Local Residents’ Association councillors have been made aware that Havering Council staff have been phoning residents who are not shown has received both doses of the COVID vaccination, to encourage them to do so. This has led to concern and distress among some people that the these were bogus calls or that their personal information had been disclosed to council staff by their GP practices.

We contacted the council’s Director of Public Health, Mark Ansell, who provided us with some information, a summary of which is below – 

Calls are being undertaken by Council staff on behalf of local GPs. The Clinical Commissioning Group has shared names and contact details of registered patients aged 50 and above who haven’t previously had one or both doses of vaccine but who aren’t recorded as having formally declined. No further information about medical history has been shared.

Employing Council staff in this way enables NHS colleagues to focus on vaccination itself and any costs incurred by the Council will be recouped from the NHS.

We will be publicising this, to raise awareness that this is happening and to assist residents to identify what is, and in this case isn’t, a scam call.

These calls aren’t necessarily welcomed, particularly by residents who actively do not want vaccination, but we can at least ensure that this is recorded by their GP. 

Please do encourage your constituents to talk to their GP if they have reservations about vaccination relating to underlying health issues, as it is possible that this puts them at particular risk from COVID-19.

Whilst RA councillors appreciate this work is worthwhile, we would have expected Havering Council to publicise what they are doing before they started, so that there was less likelihood of residents misunderstanding the nature of such calls.