Proof of vaccination technology to be piloted by care homes

A system that provides proof of vaccination is to be piloted at Barchester care homes in the coming weeks. The myGP TICKet is a verification feature within the myGP healthcare management app, enabling individuals to show their vaccination status on their smartphone.

Barchester will start using it among care staff from next week after the leading care home provider said having the coronavirus jab would be mandatory for those looking after the elderly in its homes.

Simon McCall, commercial director of Barchester Healthcare, said: “Given that our residents fall primarily in the highest risk group for Covid-19, it would be irresponsible of us not to mandate vaccination for those employees for whom it is medically safe.”

He went on to talk about the duty of care staff have over residents and how seriously it’s taken by Barchester. With this in mind, it was necessary for the provider to find a way to check staff’s vaccination status quickly and easily.

Seeing as most people carry smartphones these days, an app seemed like a convenient and secure solution. MyGP has been granted assurances by the NHS, making it the most obvious system to start trialling and only time will tell if it meets the needs of care home management to help keep their residents safe.

The myGP app has already enabled more than two million people in England to access their own medical records securely. It has worked with the NHS to provide this functionality to 97 per cent of patients, making it a trusted partner with the healthcare sector.

Full rollout of the myGP TICKet is expected to take place later in April and could be used to make a number of areas within care homes safer. For example, visitors could be asked to present the app as confirmation of their vaccination status prior to visits.

It will be made available to all NHS patients and anyone who would like to be notified when the technology has gone live can register to this service on the provider’s website. In the meantime, Barchester will trial its functionality among staff.

Mr McCall summarised: “We want our staff to understand the benefits of the vaccine and we have been working hard to better educate them on what this could mean for them, and for our residents.”