Over 80 inpatients have so far received the coronavirus vaccine on our wards, offering another line of protection for our Trust.
Launching at the start of February, life-saving vaccinations are being provided on every ward to all eligible inpatients by trained and registered clinicians.
Following national guidance, the Trust began by vaccinating those in high-risk groups first including those on older people’s wards.
The next month will see the vaccine being offered to remaining eligible inpatients in our wards, which includes those in forensic, learning disability, mental health, neurological rehabilitation and stroke and rehabilitation wards.
Kate Dewhirst, chief pharmacist and accountable officer for controlled drugs at the Trust, said: “The vaccine will help to prevent people from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. We want to support all our inpatients to take up the offer of the vaccine, wherever possible.
“Over the last month, we’ve worked with our service users on our wards to gain consent and to have further discussions with family members or carers about the vaccine, where appropriate.
“We continue to make sure that all inpatients have all the information they need, and in accessible formats, so they can make an informed choice about having the vaccine. This includes providing time to ensure they understand what happens during the vaccination process, what the side effects might be and what the benefits are.”
The Trust has also taken learnings from the programme to make changes to how we are providing vaccines to inpatients, in line with our values of putting people first and in the centre of their care.
Sarah Hudson, deputy chief pharmacist and medicines safety officer at the Trust, said: “We listened to earlier feedback from service users vaccinated at the beginning of the inpatients programme who told us that they would prefer to be given the vaccine by their usual clinicians, who care for them on a day to day basis, and know them personally.
“We’re now supporting these clinicians to complete any further competencies and training, so we’re able to support this important request. This so far has provided lots of reassurance and comfort to those on our wards and we’ve also seen real excitement from staff who feel they are doing something good for patients.
“We’re also supporting people on our inpatient wards to have their vaccine at their GP practice too, if they chose this or if it is required for medical reasons.”
For more information on the coronavirus vaccination programme at the Trust, please visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccine
You can also find out more about the vaccine on the NHS.uk national website.