Suffolk survey finds 75% positive over Covid vaccine experience

Gainsborough Sports Centre is being used as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROW

Healthwatch Suffolk has run a survey on people's Covid-19 vaccination experience throughout the jab's rollout - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Three quarters of Suffolk people to have had a Covid-19 vaccine first dose have reported a positive experience, according to latest survey data.

Healthwatch Suffolk presented figures from its vaccination survey to Thursday morning's Health and Wellbeing Board meeting, which indicated 75% of 699 respondents reported a positive experience, 13% a negative experience and 12% had mixed feelings.

The county's clinical commissioning groups have also carried out their own survey with more than 3,000 people, with results so far on that understood to be similar to those reported by Healthwatch Suffolk.

Among the top positive comments were vaccination centres being well organised, the work of staff and volunteers at those sites, short waiting times on arrival, clear explanations of the process, centres being Covid-secure and ease of use for the online booking system.

Nurse Hayley Kirk. The first Ipswich covid vaccinations are being administered at Two Rivers Medical

Staff and volunteers at Covid vaccine centres were among the highest positive comments in Healthwatch Suffolk's survey - Credit: Charlotte Bond

However, the top issues raised included problems with the online booking system, instances of people not being contacted or missing out, distance to some vaccination centres, and some people having to wait for long periods of time on arrival before they were seen.

Andy Yacoub, Healthwatch Suffolk chief executive, said: "The survey responses to the Healthwatch ask have been mainly positive - three quarters have been positive.

"The overall positivity in the comments has remained consistent over the three months of experience that we hold data for.

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"On site management, in essence they are being run efficiently, they are well organised and have good facilities according to what people are telling us. All of these positive things are in the majority."

Mr Yacoub said negative comments "were in the minority overall, but of course the learning is always in the minutiae," and confirmed that some information shared with health bosses over the weeks had been acted upon.

Chief executive of Healthwatch Suffolk, Andy Yacoub, expressed concern over poor scores for Suffolk

Healthwatch Suffolk chief executive Andy Yacoub said negative feedback on the Covid vaccine experience had informed improvements - Credit: Archant

He added: "Travel to sites is the most common negative comment in the data, this included attending appointments attending long distances from home - up to 45miles, and not having appointments available locally."

The survey launched in December when the vaccine programme first began, and has continued throughout the vaccination programme.

It has allowed the organisation to monitor the progress on issues, for example the numbers reporting negative experiences around not being contacted was higher in January than it was in February.

Visit the website here to share your feedback of the Covid vaccination process and to find out more.