22 January 2021
Member vaccination update
Hearing care is a vital health service. At national level, we have fought hard to ensure practices and audiologists can continue to provide safe hearing care in community locations close to where patients live.
Frontline hearing care practitioners and support staff are in priority group 2 for vaccinations whether you work wholly in the private sector, the NHS, or partly in both. If you have not already done so, please read our vaccination updates of 8 January and 15 January.
In this update, we provide more detail on:
Frontline audiology teams, like all health and social care staff, are in priority group 2 for Covid-19 vaccinations (together with individuals aged 80 and over). Priority group 1 is for residents of care homes for older adults and their carers.
Please do not contact your GP or hospital about booking a vaccination until they invite you.
At this stage:
- Employees and locums should work with their main practice to keep up-to-date with local vaccination arrangements and communications. Some communications are now starting to flow to providers.
- Employers can plan by taking the following steps.
Consider setting up a team that will help your organisation coordinate communication with the local immunisation programme. You might, for example, nominate a lead and deputy. Also, have contingency plans in place, because staff might be self-isolating at different times and may need to be captured under different local vaccination ‘sweeps’.
Then ask your leads to email [email protected]. We will add them to our vaccination mailing list and keep them updated with developments and communications which are happening above local level.
Familiarise yourself with the two official definitions of frontline healthcare staff in the priority group 2 for Covid-19 vaccinations.
- Staff involved in direct patient care. They include staff who have frequent face-to-face clinical contact with patients and are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care/community settings. The group consists of those working in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings – for example, audiologists and HADs.
- Non-clinical staff in healthcare settings. They include non-clinical ancillary staff who may have contact with patients but are not directly involved in patient care – for example, receptionists.
See page 11 of the Covid-19 green book for full definitions.
Make a record of how many people meet the definition of a frontline healthcare worker (including self-employed and locum staff). You will need this later when the local vaccination centre contacts your practice.
Share reliable information about the vaccine with staff so they can make an informed personal choice about vaccination. Here are examples of official resources for each home nation:
- Covid-19 vaccination information if you live in England
- Covid-19 vaccination information if you live in Northern Ireland
- Covid-19 vaccination information if you live in Scotland
- Covid-19 vaccination information if you live in Wales
You might also recommend your HCPC registered team members read the HCPC vaccination guide
Have letters ready to provide to frontline healthcare staff with authentication to
The NCHA policy team has communicated with all public health and health service leads to ensure community audiology is included in local vaccination programmes and systems. We have also been in touch with the HCPC to represent your interests.
The NCHA policy team has re-confirmed with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE-I) that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are charged with contacting local primary care services, including audiology/hearing practices.
At this stage:
- Please use this tool to look up the CCG where your practice is based. Repeat this for each practice
- Share your list with your representative body so they can share local information with you
- NCHA members should send this to [email protected]
For example, if you have practices in North Central London CCG, the Humber Coast and Vale region, or Coventry and Rugby CCG area, please contact us. We will share the latest information on these regions with you.
The NCHA is awaiting information from the Health and Social Care Board. There is currently a link which frontline healthcare workers can use to book a vaccine but this has not yet been opened up to all community audiology practices. Please contact your representative body to get the latest status if you are based in Northern Ireland. NCHA members can email [email protected].
The NCHA has been assured by NHS Scotland and the vaccination delivery programme that community audiology is on the priority list. We have also been asked to share this letter from Paul Hawkins, Director for Covid-19 vaccination delivery, with members. We will update members with practices in Scotland when we receive follow-up correspondence on 26 January.
In Wales, we are communicating with NHS Wales and Public Health Wales and have heard back from one of the seven health boards.
If your practice is based in the Cardiff and Vale University health board, please email us at [email protected] as we are collecting information for public health leads in this region.
Cardiff and Vale covers the following postcodes: CF3, CF5, CF10, CF11, CF14, CF15, CF23, CF24, CF30, CF61, CF62, CF63, CF64, CF71, CF91.