Coronavirus: Asking for reasonable adjustments when having your vaccine
How to ask for extra support (reasonable adjustments) when having your vaccine
This guide is about the coronavirus vaccine.
People with a learning disability A learning disability is to do with the way someone's brain works. It makes it harder for someone to learn, understand or do things. have a right under the law Laws are the rules that everyone in the country has to follow. If you don't follow the rules you can get in trouble with the police. to ask for 'reasonable adjustments' when getting healthcare.
'Reasonable adjustments' means extra support.
This extra support removes barriers that might stop you from getting good healthcare because of your disability.
Having extra support put in place should help you feel more confident about having the vaccine.
When your GP surgery contacts you about the vaccine, let them know you have a learning disability and if you will need extra support or reasonable adjustments.
You could ask to have a chat with your GP or nurse about what support you will need.
You could ask to speak to your community A community is the people and places in an area. learning disability nurse to find out if they can help you have extra support put in place.
If you have a hospital passport, you might find it helpful to ask the GP or community learning disability nurse to read it, so they know how best to communicate and support you.
Think about what extra support you might need when you have your vaccine.
Think about what things would make it harder for you to have the vaccine.
If there are things that would stop you being able to have the vaccine, ask them not to do it.
Think about what things would make it easier for you to have the vaccine.
You can ask them to do something differently if it helps you to have the vaccine.
Ideas for extra support (reasonable adjustments) you might want to ask for
You might not need all of these reasonable adjustments made for you.
So think about which ones would help you most.
You might find it helpful to write your ideas down or ask someone to help you write a My Vaccine Plan.
Making your vaccine appointment
If you think you will need more time when having your vaccine, you could ask for a double appointment.
Let them know what time is best for you to have the vaccine.
If you find waiting in a queue hard, ask if you can have your vaccine early in the morning or at the end of the day.
If you would like accessible Accessible means something is easy for people to use or join in with. For example: Accessible writing means the writing is easy to read and understand. information about the vaccine, ask if they can give you information in easy read Easy Read is a way of making written information easier to understand. Pictures are usually added next to the writing. .
If they give you information which includes hard words, ask them to explain things using simple words and no jargon.
When you go for the vaccine
You might want to ask if you can bring a family member or support worker Support workers Support workers are people who are paid to give care and support to people who need it. are people who are paid to give care and support to people who need it. with you when you have your vaccine.
If you find it hard to wait in a busy area, ask if they have a quiet room you can wait in before and after the vaccine.
If you don't like noisy places, bring some noise cancelling headphones with you to wear.
If you don't like needles
Let the nurse know if you are afraid of needles (needle phobia).
They might have some ideas on how they can make you feel more relaxed.
If you're afraid of needles, ask them to hide the needle when you come in so you don't see it.
Or you could ask if they could put a screen around your arm so you don't see the needle.
You might find it helpful to play a game or listen to some music on your iPad or mobile phone to help distract you.
If you don't want to feel the needle, ask if the vaccine nurse can put some numbing cream on your arm.
You might want to bring something with you that helps you feel happy and calm.
This could be an object that is special to you and makes you feel relaxed.
Feel free to come up with your own ideas!
Extra help for those who need it
Some people will need the health service to do things in a very different way to make sure they can get the vaccine.
If you think it would be too hard for you to have the vaccine at a vaccination centre, hospital or GP surgery, ask if you can have it done at home.
If you're coming by car or taxi to a vaccination centre but feel nervous going inside, ask if they can do the vaccine through the car window.
If you think you'll need lots of support, ask if your community learning disability nurse can support you at your vaccine appointment.
Remember - it is your right to ask for extra support (reasonable adjustments) when having your vaccine.
The NHS, and the people who work in it, like doctors, nurses and receptionists, have a duty under the law to make sure disabled people can use healthcare services.