Sunderland care worker turned away from NHS Nightingale vaccine hub appointment after issues with 'fraudulent' appointments
A health and social care worker was refused entry to the Nightingale vaccination centre after security required an ‘ID badge’ that some independent and privately owned care firm staff don’t have.
Jodie Robinson, a personal assistant who works with vulnerable children from Sunderland booked her covid vaccine appointment after health and social care staff were invited to receive the jab in the next round of the vaccine rollout.
The 45-year-old was refused entry to the Nightingale vaccination centre after security asked to see an ID badge which personal assistants employed by individual families and other private firms don’t hold.
Ms Robinson showed security her vaccine appointment confirmation from the NHS, and an email from Sunderland City Council confirming her eligibility and her drivers license but the care worker was still denied entry.
The care worker remained on the site for two and a half hours but eventually left without having her covid jab.
Jodie said: “I was initially told by the NHS on 119 that I didn’t need to bring anything with me, just my confirmation but I showed security everything I had to prove I was eligible.
"I asked them what I could do as personal assistants don’t have these badges and he just told me to move my car and walked away.
"It’s completely put me off having the vaccine at all now, I was treated like I was a criminal after being more or less told I was fraudulently claiming a vaccine I wasn’t entitled to.”
She added: “I’m very annoyed, this vaccine was the light at the end of the tunnel for me and now it’s completely set me back.”
Yesterday, Monday, February 15 Matt Hancock urged care workers to get vaccinated after it emerged that around a third of social care staff have not received a coronavirus jab.
Jodie said: “It’s laughable, how are we supposed to get the vaccine if we are being refused entry.”
A spokeswoman for the NHS Nightingale North East Vaccination Centre said some eligible people were mistakenly turned away from appointments alongside people who were ineligible who had booked appointments after links to booking forms were shared on social media.
They said: “It appears that booking information was shared outside of the priority groups on social media forums that led to some people attending vaccination appointments when they are not eligible to do so.
“We turned those people away and we unfortunately inadvertently turned away a small number of staff who do work closely with vulnerable children.
“We’re working with our partners to ensure that these eligible staff are rebooked quickly and our front line vaccination teams are aware that not everyone has traditional identification badges, but we do need to check identities.
“We know people are very keen indeed to get their vaccine and we’re sorry about any inconvenience caused by this situation. The NHS and partners in our region are working extremely hard to make sure people are vaccinated in the priority groups, so far over 600,000 people have had the first dose of the vaccine.”