COVID-19 vaccinations roll-out for eligible unpaid carers
Am I eligible for a vaccination as an unpaid carer?
Unpaid carers include anyone who is eligible for a Carer’s Allowance, or anyone who is the main carer for someone whose welfare may be at risk if their carer fell ill.
Does that include parent carers?
Yes, across Sussex the NHS is including as many eligible parent carers as possible. In Sussex parent carers are eligible if they are caring for a child or young person up to 25, with a special educational need or disability that has a big effect on them every day.
As a guide, this usually means your child has, or is eligible for, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Education Health and Care (EHC) plan, a Compass or iGO Card, or is accessing services such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Does that include young carers (16- or 17-year olds)?
Yes, Sussex CCG are currently working with carers’ organisations and Local Authorities to identify a specific route to invite young carers to specific vaccination centres that are administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
How can I get vaccinated?
Currently, there are two ways that you can access a vaccination:
1) Register with your local carers’ organisation, and we will help you access the local vaccination services via your GP led local vaccination service or,
2) Book online via the National Booking Service nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 (however bookings are suspended nationally in April).
Invitations to be vaccinated
The National Vaccination Programme has sent out invitations for vaccination to people who, at the beginning of March were:
- eligible for a Carer’s Allowance
- registered with their GP as a carer
- registered with a local Carers’ organisation
- accessing services provided by a County Council Adult Social Care or Children’s Services’ Departments
No new invitations will be going out over the coming weeks and may continue until the end of April. We need anyone who hasn’t booked date to share their information with their local carer’s organisation, so they can be invited to a local vaccination service.
The usual booking route using the National Booking Service (NBS) will be suspended from the 1st April, due to the supply levels of the vaccination. Currently, we cannot guarantee a date when this service will be back up and running. Our best advice is to regularly check your local carers’ organisation website and social media channels to receive the most up-to-date information. If you do not have access to online facilities, we suggest nominating a friend or family member who has and can update you.
Once the National Booking Service is running again
If you are an eligible unpaid carer you can also choose to book a vaccination appointment yourself using the national NHS link: nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119.
How to complete the on-line booking form if you are an eligible unpaid carer
When you reach question 7 on the national booking link that asks if you are the ‘main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus’ you must tick ‘yes.’
You will then be asked if you ‘provide personal care to this person.’ Again, you must tick ‘yes’ to this question. You will then be able to select a vaccination centre and book an appointment date and time that is convenient to you.
If you need any help or support with vaccination booking please use the contact details below.
Finally, if you are not yet registered as a carer with your GP and/or a carers’ organisation please do consider doing this. It will mean that you will be kept up to date with important news about services and support in your area – please use the contact details below.
Where to get more information or help
The Sussex Health and Care Partnership
Locally the vaccination programme is being run by the Sussex Health and Care Partnership. You can find out more about unpaid carers vaccinations here.
Or you can contact the Sussex Health and Care Partnership using the email address below. Please note that they cannot book vaccination appointments for you.
or phone 0800 433 4545 (Monday to Friday 9.30 am – 4pm)
Local Carer Organisations in Sussex
- In West Sussex: Carers Support West Sussex 0300 028 8888
- In Brighton & Hove: The Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove 01273 977 000
- Parent Carers across Sussex: Amaze 01273 772289
- In East Sussex: Care for the Carers 01323 738 390
- Do you have access to transport to attend your vaccine appointment?
- Do you have a family member, friend or carer who can help with transport? They do not have to be in your bubble as per government guidelines.
Free transport option now available to help people get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment
From today (17.03.21), West Sussex residents who have no means to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment will be able to book a free return journey to help them attend.
To book free travel please book your vaccination appointment first and then call 01444 275 008 to speak to a travel coordinator. The booking service is available between 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00 Monday to Friday.
Once you are through to a travel coordinator you will be asked the following questions:
If both of these options are not available the travel coordinator will arrange transport for you, including any additional needs such as wheelchair-friendly vehicles.
All transport providers have signed up to a COVID-19 safety policy to ensure that all precautions are in place for a safe journey.
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