Surgery staff from Spalding, Bourne, Long Sutton, Market Deeping areas help to vaccinate people againt COVID-19 at Springfields
The lives of thousands of people will be saved thanks to the valiant efforts of doctors and nurses from surgeries across south Lincolnshire.
Clinical and clerical staff from 12 medical centres in the South Holland, Bourne and Market Deeping areas have worked together in the space of a few weeks to create a vaccionation centre at Springfields Exhibition and Event Centre, Spalding.
Within two days of the vaccination programme starting on January 16, they had ensured that more than 1,000 people over the age of 80 along with frontline health and social care staff had received the Pfizer BioNTech jab.
Plus residents and staff at 34 care homes in the area were also hoped to be vaccinated by the end of the first week.
Despite these achievements so far, the team are not planning to slow down as they are gearing up to offer vaccinations seven-days-a-week.
One of the people behind the organisation of the centre is Kieran Harris who said the success so far was down to amazing practice staff.
He said: “I think the practice teams need to take a huge amount of credit. They have said they are going to roll up their sleeves and do whatever needs to be done to make this happen. We have even had people volunteer to come in on their day off.
“For me this is an example of why primary care in particular along with the NHS family
excels. The amount of effort from our teams is awe inspiring. It has been the privilege of my career to help roll this out with such wonderful people.
“What was fantastic about the whole experience so far, and particularly on day one, was that everyone was so keen to get involved. Everyone has a reason and wanted to be here. They want to look after a family member or want to get as many people through as quickly as they can.
“This is the ray of light we have been waiting for.”
Clinical and support staff at the area’s surgeries are well versed in running successful flu vaccinations over the years and this experience is coming in handy, especially in a fast changing situation.
Mr Harris said: “They have referred to the vaccination programme as setting up a large supermarket chain in the space of a month.
“We have been working together on this for a while to get this planned. As soon as the vaccine arrived on site, there was a huge sense of relief.
“People had moved from being nervous and anxious about getting this up and running to absolute calm and professionalism.”
One of the challenges of the Pfizer vaccine is the fact that it has to be stored at ultra-low temperatures but once it is distributed to places like Springfields it arrives at normal refrigerated temperatures but there is an
urgency to get it into people’s arms as quickly as possible.
Eight lanes have been created within the Camel Gate Centre, which could be running from 8am to 8pm, to give people the vaccination as quickly as possible.
Each area has at least two people vaccinating with others supporting the observation
Mr Harris said that the centre has received a lot of positive feedback from patients about the kind and friendly teams. And it has also helped to bring families together.
He said: “We have been told that two family members who had not spoken for a while had ended up by accident here at the same time.
“They sat near each other, while socially distanced, during the 15 minute observation period and ended up talking. It is bringing families together.”
Along with the practice teams, Mr Harris is also keen to thank all of the volunteers from groups such as Spalding Lions, Bourne Lions and the Masons, who are acting as marshals in cold January temperatures.
Mr Harris, who is Operations Director for Allied Health South Lincolnshire, said: “There has been a huge amount of community spirit shown. We are being supported by a large amount of volunteers who stood out in the rain, and even snow on the first morning, to help people.
“We simply cannot thank them enough as they are giving up their own time to support us and we wouldn’t be able to do it without them.
“The team at Springfields has also been amazing. They have been hugely accommodating and helpful to us.”
The vaccination process at Springfields takes just 20
minutes for individual patients.
People when they are called up are encouraged to remain in their cars at Springfields until the time of their appointment.
Once inside the exbition
centre, reception staff will confirm your appointment and check you in.
Patients will also have to
confirm their medical
history along with answering a few questions before getting the vaccation.
After the jab, people will be asked to wait 15 minutes before they are able to leave.
Who is eligible
The vaccination is currently
being offered to:
• People aged 80 and over;
• Some people aged 70 and over;
• Some people who are clinically extremely vulnerable;
• People who live or work in care homes;
• Health and social care