Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations began this week at the Trust, following national approval for the Trust to become a ‘hospital hub’ vaccination site.
This milestone moment will aim to see all Trust staff vaccinated over the coming weeks to keep them safe and well and enable key services to be maintained during the current pandemic.
The Trust will use national guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), alongside an internal risk-based assessment, to help identify the order in which staff will be offered the vaccine. This takes into account known risk factors like; age, ethnicity and certain underlying health conditions – as it is known that coronavirus can disproportionally impact on some individuals with specific characteristics.
The hugely welcomed arrival of the vaccine comes after the Trust was approved by NHS England and Improvement to become a ‘hospital hub’ vaccination site.
Rob Webster, chief executive at the Trust, said: “The arrival of the vaccine at the Trust is a big step forward in our fight against coronavirus and the excitement amongst staff is palpable.
“As a Trust we had to undergo rigorous checks and preparations to ensure we were ready and able to become a hospital hub. This was an immense task, which saw colleagues from across the Trust working together in a short space of time to get us ready.
“Our current focus is on vaccinations for all staff at the Trust. This includes bank staff, volunteers and students and doctors on rotation at the Trust during the vaccination window.
“We will also shortly begin vaccinating people within our inpatient wards too. As with all vaccinations, this will involve consent and discussions with family members or carers, where appropriate.
“People that use our services in our communities will be invited either by their GP or national NHS to have their vaccine when the time is right. So, we please ask that members of the public don’t contact ourselves or the NHS until you receive this invite.”
Alan Davis, director of human resources, organisational development and estates, and director lead for staff vaccinations at the Trust, said: “Staff health and wellbeing has always been a high priority for the Trust and even more so during this pandemic. Getting staff vaccinated not only protects them from the virus but also helps to keep their families, friends and, very importantly, patients safe.
“We have a fantastic track record and a wealth of expertise in the Trust of delivering vaccination programmes.
“Last year, almost 90% of staff had their flu vaccine and we were one of the Trusts with the highest level of uptake in Yorkshire and the Humber. We therefore look forward to using this learning and experience for the COVID-19 vaccination programme.”
Staff who have been vaccinated so far have also taken the opportunity to share their thoughts and feedback, including:
- “I am delighted to have been offered the vaccine”
- “The vaccination hub was very well organised”
- “This is fantastic for our wellbeing and will provide reassurance to our patients”
- “We can now promote to any patients/carers and public who may be nervous about the vaccine”
- “I’m terrified of needles and didn’t feel a thing during my vaccination – I couldn’t believe how quick, easy and painless it was. Thank you to the whole vaccination team!”.
For more information on the vaccination programme at the Trust, please visit: www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccine.