Covid-19: Wheelchair firm tells of access to jabs 'through a back door'

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image copyrightReuters
image captionThe Department of Health says the most vulnerable will be vaccinated first

A firm that supplies wheelchairs for the NHS has denied doing anything wrong by telling its staff it has access to Covid-19 jabs "through a back door".

The suggestion was made in an email from Millbrook Healthcare in Kent, which deals directly with patients.

Millbrook says it has given all staff access to the booking system, which will check their eligibility.

The trust overseeing vaccinations in the area has asked the firm to clarify priority eligibility rules for staff.

Currently, priority for vaccinations is given to frontline health and social-care workers, care-home residents and staff and people aged 80 and over.

People in parts of Kent have complained that the county is already behind other parts of England in providing vaccinations to these groups.

The BBC has been shown part of an internal email which says: "Through a back door we have access to vaccinations in Aylsham on Saturday and Sunday of this week.

"If you would like to get yours booked, please follow the instructions below... Team leaders and managers please pass on to those who do not have email access."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe company said it shared a link "with our colleagues who are considered frontline".

The company says it shared the link to the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust portal - which is co-ordinating vaccinations in the area - "with our colleagues who are considered frontline".

It adds: "Colleagues have been given access to the portal to enter their details, including their job role, which will then be checked by the system against the details that the commissioners hold.

"Colleagues will get vaccines booked in line with the trust's vaccine policy."

A spokeswoman for the trust said: "We are vaccinating the priority cohorts as determined by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) and have asked Millbrook Healthcare to make this clear to their staff."

The Department of Health said it was "right" that the most vulnerable were vaccinated first.

"People who attend a vaccination centre have to provide proof they have personally been invited, as well as identification, and anyone who has tried to circumnavigate the system will be turned away."

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