Vaccines Minister visits CLCH homeless health clinic
Today the Trust’s homeless health service hosted a visit to our vaccination clinic at The Passage in Westminster for Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment; Eddie Hughes, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Homelessness; and Nickie Aiken, MP for cities of London and Westminster.
Central London and Westminster has a large homeless population who are a vulnerable group of people at higher risk of harm from coronavirus. In partnership with public health organisations and the charity and voluntary sector, CLCH’s homeless health service have been playing a pivotal role to help protect vulnerable rough sleepers from COVID-19.
Based at The Passage and The Connection at St Martin’s, the team has provided access to nurses, treatment services and more throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccination hub began in March 2021 and to date has seen over 326 patients receive their first vaccination and 220 receive their second dose.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Charities such as The Passage are doing everything they can to play their part in the phenomenal vaccine rollout, and crucially ensuring some of our most vulnerable people come forward for the vital, lifesaving vaccine. Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic and we have made sure we can prioritise people who are experiencing homeless as part of our vaccine programme. It was great to see such a safe, caring and welcoming environment helping to beat this global pandemic”.
Dominic Lenaghan, Lead Nurse at CLCH’s Homeless Health service, said: "It was wonderful to have the ministers come to visit the vaccine hub, it was a key opportunity to discuss our work throughout the pandemic in keeping some of the most vulnerable people in society safe during the pandemic and how we have continued to react to the need of our patients.
"It was important to also raise specific case studies around vaccinations (keeping patient identities anonymous) for when some of our patients have visited larger mainstream vaccination hubs and have been turned away for various reasons. We also discussed the future of vaccinations and booster doses and I have suggested ensuring that specialists on the ground are involved in those discussions to make the vaccination programme a success”.
The MP for cities of London and Westminster, Nickie Aiken, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the outstanding work The Passage undertakes to help so many rough sleepers turn their lives around. The vaccine hub is one example of its excellent care and I thank everyone involved for ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our society are protected from Covid-19. Another great example of the NHS and The Passage working in partnership”.
Minister for Rough Sleeping and Homelessness, Eddie Hughes, said: “It was great to see first-hand the incredible work at The Passage to vaccinate rough sleepers. Day in day out, their team are working tirelessly to transform the lives of vulnerable people in London and it is great that government investment is helping them do this. The work of the charity and voluntary sector staff, working alongside government and councils, is vital to achieving our goal of ending rough sleeping once and for all”.