Local GPs and hospital staff have teamed up to begin vaccinating vulnerable care home residents in Walsall against COVID-19.
Using state-of-the-art refrigerated boxes, the team was able to bring the vaccine out of healthcare settings direct to the care homes – where many of those most vulnerable to the effects of the virus live.
The care home vaccinations are led by GPs, with practice “hubs” offering the vaccine to patients within their wider Primary Care Network (PCN) group. They are supported by nurses from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, who are acting as vaccinators as well as supporting with preparation and transport.
People over the age of 80 are the priority for the first waves of vaccination. In addition to care home residents, over 80s who are able to get out and about are being vaccinated in GP surgeries and at Walsall Manor Hospital.
Dr Ryan Hobson, GP partner at Lichfield Street Surgery, the first practice hub to begin working in Walsall care homes, said: “It is a huge achievement to move so quickly from having a vaccine available in selected NHS sites, to being able to bring it direct to our vulnerable care home residents.
“This was only made possible by collaboration with our partners, in particular Walsall Together and the Trust. It really shows what can be achieved when the NHS works together.”
The NHS will continue to stand up more vaccination services over the coming weeks to ensure all communities have access to the vaccine. Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients will stand up when further supplies of the vaccine become available, and these sites will be confirmed in due course.
In the meantime, people are urged to continue to do everything they can to stop the spread of the virus. This means continuing to follow the Hands, Face, Space guidance and adhering to the local Tier 4 restrictions which are currently in place.