A care provider is calling for housebound elderly to have more parity with care home residents, after revealing that only a third of the people it cares for in their own homes have been vaccinated against Covid, compared to 80 per cent in its care homes.
CHD Care at Home is concerned that many people living in their own homes are missing out on the vaccine as they are unable to travel to vaccination centres or are too scared to incase they catch the virus.
Shaleeza Hasham, head of Hospitality and Communications at CHD Care at Home, which supports 180 people living across Surrey and South London, said ”the housebound elderly and those receiving care at home have been somewhat neglected”.
She added: “Although vaccination appointments are becoming available, they are being offered at incredibly short notice to people of restricted mobility, who have limited means of transportation and no way of accessing them.”
These limitations have meant that, so far, only a third of CHD Care at Home’s service users have been able to receive the vaccine, compared with 80 per cent of residents across the group’s care homes.
Ms Hasham said: “This is a huge issue, especially given that the majority of people receiving care at home fall into the vulnerable category and will have been shielding for almost a year. To expect these people, who are generally keen and eager to receive the vaccination, to make their own arrangements or to risk taking public transport to receive their vaccinations is unrealistic and unfair.”
The NHS and Metrobus have just launched one of the UK’s first COVID-19 mobile vaccination units in a bus in Crawley in Sussex, for hard-to-reach and vulnerable communities and although Ms Hasham believes mobile vaccination units will “remove some of the logistical constraints” she is concerned that “they could also exacerbate fears over letting new people into the home, especially amongst those who are shielding”.
“Ideally, there should be better joined up working between the respective agencies to enable support workers, who have increased their visits to offset the lack of family contact, to support vaccination appointments,” said Ms Hasham.
‘Roving’ teams of vaccinators comprising GPs, nurses and healthcare workers are currently offering the vaccine to people who are housebound but logistics mean it is taking a lot longer, with people being asked to attend a vaccination centre if possible.
CHD Care at Home is part of CHD Living’s group of care services, which also has 13 residential care facilities and two rehabilitation centres.