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Vaccinations and testing for VCSE sector frontline health and care staff against COVID-19

Staff and volunteers in the voluntary community and social enterprise sector have played a major role in the community response to COVID-19. We want to make sure all workers who directly provide frontline support AND who are working with people clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 across the city can work safely and access COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible, wherever they work, whoever they work for, whether as an employee or as a volunteer.

1. Vaccinations
How we are going to organise this
The scale of this is of course unlike any vaccination programme we have seen before so firstly we need to understand the numbers of people in the workforce who need to be vaccinated and of those, how many are at particular risk.

What you need to do

  1. Identify someone in your organisation who is going to act as the lead on vaccination for your workforce
  2. Work out how many people are in your workforce are front-line health or social care workers - working directly, face to face, with the public
  3. Work out many people in your work force may be at higher risk – this information from the NHS will help you assess who these people are Who's at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
  4. Share that information with us by completing the form below

Please fill in this form and submit it to us as soon as possible.

Macc will send a daily update to the local NHS staff who are leading on the vaccination programme. This will ensure your organisation is on the list to be contacted as vaccines become available. (PLEASE NOTE: by completing the form and clicking ‘submit’ you give us permission to share the information with the NHS and Council colleagues who are organising the vaccination rota. It will not be used for any other purpose.)

As vaccination slots become available, you will be contacted by the vaccination team with further details.

Completing the form on Macc’s website doesn’t book you a vaccination – it gets your organisation’s contact details into the system and helps the team organising the vaccinations understand how much capacity is needed.

2. Asymptomatic testing
Around 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus don’t display any symptoms. The Government has announced a scheme to target COVID-19 testing for people who cannot work from home during lockdown. Obviously this applies to keyworkers such as VCSE sector staff and volunteers who are involved in providing support in the community so again, it may be that your workforce needs access to regular testing.

Manchester is now offering weekly testing for some frontline staff who are in vital roles that cannot be done from home, where they will have more, unavoidable contact with other people. The move is preventative and is to test people who do not have any symptoms, but may spread the virus without knowing they have it. The tests, which will run over a six-week period, are to help keep staff and volunteers, their families, colleagues and customers safe - while maintaining services.

The tests, which are now being carried out at three dedicated sites across the city with the help of Army personnel, give results within half an hour and are called Lateral Flow Device tests. They involve a swab to the throat and nose which is then placed in a solution and poured over the device which gives a result in under half an hour, without needing to be sent to a lab. If the person is negative they can continue to work, but, if there is a positive result they will need to have a follow-up test to be sent to a lab (a PCR test) and must self-isolate immediately.

What you need to do
We are trying to keep it as simple as possible for VCSE sector organisations and public sector colleagues so when you nominate someone to act as your lead contact for vaccination, that person will also act as your contact to receive information about booking tests for any staff and volunteers.

Again, Macc will send a daily update to the team organising the testing rota and they will get in touch with the person you have named as the contact.

All tests need to be booked in advance via a dedicated telephone booking system. The person you nominate will be sent information to give to staff and volunteers to get a slot at Moss Side Leisure Centre, Debdale Outdoor Centre or FC United of Manchester. Results will also feed into the NHS test and trace system.

Completing the form on Macc’s website doesn’t book you a test – it gets your organisation’s contact details into the system and helps the team organising the tests understand how much capacity is needed.

3. Keeping track
After you have completed the form, you need to start building your list of staff and volunteers who need to be vaccinated and have access to regular testing. You will need to record:

  • First name
  • Surname
  • Gender identity
  • Date of birth
  • NHS number* (not essential but will save time when staff go for their vaccination, download the NHS app to find it)
  • GP surgery
  • Mobile number
  • Received first vaccination
  • Received second vaccination
  • If the person has declined vaccination
  • If the person is unable / not eligible to receive vaccination
  • Date and result of their most recent test

We know there are lots of questions around vaccination and testing – and that VCSE sector organisations are being asked questions by local communities. Macc is organising of webinars and briefing materials for VCSE organisations about the vaccination programme and the testing programme. We will send out details through bulletins like this and on our social media channels.

In the meantime, here is the NHS guide to vaccination for health and social care workers which you may find helpful

Vaccinations and testing for VCSE sector frontline health and care staff against COVID-19 form