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"Information and handling of vaccines"

About: Borders Community Services Borders General Practices

(as a service user),

RE: Information and handling of vaccines for non paid carers of shielders who are shielding with them

I am a chronically ill person of 30 years and I care for both my mother and my sister. Since all three of us are high risk (even though my gp has not put me on the shielding list) we have been in full shielding since the beginning of March. My mother has had her first jab at home and at the time I asked the gp what would be happening for my sister and myself. I was told they didn't know as it would not be them dealing with it. However this turned out to be incorrect as they have just been to give my sister her first jab.

I again asked both on the phone and in person why I could not get my first jab at the same time and instead of trying to help me or understand why I am fighting to get protected as soon as possible (I can't get to the clinic as I am not well enough and on top of that if I get sick there is no one else to look after my family, they would both end up in state care and our dogs in a rescue centre, the worry that most non paid carers have had to deal with this past year is not just about trying to keep our loved ones safe but to keep ourselves safe because if we get sick there is more often than not no one else to look after them but no one in the health service seems to understand this), instead they just told me the same line 'we are following government guidelines and you aren't on the list'.

I phoned the health board and got the number for the vaccine booking line who were far more thoughtful and understanding than my gp practice has been and they have put me on the list to get a home visit from the district nurse, but they can't tell me how long it will take. The fact that people who are not trained doctors or health professionals showed me more understanding and consideration than my own gp practice has is shocking, I am perfectly ware they are working hard, but they are not the only ones who have been having a stressful time.

I have seen no consideration for non paid carers or even the attempt to understand what we have been going through or why we are desperate to get as protected as possible as soon as possible. It makes me feel uncared for, unimportant and disposable and I shouldn't feel any of those things when dealing with my gp practice in any way let alone during a pandemic.

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