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Doctors demand better for frontline vaccination roll out

Dr David Bailey, Chair BMA Welsh Council

The Chair of the British Medical Association in Wales is calling for better access to the COVID-19 vaccination for frontline staff.

In a statement released today, Dr David Bailey said that staff are still struggling to access the vaccination in certain part of Wales, and that the process of the roll-out remains unclear.

Dr David Bailey, Chair BMA Welsh Council, said:

“Despite calling for the publication of health board plans and improved communication to staff on the ground, we’re still hearing of doctors and other healthcare professionals struggling to access vaccinations in some parts of Wales and a complete lack of transparency around delivery. This cannot continue.

“You can’t run a health service without staff and with many isolating or actually having the virus themselves, we’re in danger of a collapse. The situation is dire. Staff who are working are at absolute breaking point, both physically and mentally, and it’s difficult to see how this situation can continue.

“The message is clear: Vaccinating front line staff in both primary and secondary care and those working in care functions, with direct patient contact, is the main priority. Mental health support should also be made readily available during this incredibly testing time. Without doctors and other healthcare professionals being fit and able to continue working, people in Wales will suffer.

“It’s unacceptable that staff are continuing to shoulder this huge burden, being exposed day in, day out, and are not being properly protected in doing so.

“We’re hearing of a huge disparity in vaccination roll out for staff in different health boards, with some areas moving forward with vaccinations and others where staff are unable to get through on email or phone lines and are left in the dark about when they can get a vaccine. It’s not good enough when lives are on the line.

“Vaccinations need to be prioritised based on clinical need, with a reliable and accessible booking process that is communicated to all staff. Only when this is properly managed can we stand a chance of protecting the increasing number of patients with Covid-19 we’re seeing in Wales.”