The invitations to attend Coronavirus vaccination appointments for priority groups, which will include everyone over the age of 50, are being generated from the patient records held by doctors’ surgeries. Liveaboard boaters who are not registered with a GP may find that they are not contacted by the NHS with an invitation to have the Covid-19 vaccination.
Even if you do not have an address, you are entitled to register with a GP either as a permanent patient or for 3 months as a temporary patient. You can register as a temporary patient if you are away from the area where you are permanently registered with a GP. You have the right to register with a GP as long as the GP has room for new patients. There is no requirement to provide proof of address, proof of migration status or proof of ID to be registered as a permanent or temporary patient.
Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT) has run a long campaign to challenge the violation of the Travelling community’s rights to register with a GP. FFT is now working with NHS England to implement a communications campaign for GPs around responsibilities for registration. The charity also plans to do large mystery shopping exercises throughout 2021 to identify where there are issues and escalate these to Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Care Quality Commission.
On the K&A, the Julian House Travelling Communities Support Service can help if you are having problems registering with a GP or getting the vaccine. Contact Alice Young, 07960 097719 or alice.young @julianhouse.org.uk if you are between Hanham and Dundas or Carla Boardman, 07539 926809 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re in Wiltshire.