Patient health and social care watchdog care Healthwatch Derbyshire is taking a lead role in ensuring that people across the county are registered with a local GP and do not miss their chance to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Healthwatch Derbyshire Supports GP Registration Drive
It is estimated that up to 5% of the population nationally are not currently registered with a GP for a variety of reasons.
This includes people who are homeless; families in temporary accommodation due to domestic violence for example; people who have recently moved house; those with transient lifestyles such as living on houseboats; and new arrivals to the UK.
There is a common misconception amongst the public and some primary care staff that everybody needs to have certain documentation to be able to register with a GP such as photo identification and proof of address which is not the case.
NHS England has therefore stepped up its programme to support everyone to register with a GP which has become even more critical with the national COVID-19 vaccine programme.
Locally, Healthcare Derbyshire is distributing the ‘My Right to Healthcare’ cards to a wide range of organisations, service providers and charities to pass onto individuals they are in contact with. The cards are backed by the NHS England national call centre (0300 311 2233) which is dedicated to resolving any registration problems.
Healthwatch Derbyshire CEO Helen Henderson-Spoors explained: “The awareness programme has been stepped up now to ensure everyone is offered a COVID-19 vaccination as the programme rolls out but those not registered with a GP are more likely to fall through the net.
“Longer term this will help patients to take control of their own health, reduce inequalities and focus on preventative health through primary care rather than unnecessary access to A&E and critical care services.
“Healthwatch Derbyshire is playing a key role locally in facilitating this campaign and our links with support groups, charities and service providers will ensure that the cards and supporting information reach the right people.
“Furthermore, I would appeal to anyone who is currently not registered with a GP surgery for whatever reason to contact us for further information.”