Mandatory Social Care Vaccinations – News from Bristol City Council

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If you are required to enter a care home as part of your professional responsibilities, from Thursday 11 November you will need to show proof of vaccination or exemption, unless you are under 18. This means you will need to receive your first dose by Thursday 16 September.

To get your COVID-19 vaccination, you can book an appointment on the National Booking System, call 119 or visit one of the city’s walk-in vaccination clinics.

There are regular walk-in clinics being held at Cabot Circus, Vaccination Centre at UWE Bristol and Avonmouth Vaccination Clinic. A full list of locations and dates is available on the Healthier Together website.

From Thursday 11 November, you must be able to demonstrate to the care home that you have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, unless exemptions apply. The NHS COVID Pass can be used to check and demonstrate vaccine status. The Pass is available on the NHS app. You can also request a letter in the post on the NHS website or by calling 119.

A full list of people who do and do not need to provide evidence can be found on the government website. This includes care workers, funeral directors, hairdressers, food delivery drivers and maintenance.

Update from Great Western Railway

Logo for Great Western Railway - black text on a white background that reads 'GWR'.

The track and signalling upgrade at Bristol East Junction as part of the wider Bristol Rail Regeneration programme is almost complete and services were running normally again on all routes from Saturday 4 July.

There is one final piece of work to complete on the weekend of Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September, but the new track and signals are now in place.

City of Bristol College vaccination walk-in clinics for 16- and 17-year-olds

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for 16- and 17-year-olds. Next week the local NHS will be running walk-in clinics at two City of Bristol College sites for all 16- and 17-year-olds in the city.

The clinics will be on:
🕔Wednesday 8 September, 9.30am-4pm – City of Bristol College, College Green Centre, St George’s Road, BS1 5UA

🕔 Thursday 9 September, 9.30am-4pm – City of Bristol College, South Bristol Skills Academy, The Boulevard, Hengrove Park, BS14 0DB

If you can’t do these dates, there are plenty of other places you can get your vaccination, including Cabot Circus, Vaccination Centre @ UWE Bristol and Avonmouth Vaccination Clinic.

Visit the Healthier Together website for the full list of locations and dates.

Help shape future of stroke services

Stroke services in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire could be set to change as part of a consultation on proposed improvements.

Stroke can affect anyone at any age at any time. It is a life threatening condition and the fourth biggest killer in the UK. 1 in 8 people who have a stroke die within a month. 1 in 4 die within a year.

The proposals include the creation of a specialist emergency stroke unit at Southmead Hospital which would provide expert emergency treatment for everyone in the area.

Changes to ongoing hospital care are included, with the creation of either one, or two specialist stroke units at Southmead Hospital and The Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Two inpatient stroke rehab units are also being put forward – one on the Weston General Hospital site, and a second in either Bristol or South Gloucestershire.

A public consultation on the proposals will be running until 3 September.

To find out more about the proposals and have your say, visit bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk/stroke-services/, call on 0117 900 3432 or write to freepost STROKE CONSULTATION (you won’t need a stamp).

Bristol City Council priority consultation.

Bristol City Council are asking people to tell them what they think about our proposed priorities for Bristol for the next five years as Bristol recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alternative formats of the survey can be requested in another language, Braille, audio tape, large print, easy read, BSL video or CD-ROM or plain text by emailing consultation@bristol.gov.uk or calling 0117 922 2848.  

You can take part at bristol.gov.uk/corporatestrategy2021

PCR testing for close contacts

The rules on self-isolation if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 have changed. 

From Monday (16 August), both people who are double vaccinated and under 18-year-olds no longer legally have to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 . 

You are strongly advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.  Remember, the PCR test is not the same as the lateral flow (rapid) tests you use at home.

lateral flow tests are sometimes called rapid tests.  These tests give you an answer straight away but are not as accurate as the PCR test.  You can get them from your local pharmacy.

Once you have taken your PCR test you don’t have to self-isolate while you wait for the result.  However, you are advised to take extra measures like wearing face coverings when inside buildings and limiting contact with others, especially clinically vulnerable people. 

Find out how to get your free PCR on GOV.UK.

Nasal only rapid tests

The government has begun rolling out packs of nasal only lateral flow (rapid) tests, called ACON Flowflex, across the country. We will soon begin to see these tests in Bristol as stocks are renewed.

These tests are being introduced alongside, and in some cases to replace, the nose and mouth swabs, to make the testing process less unpleasant and more efficient when doing them from home.

The test works in the same way as the current nose and mouth tests, but instead of swabbing your throat as well, you only have to swab the nose. This test is best used by people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Before taking a home test, it is advised you try to:

avoid eating, drinking, smoking or vaping 30 minutes before or during the test
avoid taking the test if it is damaged
throw away all the test materials, once you’re done, in household waste
wash your hands before and after use

No tests will be wasted – so you may still be able to pick up some nose and mouth tests for some time. Please make sure to read the instructions on your testing pack thoroughly before and during use.

If you have symptoms of the virus, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test which is analysed in a laboratory.

To remind yourself how to do a nose and mouth test, visit the GOV.uk website

To read the instructions for the nasal only tests, visit the GOV.uk website

If you’d like any information on COVID-19 in Bristol or want to know anything about it, head to our Coronavirus Updates page.

Changes to self-isolation guidance

From Monday 16 August, double jabbed individuals and under 18s no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Those identified as close contacts will still be advised to take a PCR test, which can be booked on the government website or by calling 119.

Anyone under 18 who has been identified as a close contact will receive advice on whether they need to get tested or not. When getting a PCR test, you will not need to isolate between getting a test and receiving the result but the advice would be to minimise social contact and wear face coverings in the meantime.

You are classed as being fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of the vaccine. If you’ve not received your vaccine yet it’s not too late.

The NHS COVID-19 app will also update in line with the new guidance, so if you are pinged by the app but have been fully vaccinated you will not need to self-isolate.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will still need to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive case.

Despite these changes the pandemic is not over and the virus is still with us. Please do what you can to protect yourself and others in Bristol.

If you’d like any information on COVID-19 in Bristol or want to know anything about it, head to our Coronavirus Updates page.

Cabot Circus vaccination walk-in clinic now open

Logo for Cabot Circus - white text on black background which reads 'Cabot Circus Bristol'.

A new city centre vaccination walk-in centre has opened at Cabot Circus.

The centre, which will run every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 7pm until Saturday 2 October, is located next to Five Guys and Claire’s on the upper ground floor of the shopping centre.

The Pfizer vaccine will be available for people who are over the age of 17-and-three-quarters. You can get your first or second dose, as long as your first dose was eight weeks ago.

Vaccination remains one of the key tools in the fight against COVID-19. Even if you’ve had the virus, you do still need to go and have your vaccination. It’s also really important that you attend your appointment for your second dose of the vaccine. Best protection is given when you are fully vaccinated.

To find a full list of walk-in clinics visit the Healthier Together website.

If you’d like any information on COVID-19 in Bristol or want to know anything about it, head to our Coronavirus Updates page.

New Skills Bootcamps in West of England to Connect People to Employment from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Institute of Coding (IoC)

A group of local universities, further education colleges, councils, small business partners and Deloitte are working together to respond to the UK’s digital skills gap, with a focus on the South West. This group has been chosen by the Department for Education to deliver a series of funded Skills Bootcamps in digital subjects at locations across the region.

This programme of Skills Bootcamps will provide learners with digital skills courses, deliver resilient pathways to work and create a new, skilled talent pool for local employers.

The University of Bath, Bath Spa University, the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Wiltshire College & University Centre and Gloucestershire University have collaborated with the Institute of Coding, iStart/Restart, Deloitte and Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation to develop and deliver six new Skills Bootcamps.

They will be offering short courses in much needed digital skills. Topics will include creative computing, cyber security, data science, software engineering, games development and agritech.

These Skills Bootcamps will be provided in close collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions, local Jobcentres, the West of England Combined Authority, Swindon and Wiltshire local enterprise partnerships and the GFirst LEP (based in Gloucester). These groups will provide links to local employers to ensure that Skills Bootcamp learners find meaningful employment upon the successful completion of their course.

This builds on work by each of the partners to create new pathways to digital skills and represents the local part of the national initiative.

Through this collaborative approach, group members will ensure that each step of the Skills Bootcamp journey is high-quality and tailored to meet the needs of employers and those looking to upskill to boost their employability.

Future learners and interested employers can learn more about the Skills Bootcamps on offer at: https://instituteofcoding.org/skillsbootcamps/search/?_sfm_course_area_boot=South%20West