Your experience of the COVID 19 vaccination programme

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Summary of report content

In March 2021, Healthwatch Sunderland and Healthwatch South Tyneside launched a survey to gather people’s general experiences of using their local COVID-19 vaccination programme. This report covers those respondents who replied to the survey between the 3rd and 29th March 2021.

They received a total of 306 surveys (278 from Sunderland patients and 28 from South Tyneside patients). The purpose of this report is to share the findings with key NHS providers and commissioners, to help them identify what is working well and highlight those areas that need to be improved.

Key themes/findings

  • Invitation to receive the vaccine - The majority of Sunderland respondents received the invitation for their vaccine appointment via a text message or through their place of work. In comparison the majority of South Tyneside respondents received their invitation through their place of work or via a telephone call.
  • Booking of appointments - Overall, the vast majority of Sunderland and South Tyneside respondents found booking both their first and second vaccine either very easy or fairly easy.  Those who rated it as difficult, in the main, commented on difficulties of finding available booking slots online when booking in their own appointments.
  • Vaccine venue – The majority of both Sunderland and South Tyneside respondents found getting to the venue for their vaccine either very easy or easy. A minority of respondents had difficulty getting to their vaccination venue because it was out of their local area and not signposted sufficiently.
  • Receiving the vaccine – The vast majority of patients in Sunderland and South Tyneside, felt safe in the venue whilst receiving their vaccine, received a vaccination card after their first and second vaccine, were informed of potential side effects and informed of which vaccine they were receiving. A few patients did comment that further explanation of potential side effects would have been helpful.
  • Information to take away–The majority of respondents for both Sunderland and South Tyneside received an information leaflet to take away with them and found the information contained very useful or useful.  Some patients did comment on issues with their leaflets such as the poor quality of the photocopy.
  • Second vaccinations – Overall the majority of Sunderland respondents didn’t know when their second vaccine would be and this caused some patients concern. The vast majority of South Tyneside respondents were informed about their second vaccine.
  • Overall experience – Both Sunderland and South Tyneside respondents were very positive about their overall vaccine experience with many praising the staff involved in the whole process and the system as a whole.  The few negative comments received, in the main were from Sunderland patients and related to lack of information given on their second vaccination i.e. when this was going to take place, how it would be booked and how they would get to know about it.

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General details

Report title 
Your experience of the COVID 19 vaccination programme
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch South Tyneside
Healthwatch Sunderland
Date of publication 
Monday, 12 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 3 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 29 March, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Car parking access
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Health promotion
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Healthwatch England
Primary research method used 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Community pharmacy
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Does the information include public's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.