Child-friendly vaccination clinics launched in Cornwall thanks to collaboration within the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly system

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With leadership by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board and collaboration with local provider trusts and partner organisations, children-friendly clinics have been set up at the COVID vaccination site at the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge to encourage children and their parents and carers to take up the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Sensory rooms have been decorated by the vaccination team at the Royal Cornwall NHS Hospital Trust to appeal to children including fairy lights, bean bags, toys and music to help put children at ease and to make their experience more enjoyable. Therapy dogs as well as play therapists provided by Voluntary Services have also been making visits to clinics, to the delight of the children (and their guardians) turning up for their vaccinations. 

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board initially planned to host these clinics including therapy dogs and play therapists as part of a two-week long children’s vaccination campaign, however, due to their popularity and high demand, they will continue to offer the service on Saturdays throughout the summer and into September.  

In addition to the Integrated Care Board, the clinics are promoted by Cornwall Council’s Public Health, the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the Royal Cornwall NHS Hospital Trust and other local partners such as schools, children’s centres and Primary Care Networks. The children-focused clinics attracted a lot of media attention and publicity, and have been featured in BBC Spotlight, ITV Westcountry, Cornwall Live, Pirate FM, Radio Heart and BBC Radio Cornwall. 

The awareness and positive publicity the clinics generated helped increase the vaccination rate in 5-11 year olds in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly by 14% in just under a month. Many parents and carers commented on social media, such as Keri S. from Helston, who said:

“This is a game changer for my 13 year old with additional needs who hasn’t had his booster yet because he is too anxious. I have just booked for this Saturday.” 

Keri S. Helston

The success of these clinics is thanks to provider trusts and partners working together within the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly system and coming up with innovative ways to support the county’s vaccination programme.

Therapy dogs Monty and Molly

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