladeshi, and White British and Chinese.
As well as vaccinating a range of ethnicities and supporting them with the information to address their hesitancy, the programme has also focused on underserved groups.
The van is now being used as part of broader local health improvement initiatives starting with improving outcomes for those with respiratory conditions.