Conversations about Covid-19 vaccinations

Office for Health Improvement & Disparities (OHID)

Training staff to successfully navigate conversations about vaccine hesitancy

The North East and Yorkshire Region of the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities (OHID) supports local authorities, the NHS and voluntary sector to improve Public Health in their communities. 

During the roll-out of the COVID-19 Vaccination in 2021, there was an unprecedented level vaccine hesitancy. We quickly identified the role that Motivational Interviewing techniques could play in helping frontline staff to have sensible discussions with people who may be sceptical about the vaccine. OHID approached us to provide training that could help local staff and volunteers have these conversations.

The training introduced a motivational approach to conversations, covering some core skills and tools from Motivational Interviewing.  Opportunities were created for participants to share the reasons for not getting vaccinated they had come across, so that we could prepare them for the sort of issues that might arise and illustrate the techniques for stimulating discussion about them. As winter approached, at the request of OHID, we also incorporated Flu vaccination into the training. 

This course proved very popular: we ran 24 training courses from April to December 2021, which were attended by a total of 430 people. 

“Thanks for such a professional training session with no judgements cast upon anyone which I feel is incredibly important when it comes to this topic, because most people will only be doing what they think is right, it's just they have received unreliable information.”

Cient Lead, OHID