Manx residents are being urged not to call their GPs or the Welcome Centre with questions about the NHS App, which will soon provide evidence of their Covid-19 vaccination status.
Over the last few days GP practice staff and the team at the Welcome Centre have taken an unprecedented number of phone calls on the topic. Some surgery lines have been clogged, delaying patients who are unwell being able to seek essential medical advice from their doctor.
Timeline for use of the NHS App
On Friday, it was confirmed that Manx residents will be able to use the NHS App to provide evidence of their vaccination status at international borders. Development work in transferring the data to NHS Digital is still underway - a completion date for this is still to be confirmed and is beyond the Island’s control.
Residents may be able to view some of their immunisation history on the app now, but will not be able to see full details, for example the brand of Covid-19 vaccination given – and this may be a key entry requirement for many countries. Until the data transfer has taken place, the App will not provide Manx residents with the full functionality it should be able to offer in the future.
When the App is fully functional, Manx residents will be able to view their vaccination certificate in digital format on the NHS App – or request a paper version of the certificate be posted to them. Patients should not ask their GP or the Welcome Centre to provide letters confirming their vaccination status. This is not something they can provide, and such a letter is unlikely to be accepted at international borders.
Obtaining evidence of vaccination status to show at the Isle of Man’s border
Manx residents who travel off Island can use their blue vaccine record card as evidence of their vaccination status on their return, in order to follow the ‘No Isolation or Testing’ pathway. As part of the online application process, they will need to upload a PDF or photo of official evidence of their vaccination status - either a copy of the NHS vaccine card they were given when receiving their vaccinations, or a screenshot of the Isle of Man Patient Access app showing their vaccination record.
Some Manx residents already use the Patient Access app to engage with their GP surgery, to order prescriptions, view their patient record or book appointments.
Patient Access is easy to set up. Arranging login details for this is something that GP surgeries can support patients with, without the need for them to call their surgery. Patients can take current photographic ID to their GP Reception Team at their convenience to start the registration process.
Obtaining evidence of vaccination status to show at international borders
Entry requirements at international borders are varied and Manx residents should check the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to. In some cases, it may not be possible to meet those entry requirements until secure evidence of vaccination via the NHS App or via an NHS paper certificate is completed.
Minister for Health and Social Care David Ashford said:
‘The number of Manx residents calling GP surgeries looking for advice on the use of the NHS App has prevented people who are unwell from being able seek medical advice or treatment and this needs to stop urgently. The volume of calls they received in the last two days has jeopardised the delivery of essential GP services to those who need them most and this is unacceptable.
‘Manx residents who download the NHS App should be clear that their full vaccination status will not show in there until the Island’s vaccination data has been transferred to the UK – and the time frame for this is out of our hands. We are waiting for confirmation of this from the UK NHS and will let Manx residents know when this has taken place.’