LFD Testing and COVID vaccination for rough sleepers
Published: 13 January 2021
A test and vaccination programme to support and protect rough sleepers in Redbridge will go live in the borough tomorrow (Thursday, 14 January), one of the first services in the country to offer lateral flow testing and vaccinations to this vulnerable group of people.
The council's public health team is working in partnership with Westminster Drug Project to deliver the service, which will provide FastTrack access to Lateral Flow and PCR testing, at the Ryedale Care Centre, in Ilford, and use spare vaccination slots at Ilford Town Hall, Hawkey Hall, and Fullwell Medical Centre.
Individuals will be supported by an outreach worker rather than using a paper or electronic referral to maximise engagement and make the process smoother.
Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, said: "We pledged to end rough sleeping in Redbridge, and are taking action to support some of the most vulnerable people in our borough to turn their lives around and get back on their feet.
"Alongside this commitment, Cllr Santos and our Public Health team have been working hard for months to develop a test and vaccination programme specifically for local rough sleepers – protecting those most in need during this difficult time.
"Thanks to this incredible work, Redbridge will, this week, become one of the first councils in the country to roll out a targeted test and vaccination programme for local rough sleepers."
The move follows increasing concern about the continuing rise in Covid-19 infections across Redbridge and the Capital.
Redbridge Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health, Cllr Mark Santos, said: "Vaccination is not a silver bullet, but it is a very positive and significant part of a programme of measures to tackle this virus. Alongside testing and everyone taking responsibility for following the guidelines, it offers us a real hope of tackling Covid-19 so that we can return to a more normal way of life.
I am proud that we are able to take a truly inclusive approach to protecting our residents as we continue this."