Healthwatch City of London Bulletin 32

The final week for the Barts vaccination centre, an update on the Neaman Practice appointment booking system and the latest news on Health and Social Care across the City.

COVID 19 Vaccination update

The Bart’s vaccination hub closes this Friday (23rd April). To book at your nearest vaccination centre use the national booking system, or call 119 if you do not have access to the internet.

JCVI issues new advice on COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.

There have been no specific safety concerns identified with any brand of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines in relation to pregnancy. 

Real-world data from the United States shows that around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated, mainly with mRNA vaccines including Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, without any safety concerns being raised.

Based on this data, the JCVI advises that it’s preferable for pregnant women in the UK to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines where available. There is no evidence to suggest that other vaccines are unsafe for pregnant women, but more research is needed.

Vaccination eligibility

You can now book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment online if you are:

  • Aged 45+
  • Are a carer for an at risk person
  • Are a frontline health or care worker
  • Have a condition that puts you at higher risk
  • Have a learning disability 
  • Priority groups 1 to 7

You can book online here or call 119 to book your appointment if you have no access to the internet or need some help. For more information please read the frequently asked questions about the vaccine.

Ramadan, the vaccine and getting tested

Local GPs are urging observing Muslims not to delay having their Covid-19 vaccine – first or second dose – during the holy month of Ramadan. Find out more in these videos new videos. The safest and most effective way to protect yourself, your family and those most at risk from the virus is by having a vaccine when you are offered it by the NHS. The British Islamic Medical Association has confirmed that taking the vaccine and taking the PCR or lateral flow tests does not invalidate the fast during Ramadan.

Universal testing

To continue to stop the spread of COVID 19 now lockdown is easing, it is important to take twice weekly tests. About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others.

Getting tested regularly is the only way to know if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading. The government is urging everyone to take these tests, even if you have had the vaccination.

Anyone in England who does not have symptoms can now get regular rapid lateral flow tests to check for coronavirus. So how to get regular rapid tests? There are two ways.

Go to a test site

You can go to a rapid lateral flow test site to get a rapid test.

If you go to a test site:

  • you may need an appointment, so check before you go
  • a trained helper might be able to help you do the test
  • you'll get a text or email with the result when it's ready

Find your nearest rapid lateral flow test site

Get a test to do at home

You can get rapid tests to do at home.

You can collect up to 2 packs of 7 tests from a local pharmacy or test site:

Here is a link to the pharmacy sites in North East London where you can collect the test packs

You can get a pack of 7 tests sent to your home. Order rapid lateral flow home test kits on GOV.UK

If you do tests at home, you'll need to report your results online or on the phone.

Let us know how useful you have found the information we provide on COVID 19, the test and trace system and the vaccination programme.

We have devised this really short survey to find out your views.

Neaman Practice Update

We know that many of you have being experiencing some difficulties accessing appointments at the Neaman Practice. We and the Neaman Practice know how distressing this has been for those affected.  We have raised the issues with the practice and we are working closely with the team there and the CCG to improve the telephone system and appointment booking process systems amongst other things.

If you are keen to get involved there is a Patient Participation Group meeting once a month where patients can raise concerns and suggest good ideas. Look on the practice website to find out more. They are very keen to hear from more you.

New appointment booking system at the Neaman Practice

From Wednesday 28th April the Neaman Practice will be starting a new rolling appointment booking system. 60% of appointments will be available to book online to release the pressure of our telephone line in the mornings.

Appointments are available as follows:

  • Same day appointments can be booked online between 6am -8am. Patients can use patient access to book a same day appointment
  • Book in advance appointments online, where you can pre book appointments up to 7 days in advance.
  • Call at 8am where the receptionists can book a patient an appointment for the same day
  • Emergency and Urgent only – patients can call between 8am and 6:15pm for an urgent telephone consultation with a doctor.  

Telephone number for the Practice is 020 7600 9740

Footcare and podiatry self-referral

As some of you may be aware there have been some difficulties in getting appointments for podiatry appointments. The change in pathways as a result of Covid have resulted in some confusion about how to gain access to the service.      Healthwatch have been working hard to make sure everyone is clear about how to access the service. We will update you in our next newsletter, but in the meantime the form is on the Homerton Hospital website. You can access it here Podiatry self-referral | Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust


If you have any difficulties with the form or have any other problems accessing the service please do let us know.  

Upcoming Healthwatch City of London Events.

One of Healthwatch City of London’s purposes is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf. To ensure we hear about and know of your concerns we run regular events. Ideally, we’d like to hold them face to face, but because of the current pandemic we are restricted to Zoom events.

Please see a list of our events below with joining details.

Listening to City Carer’s event – Friday 23rd April: An opportunity for Carer’s to provide feedback on their experience of Health and Social Care.

Overview: This group is for all unpaid carers who live in the City of London. We would love to hear from young carers too, if you know a young carer please let them know about this forum.

Time: 14:00 – 15:00

Joining details: 

Meeting ID: 916 6317 3054 Passcode: 994555 Dial in: 0203 481 5240

Healthwatch City of London Drop-in session – Thursday 29th April: An opportunity for residents, workers and students to raise issues about their experience of Health and Social care with the staff of Healthwatch.

Time: 14:00 – 16:00

Joining details:

Meeting ID: 912 3142 6174 Passcode: 772639 Dial in: 0203 481 5237 United Kingdom

Mental Health and Wellbeing Focus Group – Friday 30th April: An opportunity for residents workers, students and service providers to discuss mental health provision in the City of London, identifying access issues and any gaps in service provision.

Time: 15:00 – 16:00

Joining details:

Meeting ID: 918 7411 1747 Passcode: 276063 Dial in: 0203 481 5240 United Kingdom

Future dates for your diary.

Listening to City Carers Group – Friday 21st May 11:00 – 12:00

Drop-in session – Thursday 27th May 14:00 – 16:00

Smokefree City & Hackney goes live on April 26th

Smokefree City & Hackney is the stop smoking service for anyone who lives, works, studies or has a GP in the City of London or Hackney.

Research shows that smokers are three times more likely to quit with support and medication compared to quitting on their own. Smokefree City & Hackney is an NHS service, providing free one-to-one stop smoking support. The service works with local pharmacies to provide stop smoking medication (free to those who don’t pay for prescriptions). All support sessions are phone based for the time being.

Every year, over a thousand people quit with their support.

When you sign up to quit smoking with us for free, you get 12 weeks of one-to-one support with a trained Stop Smoking Advisor. On your first appointment, you’ll talk with your advisor about why you smoke and why you want to quit, as well as any attempts you’ve made to quit in the past. Your advisor will help you make a plan to quit smoking, including setting a quit date, and a prescription for any stop smoking products or medication you would like to use.

“I would especially like to thank the advisor that has been consulting me over the phone each week, she has been brilliant, so easy to talk to, encouraging, understanding and supportive, she was just brilliant. I could not have quit without her help!”  -Mandy, ex-smoker

To sign up to the service, or refer someone else, please visit smokefreecityandhackney/referral or call Freephone 0800 046 9946.

For more information about Smokefree City & Hackney please visit

City Carers Community - resident led event

An Introduction to Latin Dance via Zoom - 1st, 8th & 15th May

Learn the basics of Latin Dancing from a little Salsa to Chacha and more. Suitable for beginners. Taught by the enthusiastic Mauricio, he has been teaching Latin moves, promoting and Djing for over 25 years.

Open to City Carers, friends, family, and City residents of all ages. 2.45pm- 3.45pm starting 1st May 2021.Come and join in the fun session. Booking is required, for the zoom link email to:

Latest Covid-19 statistics for the City of London.

The joint City and Hackney Public Health Intelligence Team produce regular statistics on Covid-19 levels and vaccination uptake data in the City. The site is updated regularly and accessible at.

Keep up to date with the latest advice

HWCoL are constantly updating our advice and information pages. Please make sure you visit them regularly.

Get in touch with Healthwatch City of London.

Visit our website for more information, news and events, have your say about your care, and spread the word about Healthwatch City of London. email:

Tel: 020 3745 9563 Facebook: Twitter: @HealthwatchCoL

Portsoken Health and Community Centre, 14-16 Little Somerset Street, London E1 8AH

Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Do not leave your home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do at:


Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.