Access to healthcare and the covid vaccination: August 2021

Dear constituent,

Thank you for contacting me about access to vaccination and GP registration.

As you rightly say, individuals do not require an NHS number or GP registration to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and should not be denied vaccination on this basis. People who do not have an NHS number or are not registered with a GP are still entitled to free COVID-19 vaccinations. While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

I am concerned to hear that some GP practices are not allowing people to register in order to access COVID-19 vaccination unless they have identification. To be clear, GP practices are not required to ask for proof of identity, address or immigration status from patients wishing to register. NHS guidance on how to register with a GP surgery clearly outlines that a practice cannot refuse a patient because they do not have proof of address or immigration status. It is vital that all adults are able to receive the vaccine and it is concerning to hear that people are facing difficulties accessing vaccination. I will be happy to write to our local GPs to ensure they are aware of the guidance and are not turning people without identification away.

I know that the Government is working closely with the NHS and Public Health England to provide advice and information at every possible opportunity to encourage people to come forward for vaccination when they are eligible, and support anyone who might have questions about the vaccination process, regardless of their immigration or residency status. NHS Regional teams, working with various appropriate local systems are also reaching out to unregistered people to ensure they are offered the vaccine.

Should you know anybody who is struggling to access a vaccine appointment, please do direct them to get in touch with me and I would be happy to provide some advice or assistance.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

richard fuller

Richard Fuller MP