Batchwood Hall COVID vaccine team warn of potential scam call

Batchwood Hall

Batchwood Hall - Credit: Archant

A bogus call is potentially circulating in St Albans, where patients are called from an undisclosed number and falsely told that there are no available appointments at Batchwood Hall.

St Albans' Vaccination Programme - also known as STAVACS - published a tweet warning their patients of the possible scam, which also incorrectly informed patients that they would be vaccinated at home.

Dr Helen McAndrew, joint clinical lead of STAVACS, told the Herts Ad: "With regard to our tweet, we were made aware of a possible scam by one of our collaborating practices, whereby the resident revealed their appointment details to someone who they believed had not identified themselves and who had informed them Batchwood was full so they were calling to say they would be vaccinated at home. We were aware that our STAVACS team were not involved in this call.

"There is an issue regarding lack of vaccine supply that means we cannot vaccinate anywhere near the 2,500 to 3,000 people a day that we have proven capacity for and thus the site appears to be full but we would not and did not call to offer housebound vaccination as an alternative, nor ask for personal details to be released over the phone."

Dr McAndrew also explained that the Primary Care Network (PCN), which leads the vaccine rollout at Club Batchwood has checks in place that mean a resident can only receive the vaccine if they are in the appropriate priority group and if they have a booked invitation-only appointment.

"We subsequently received notice of a further possible scam to a different patient the next day," she added. "We again confirmed our team had not been involved in the call and advised that they inform the police."

As of Thursday, 16,500 vaccination doses had been administered at Batchwood Hall, with the centre also nationally recognised as one of the best performing in Britain. More than 300,000 jabs have been given across Herts.

COVID vaccinations are only available from the NHS and are free of charge. If someone feels that they may have been involved in a scam then inform both your practice and the police.