Vaccination continues to be our best defence against the virus. Vaccines are extremely safe - all vaccines must go through the same regulatory approval process as any medicines to ensure they meet strict safety standards and offer high levels of protection.

For those staff who are yet to have their vaccines – first, second or booster COVID-19 vaccines, and/or flu, please visit the Vaccination Centre at Maghull Health Park which you can book into by using the link. The address is: Parkbourn, Maghull, L31 1HW (site entrance is via Villas Road, is on a one way system, and for those familiar with the what3words navigation system, use: unloading.spoiled.retained). If you have difficulties getting to and from the vaccination centre, please discuss this with your manager who will be able to support you.

You can also attend the following clinics.

For those staff who are yet to have their vaccines – first, second or booster COVID-19 vaccines, and/or flu, please visit the Vaccination Centre at Maghull Health Park which you can book into by using the link. The address is: Parkbourn, Maghull, L31 1HW (site entrance is via Villas Road, is on a one way system, and for those familiar with the what3words navigation system, use: unloading.spoiled.retained). If you have difficulties getting to and from the vaccination centre, please discuss this with your manager who will be able to support you.

The evidence is clear

Not getting vaccinated against COVID puts you at greater risk of serious illness and death. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family and your friends. It also means that you are much less likely to end up in a hospital bed that could otherwise be used to treat someone else.

High rates of infection have caused a high staff absence rate in several services. Help keep essential services running by making sure you get your COVID booster when eligible by clicking this link - to protect yourself and others.

The majority of people who become seriously ill with COVID-19 are those who are unvaccinated. Vaccination continues to be our best defence against this virus. For those staff who are yet to have their vaccines – first, second or booster COVID-19 vaccines, and/or flu, please visit the Vaccination Centre at Maghull health Park which you can book into by using the link.

The address is: Parkbourn, Maghull, L31 1HW (site entrance is via Villas Road, is on a one way system, and for those familiar with the what3words navigation system, use: unloading.spoiled.retained). If you have difficulties getting to and from the vaccination centre, please discuss this with your manager who will be able to support you.

Family appointments are now available for the COVID-19 booster but ONLY at the Vaccination Centre at Maghull Health Park. If you wish to book a family member in for the booster vaccine, you must book using your Mersey Care email account or the appointment will be cancelled on the system. When booking an appointment, please use their name and details in the appointment booking, but your Mersey Care email address. You must use their correct NHS number and this link will help you find it.

The booking link must not be shared, and only used by Mersey Care staff members.

Listen to the message from Trish Bennett, Executive Director of Nursing about why all those who are eligible should be vaccinated. Please note that it will be appreciated if those staff who haven’t had their first and second dose COVID-19 vaccinations also take the opportunity to have them now.

There’s some good advice for BAME communities from a resident and senior leaders in the Cheshire and Merseyside Partnership here.

You can find more information about the position of BIMA here.

Actor Adil Ray, OBE and others from the BAME community have come together to share an important message about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Public Assessment Report contains all the scientific information about the trial and information on trial participants. You can read it in full here or read a summary of the report here

Sir Lenny Henry urges black Britons to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Miss Toli Onon talks about the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility - YouTube

The latest guidance for people receiving botox injections and cosmetic dermal fillers can be found here. 

Everyone working in care homes to be fully vaccinated under new law to protect residents - GOV.UK

New legislation means from October 2021 anyone working in a CQC registered care home in England, for residents requiring nursing or personal care must have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exemption. It will apply to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider (on a full or part time basis), those employed by an agency and deployed by the care home, and volunteers deployed in the care home.

Those coming into care homes to do other work, for example healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers, beauticians and CQC inspectors will also have to follow the new regulations, unless they have a medical exemption.

For those staff yet to have a vaccine visit: https://merseycarenhsfoundationtrust.nhsbookings.com/v2/ If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your line manager who will be happy to help.

If you have a question or an issue with your second appointment, please email: vaccinations@merseycare.nhs.uk.

A message from Amanda Oates - 1 February 2022

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank all of our colleagues who have worked tirelessly and supported the Trust throughout the ongoing pandemic. We would also like to thank those colleagues who have taken up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccination along with the huge efforts of those who have supported them to do so.

Implementing this Government policy has been a challenging time for all staff. I want to thank our colleagues for their leadership, integrity, kindness, support, and honesty. Aligning our principles of restorative just culture with civility and respect has been vital in how we addressed this mandate together. We acknowledge how difficult this has been and we are very grateful to you all.

As you know, Government recently passed legislation requiring vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) which was due to come in to effect from 1 April 2022. However yesterday, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced that this mandate is now being reconsidered. The full statement is available here. The Government’s decision to end vaccination as a condition of deployment is now subject to Parliamentary process. It will require further consultation and a vote to be passed to revoke the legislation and regulations.

The Health Secretary has also asked for several steps to be taken, these include:

  • Officials to consult on updating the Code of Practice which applies to all CQC registered providers of all health and social care in England
  • A review of NHS policies on the hiring of new staff and the deployment of existing staff, taking into account their vaccination status
  • Consult on strengthening requirements in relation to COVID-19 including the latest advice on infection prevention and control.

Simply speaking, VCOD has been paused subject to Government consultation. Following the consultation period, new guidance will be issued and we will provide colleagues with a further update.

I am aware that some staff, who we believed to be unvaccinated, or did not hold vaccination records for, will have received individual letters. When the outcome of the Government consultation has concluded, we will write to affected staff again and advise as to the next steps. If you have any queries or questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch via: Mandatoryvaccinations@merseycare.nhs.uk

Today, as colleagues will be aware, was the deadline for supportive conversations to have taken place. However, following this announcement I fully recognise colleagues may need support - now more than ever before. If anyone wants to seek support or revisit conversations with line managers, please do so. Don’t worry in silence or feel that you are alone.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family, your colleagues and of course your patients from the virus. NHS England and NHS Improvement have always been clear that staff have a professional duty to do so. We continue to encourage staff vaccination and appointments are available at the vaccination centre at Maghull Health Park. Book yours by clicking this link or by accessing the NHS website for your nearest vaccination site.

If you need any additional support, please remember that staff support is available via 0151 330 8103 (Switch House) or 01925 664 010 (Hollins Park House) or through the Cheshire and Merseyside Resilience Hub via: www.cheshiremerseyresiliencehub.nhs.uk

 

 

INFORMATION ON THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT MANDATE

National guidance outlining the new requirement that mandates the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment for all healthcare workers was issued by NHS England and NHS Improvement on 6 December 2021 and will come into effect on 1 April 2022. Unvaccinated staff will need to have had their first dose by 3 February 2022, to have received their second dose by the deadline.

Mersey Care as an NHS organisation must comply with this legislation. We are not alone in this, it’s something that all health and social care providers across public, independent and private sectors are facing. We want to approach it in the right way, together. We’re working closely with staff side colleagues and plan to bring you updates on this every week.

We are working hard to ensure we have all vaccination details accurately recorded. We will make direct contact, by letter to your home address, to all those who according to our records have not had both doses of the vaccine. If you have already received the vaccine and our records are incorrect, you will need to provide evidence through your NHS COVID pass. Further information as to how to do this will be included in the letter.

We are aware and appreciate that some colleagues have chosen not to have the COVID-19 vaccine for various reasons. We want to continue to support our colleagues, showing civility and respect, and help them to make an informed decision. There is plenty of  evidence and supporting information  available or please seek additional support and advice, where necessary, to enable you to make an informed choice.

Further guidance on mandatory vaccinations from Amanda Oates, Executive Director of Workforce

As expected, further national guidance for the mandatory vaccination process was issued on 14 January. The Trust has considered the guidance in partnership with staff side colleagues and a working group has been established to review all of the guidance. We have developed a set of working principles to ensure the Trust’s approach can support all of our colleagues in the most appropriate way. The table below shows the definitions for those colleagues who are in and out of scope of the provision (included/not included). Please note, this may be subject to change.

Letters started being posted to home addresses on 18 January and are being emailed to Mersey Care email addresses for all individuals who, according to our records, have not been fully vaccinated (first and second dose). The letter includes a list of questions and answers which have also been uploaded to YourSpace. If you receive this communication and can provide evidence that you are fully vaccinated, please show it to your manager so that records can be amended. If you think that you should have received a letter but have not, please speak to your manager.

If you have any questions, please speak to your manager or email: Mandatoryvaccinations@merseycare.nhs.uk

We appreciate that staff will have many questions about this, and we will arrange question and answer sessions. If you have not already done so, you will be encouraged to attend supportive conversations with your line manager. Please note, we are currently working with staff side colleagues regarding a process to manage concerns or queries regarding in and out of scope and we will communicate this as soon as it’s available.

 

Duties

 

What do we mean?

Who/what is not in scope?

Is the individual deployed for the provision of a CQC regulated activity (includes non-clinical activity)?

Most staff employed by the NHS will fall into this category. The activity cannot take place without the individual or role, that is, the care cannot be done if they are not there.

 

It must be linked to individual duties and part of substantive/normal duties (business as usual duties, not a redeployed role and/or duties due to COVID-19). It must be linked to contact as part of a patient/service users’ care pathway and treatment. Note, this includes non-clinical activity.

It is not based on a regulated premises/building.

 

If the care/activity can take place if the individual or role are not there, they are out of scope.

What is incidental contact?

Activity or care that is specific to the role as part of substantive/normal duties (not a redeployed role and/or duties due to COVID-19). For example, going into a clinical area, that is, attending a meeting or to work in an area accessed only through the clinical area where care or treatment takes place - such as through a ward.

 

This includes (but is not exhaustive):

  • Reception duties, if you see patients/service users face to face (even if behind a plastic screen, or in a clinical space or waiting area)
  • Office duties that are front of house, for example, walk in centres
  • Ancillary staff in clinical areas
  • Dropping off equipment at a patient/service user’s home
  • Security staff in a clinical area
  • Clinical temporary staff or bank staff
  • Clinical agency or locum staff
  • Contractors who work in clinical areas
  • Volunteers who attend clinical areas
  • Life rooms/social inclusion staff, as they support the care and treatment pathways of patients and service users. Mersey Care clinical staff and teams signpost patients and service users from a social prescribing and recovery learning perspective.

It is not:

  • Contact by entry or exit points
  • Bumping into patients/service users on a corridor or hospital grounds
  • Sharing a lift
  • Giving directions to patients/service users
  • Visiting the canteen for lunch/break
  • Coming into contact with patients/service users if your office/admin area is off a management corridor
  • Contact is in a non-patient/service user area, for example, V7 building. 

What will be classified as a reasonable adjustment?

It could be reasonable to request a meeting to be moved to another location or it could be possible to request an office move, but those requests cannot be deemed as unreasonable (please see unreasonable requests).

It is unreasonable:

  • If other colleagues’ normal duties are affected
  • Ways of working or pay is affected
  • Increased burden of administration/organisation around this.

 

It impacts one or more of the following:

  • Patient/service user experience/pathway and care
  • Resources, for example, Trust finances
  • Other staff
  • Wider organisation
  • Service provisions
  • Increased distance/travel/time for other staff to accommodate the request.

Who does the mandatory vaccine not apply to?

It does not apply to those who:

  • Are under the age of 18
  • Are medically exempt
  • Have participated in a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Are pregnant and have a temporary exemption which will be valid until they are 16 weeks post birth
  • Are not in scope on the Vaccine as a Condition of Deployment (VCOD) regulations.

N/A

 

If you have any questions please email: Mandatoryvaccinations@merseycare.nhs.uk

If you need any additional support during this time please remember that staff support is available via 0151 330 8103 (Switch House) or 01925 664 010 (Hollins Park House) or through the Cheshire and Merseyside Resilience Hub via: www.cheshiremerseyresiliencehub.nhs.uk

Remember you have to be 28 days of being symptom free if you’ve had COVID-19 before having the vaccine. If you have any questions about the vaccine, in the first instance, please review the Q&As here.


Second dose vaccine

If you’ve not received an appointment for your second dose, or need to change it, or have any other questions, please email: vaccinations@merseycare.nhs.uk 

Status 

As a Trust we must inform Department of Health of how many of our staff are vaccinated. If you haven’t completed this short form already, will you please take two minutes to do so by clicking the link, then the green ‘add new submission’ button and answer a few questions:

Click here to visit the site and record here.

This will also allow us to make sure that if you’ve not had a vaccine, you will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns that you may have, or, let us know whether you’ve been vaccinated outside of the Trust. The form must be filled in using a Trust PC/laptop/tablet.  

Information for vaccination hesitant colleagues

Within the Trust we have: supportive conversations with managers, access to our specific email address for questions: Mandatoryvaccinations@merseycare.nhs.uk, access to our staff support services including psychological therapies and two specific question and answer sessions.

Information for vaccine hesitant colleagues

The Trust is finalising the policy regarding mandatory vaccinations and consistencyacross divisions. Within the Trust we have:

In addition to the support offered by Mersey Care, colleagues at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) have established a dedicated referral route for all local NHS colleagues with unanswered clinical questions. This document should be used for individuals to refer in confidence by sending the completed form for first triage to: LUH.VACCINEHUB@liverpoolft.nhs.uk. On receipt, a team of vaccinators led by occupational health will conduct a first phone consultation with the individual where the team will offer advice and support and as clinically indicated, will be able to advise as to vaccine suitability. 

If in the event the employee is deemed unsuitable for vaccination, the vaccination team will signpost them to the mechanism by which they should apply for a medical exemption with the support of their GP. This is a short-term intervention aimed at supporting staff with their decision-making process. 

Also, NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided daily drop-in vaccine confidence Q&A sessions from through to 3 February 2022. These sessions are for all staff to attend and will offer an opportunity to ask specific questions you might have regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

Each of the drops-in sessions will be tailored towards a specific audience and hosted by a relevant clinical professional who will answer questions and signpost you to any additional information. These sessions will provide a safe and supportive environment and dates and themes are:

  • Saturday, 29 January: 7pm to 8pm - Vaccines and Your Faith
  • Sunday, 30 January: 7pm to 8pm - Vaccines and Your Faith
  • Monday, 31 January: 12 noon to 1pm - Vaccines for Nursing and Midwifery Staff
  • Tuesday, 1 February: 1pm to 2pm - Vaccines and Fertility
  • Wednesday, 2 February: 12 noon to 1pm - Vaccines for Healthcare Students
  • Thursday, 3 February: 4pm to 5pm - Vaccines and the Science.

To register, go to: https://www.events.england.nhs.uk/events/staff-vaccination-daily-q-and-a

Please find helpful links with further information:

Blood clots

The MHRA statement.

The  AstraZeneca statement 

Fertility

Please find resources below that may be helpful:

Breastfeeding, fertility and pregnancy:

  • Advice for pregnant women, women trying to become pregnant and those who are breast feeding can be found on the GOV.UK website here
  • If you are concerned about the impact of the vaccine on fertility, please click here to see the latest advice from the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • For advice to people currently undergoing or considering fertility treatment please see advice from Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Hewitt Fertility Centre here
  • Two experts from Liverpool Women’s Hospital have put the following short video together to provide some reassurance on issues relating to fertility and pregnancy. You can hear from Alice Bird, Consultant Obstetrician and Andrew Drakeley, Consultant Gynaecologist and Clinical Director for the Hewitt Fertility Centre in a three minute video here.

 

Dr Alice Bird, consultant obstetrician at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, talks about the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G9wTksLu8U

If you’re not eligible to be vaccinated at our clinic, please call 119 or go online to register for your vaccine appointment. You can also attend walk in, mobile or pop up vaccination clinics in your area. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy, please read here.

Suspected adverse drug reactions and how to report them

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) request that all suspected side effects to COVID-19 vaccines are reported via the dedicated coronavirus Yellow Card site

Suspected side effects should be reported using one of the following routes:

Your GP must be informed of any adverse reaction to a vaccine so it can be recorded in your medical records. Similarly, if reporting sickness absence due to side effects, please let your line manager know.

What to report - all suspected vaccine induced side effects, even minor effects (sore arm, headache, feeling unwell). The vaccines are new and it is especially important that they are monitored closely and any suspected incidents are quickly reported.

When to report - at any point following administration of the vaccine. This can be immediately after the vaccine is administered or at any time in the following days or weeks. There is no time limit. Side effects can be reported after the first dose, after the second dose or after both doses if necessary.

When reporting side effects to vaccines or medicines, patients and healthcare professionals are encouraged to provide as much information as possible, the MHRA states that the following information should be provided:

  • Information on the person who has experienced the side effect (essential)
  • The name of the vaccine suspected to have caused the side effect (essential). Include the vaccine brand and batch/lot number if available
  • A description of the side effect (essential)
  • Any other medicines being taken around the same time, including non-prescription and herbal remedies (if available, if not please do not let this prevent you submitting a report)
  • Any other health condition that the person who experienced the side effect may have (if available, if not please do not let this prevent you submitting a report).

For further information in relation to this, please contact: Debbie.bowden@merseycare.nhs.uk

Vegan/vegetarian friendly?

There is no material of foetal or animal origin, including eggs, in either vaccine. All ingredients are published in healthcare information on the MHRA’s website. For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine information is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-pfizer-biontech-vaccine-for-covid-19

Hesitant?

If you’re still not convinced, hear from Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam.

Please find a link to information on the COVID-19 vaccine in easy read for sharing.

General resources for specific groups:

1. A Facebook post shared thousands of times has claimed that “the new vaccine for COVID-19... will literally alter your DNA. It will wrap itself into your system. You will essentially become a genetically modified human being".

mRNA vaccines work by introducing a molecule into the body which instructs cells to build a disease-specific antigen. The antigen is then recognised by the immune system which produces antibodies to fight the real thing. It doesn’t change the body’s DNA or “wrap itself into your system”. mRNA vaccines are generally viewed positively as they are cheap, and don’t involve using part of a virus, like some traditional vaccines.

2. Facebook posts have claimed that Government is planning to change the law to allow untested and unlicensed vaccines to be given to the public - which is untrue. Any vaccine given to the public has to go through several stages of testing. Tom Phillips, Editor of FullFact, said: "Vaccines are some of the most scrutinised forms of medical interventions. The data says that they are safe and effective. They have side effects, but all medicines have side effects and the benefit of using them far outweighs the small risks that there are."

3. A Facebook post claiming to show how a “mandatory coronavirus vaccine” would be enforced has been shared hundreds of times. As it stands, no vaccines are mandatory in the UK. It will be up to Government ministers to decide if a COVID-19 vaccine would become a legal requirement. Health Secretary Matt Hancock previously said that he would like and encourage people to get a vaccine when it is available but has not said he would make it mandatory for everyone.

4. False news reports have been circulating online claiming that Dr Elisa Granato, one of the first participants in the UK's human trials of a possible vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, has died shortly after being injected with the vaccine. But Dr Granato is not dead and the reports are fake. She took to Twitter in a bid to stop the misinformation from being shared.

5. Claims of any effect of COVID-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data. Dr Edward Morris, President at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility …There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women’s fertility. Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems.” Follow the link for more.

Scam messages

Lots of people are getting in touch with screenshots of a new scam emails around vaccines. Anything that asks for bank details is a scam. Do not click these links. Please forward the email to: report@phishing.gov.uk

There will be an additional data collection related specifically to student vaccination status, with universities in February 2022. Health Education England has published a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to students, accessible by following this link. Please note, these FAQs only relate to nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students.

Overseas vaccination validation

From 9 February, colleagues in Cheshire and Merseyside can attend St Helen’s Rugby Club mass vaccination site for overseas vaccine verification. Appointments can be booked via the 119 helpline or online on the national booking system using this link.

For anyone who has had one of the four vaccines overseas, either: Jannsen, Moderna Pfizer or AstraZeneca, there is also a service based at the Etihad Stadium, Etihad Campus, Manchester, M11 3FF, where the vaccine can be attached to your records. You can book an appointment in Manchester via: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/tell-nhs-about-coronavirus-vaccinations-abroad/ or walk-in but there may be queues.

For any queries please email: vaccinations@merseycare.nhs.uk

  • If you have anti-coagulant therapy, will you please bring your INR to your appointment whether it’s your first vaccine dose or second.

Maghull Health Park vaccination centre

If you would like the vaccine please book on using the link: https://merseycarenhsfoundationtrust.nhsbookings.com/v2/

Warfarin - request from the vaccination centre 

Anti-coagulant therapy - if you are prescribed Warfarin, will you please bring your most recent INR yellow sheet to your appointment, whether it’s your first vaccine dose or second, so that the vaccinator can check your result.

 

Travel expenses for COVID-19 vaccine

You can claim travel expenses to and from Trust sites when going to the vaccination site at Maghull for your COVID-19 vaccine. For those who will struggle to get to the vaccination centre at Maghull Health Park on public transport, the Trust is able to provide a taxi, ordered via the Trust account. The taxi must go directly to the vaccination centre and on return must go directly to the staff members place of work or home.

 

Read the NHS FAQs here and you can read the Trust's FAQs on YourSpace.