Virtual tours of Hampshire vaccine hubs to support people with learning disabilities and anxiety
VIRTUAL tours of vaccination hubs are now available as part of a drive to encourage people with learning disabilities and anxiety to have their jabs.
A series of photos and videos have been put together to illustrate what a trip to four vaccine centres in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight - including the St James' Hospital site in Portsmouth - would look like.
Created by the Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth disability charity Enable Ability, the tours can be viewed multiple times to allow the viewer to become comfortable with the environment before their visit.
Ian Chalcroft, Solent's integrated learning disability services manager, explained why it was important people with learning disabilities were vaccinated against coronavirus.
'The messages, advice and rules need to be easy to understand, or explain,' he said.
'We were aware of how important getting people with a learning disability vaccinated is, as they are six times more likely to die from Covid-19.
'We are really pleased therefore to have had the opportunity to develop clear communication resources around vaccinations, including the “virtual tour” and we hope this will become the norm when opening buildings to the public.'
As part of the virtual tours, a film guide has been created with Jo Ball, a senior occupational therapist guiding through the visit using accessible language - while Makaton sign language is also used.
The chairman of Enable Ability, Jon Muller, added: 'Enable Ability are proud to be able to contribute to the incredible national efforts to get everyone vaccinated against Covid-19.
'Our What’s It Like service provides a specialised communication tool that helps people who live with anxiety access places and services, and we are thrilled to see it used to help people with learning disabilities prepare themselves to get the vaccine.'
Vaccination centre tours are currently available for hubs in Oakley Road, Southampton and St James’ Hospital in Portsmouth.
Tours for hubs at Basingstoke Fire Station and the Riverside Centre on the Isle of Wight will be released soon.
To find out more and watch the tours visit the website at solent.nhs.uk/covid-19-visitor-guidance