Carer 'denied Covid vaccine' after complaining about lack of social distancing at jab centre

A CARER working with the elderly said she was refused a Covid vaccine after complaining about the crowd of patients waiting for the jab.

Charly Henson, 31, a carer with Helping Hands who visit the elderly in their home, had been invited to Westcotes Health Centre in Leicester, to get her jab before being turned away.

Henson told LeciestershireLive that she was accused of putting people at risk, with a doctor telling her she was: “out of order and that she didn’t feel safe she could not have the vaccine.’’

“His mask fell down while he was talking so I told him he wasn’t even keeping me safe in that room.

“I asked if I could leave the room. He told me to leave the building and I shouldn’t come back.”

Upon arrival at the medical centre, the carer said there were loads of people inside and, while they were wearing face masks, they seemed to be sitting very close together.

She said: "There were more than a hundred people in there and it was packed. It was horrific."

Henson was waiting for her jab on Wednesday afternoon when she realised that staff and patients in the centre weren’t social distancing.

"I asked a lady if I could wait outside because I didn’t think it was safe and then five minutes later I was asked to go into another waiting room, which was also overcrowded.

"The doctor started telling me it was safe and how he’d done so many vaccinations in the past 24 hours and how he was doing everything he could to get them done."

PM Boris Johnson has vowed to vaccinate at least 200,000 Brits a day next week, with the Army joining the war against Covid.

The country has been successful in administering the vaccine thus far, with nearly 1.5 million people already being given their first dose.

A new national booking service is being set up for people to be vaccinated, with the PM adding that no one will have to travel more than ten miles to get one. 

He said more than 1,400 hospitals, GP practices and pharmacies would be immunising patients by the end of next week.

The NHS has seen an influx of cases, with hospitals overwhelmed according to the PM, he said: "We’ve seen an increase of 10,000 hospitalised coronavirus patients just since Christmas Day”.

The equivalent of 20 acute hospitals has been admitted since Christmas day – and many caught Covid between Xmas and New Year.

31-year-old Henson has now contacted her own GP surgery to complain and also telephoned the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to make an official complaint.

LeicestershireLive contacted the Westcotes practice and they sent the following statement from Dr Gopi Boora, from the Westcotes vaccination site: “All necessary precautions for social distancing, wearing face masks and hygiene are taken at Westcotes to ensure the safest possible environment for patients and staff. 

The practice said they are concerned that a patient attending the site felt anxious, but do feel they tried their best to resolve her particular concern.

“We have vaccinated around 1,500 people since we began vaccinating on 15 December and have not had any concerns raised with us before.

The statement concluded: “In order to operate as a vaccination site we have undergone stringent reviews of our arrangements and must meet strict requirements on infection prevention and control.”

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