January 7, 2021 12.12 pm This story is over 40 months old

Council leader frustrated with lack of transparency for local vaccination plans

NHS tight lipped on delivery plans

By Local Democracy Reporter

Lincolnshire’s county and district council leaders have sent a joint letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, accusing the government of lacking transparency and covering up vaccination rollout plans.

The letter has been sent by councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, on behalf of all the county’s leaders.

The letter comes following a meeting of the Lincolnshire Outbreak Engagement Board, which expressed concerns over the distinct lack of transparency that is being given during the vaccine rollout process.

It has been addressed to Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for health and social care, and asks why the NHS cannot give more information about local delivery plans for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Within the letter, Cllr Hill says Lincolnshire’s leaders have been “impressed by the proactive work of local NHS colleagues,” with delivering both the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines.

Mr Hill does, however, accuse the government and health leaders of covering up vaccination plans and not giving the public a straight answer.

Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill chairs the Lincolnshire Outbreak Management Board.

He said: “As local government, we are very keen to support Lincolnshire NHS to continue their good work but also help with local messages of support and clarification.

“However, this support is very much being constrained by national edicts which are apparently preventing local managers from sharing details of their local delivery plans with us.

“As you are well aware, there will be an understandable demand from the public to understand when and where they can expect their vaccinations, and to attempt to cover the plans in a veil of secrecy makes no sense to them or us and will only undermine confidence and patience locally.

“I think everyone understands that plans can change and delivery sometimes fall short of expectation but the answer surely must be clarity and transparency so the public at least understand the challenges and ambition and will then be supportive and understanding.”

NHS England and the government have often been reluctant to release vaccination figures at a local level, but it was revealed on January 4 that 6,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine had been delivered in Lincolnshire so far (estimated to be around 10,000 now).

More than 7,000 doses of the Oxford vaccine have been delivered to Lincolnshire GPs this week.