CARE HOME staff and residents just over the Wales border have said they are victims of a “vaccine cross-border blockage” which has left vulnerable people in limbo.

NHS England said they expect to vaccinate staff and residents at all care homes in England by the end of this week, but the Welsh Government said NHS England refused to vaccinate anyone at any care homes registered to GP surgeries in Wales.

The confusion has left people at Castleford House Care Home in Tutshill near Chepstow living in stress, care home manager Ben Miller has said.

The Welsh Government says despite it offering vaccines to Welsh care homes registered to surgeries in England, this offer “was not reciprocated” by NHS England, which caused confusion for many care homes along the border.

After discussions this week, the Welsh Government has said it will now also be vaccinating residents in England registered to surgeries in Wales, and hopes to get that done by the end of this week.

Mr Miller, whose care home is registered to Vauxhall Surgery in Chepstow on the Welsh side of the border, says the last few weeks have been “extremely frustrating”.

“The surgery have been brilliant and are in constant contact, but it’s my understanding they’ve been refused vaccines until now,” he said. “I was told they couldn’t provide the vaccinations due to border issues.

“There are homes literally minutes away from us in Wales who are all sorted now because they went to Cwmbran [vaccination site], but we can’t go there because we’re in England.

“It’s extremely frustrating because this isn’t the first time we’ve been penalised for being on a border during the pandemic. We’re full of vulnerable people who need these vaccinations.

“I feel as though I’ve had to beg, borrow and steal to get this far.”

Kath Thompson, whose mother is a resident at the care home, said: “I am appalled and upset. I’m a healthcare worker and I’ve had my first vaccine. This is playing politics with vulnerable people’s lives.”

Monmouth MP David Davies said he’d received similar reports from care homes on the Herefordshire side of the border.

“These residents, some of whom have dementia, are high-risk and I have been contacted by anxious family members who are very upset their loved ones are not being protected," he said.

“Understandably, there is a great deal of anger that those who fall into the most vulnerable category are being let down so appalling simply because of a postcode.”

The Aneurin Bevan health board said they have been informed they will now be vaccinating staff and residents at the home, and will aim to do so by the end of this week.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “No care home residents are being denied vaccines. 

“The NHS in Wales is vaccinating all care home residents in Wales, including those who have a GP in England. 

"Unfortunately, this week we have been advised by NHS England that it will not be reciprocating this arrangement. Therefore, in addition to vaccinating care home residents in Wales, NHS Wales is also vaccinating residents in English care homes, who are registered with a GP in Wales. 

“The NHS in Wales is also vaccinating all frontline health and care staff working in Wales who are registered with GPs in England, as part of its duty of care.”

NHS England have been contacted for comment.