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Carers UK responds to NHS England’s Standard Operating Procedure on unpaid carers

08 March 2021

Today NHS England has published its Standard Operating Procedure for deploying the COVID-19 vaccine to unpaid carers in England.

Unpaid carers are included in cohort six of the JCVI’s vaccine priority list and are now in the process of being called forward for their first vaccinations. The Standard Operating Procedure explains in detail the process by which unpaid carers will be called for their vaccination, as well as making provision for those unpaid carers who may not already be known to the health and social care systems to come forward. 

The Government has recognised that the lists currently held will not identify all eligible unpaid carers and they will provide information on the application process for unknown unpaid carers to come forward in the coming week.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“We are pleased that the vaccine deployment programme for unpaid carers and how they will be identified and contacted for their jabs has now been published. Being vaccinated will bring a huge sense of relief for many carers, having carefully managed the risk of the virus to themselves and their older or disabled relatives for almost a year. We welcomed being part of the development of the process and will support its rollout.  

“This programme has involved unprecedented collaboration nationally between the Department for Health and Social Care, the NHS, the Department for Work and Pensions and key stakeholders like Carers UK, and locally between local authorities, the NHS, GP practices and local carers’ organisations to identify and reach unpaid carers in this country. This process will be important in years to come as the NHS considers future vaccination programmes and other public health measures.

“It is also the biggest carer identification programme to ever have been undertaken.

“We are pleased the Government will be announcing a route for carers who aren’t currently identified by their GP, local authority, or eligible for Carer’s Allowance later this week. This is important to ensure all eligible carers have the opportunity to get vaccinated and keep themselves and their loved ones safe at the earliest opportunity.”

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