Vaccine rollout is a massive undertaking
Column by Martin Fahy, director of nursing and quality at Lincolnshire NHS CCG
It really is no understatement when I say that bringing the Covid-19 vaccination rollout to Lincolnshire has been a massive undertaking.
Our teams have been nothing short of heroic in their efforts and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person involved in this effort for the significant part they have played. This includes not only our NHS staff, but also our partners across Lincolnshire County Council and all district councils, the Local Resilience Forum, the voluntary sector, the University of Lincoln and many, many more.
I would also like to thank the people of Lincolnshire for their support while we have been busy establishing our vaccination centres across the county. Feedback has been hugely positive for those people who have already had their vaccinations, and for those people who are still waiting, you will be contacted by your GP when it is your turn to be vaccinated.
In Lincolnshire, Covid-19 vaccines are currently being delivered from two hospital hubs at Lincoln County Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital Boston, 14 local vaccination service sites - run by our primary care networks - and from one vaccination centre located at The Princess Royal Sports Arena in Boston.
We appreciate having different types of vaccination sites in the county is confusing to some, so just to be clear, if you have received a letter inviting you to book an appointment at one of our vaccination centres, please call the number on the letter or visit the website listed to book. For everyone else, please wait until your GP practice contacts you.
The Government has released a target date of mid-February for first vaccinations of the top four priority groups to occur, equating to 209,000 people in Lincolnshire. The immediate focus has been vaccinating care home residents and people aged over 80 years and we are making strong progress, at close to 60 per cent.
We know in Lincolnshire that we have a high proportion of care homes and elderly people compared to many other parts of the country. I am delighted with the progress that our teams across the county are making. We are all pushing hard to deliver the vaccines to our priority groups and the level of commitment to doing this is enormous, ensuring that every day more people in Lincolnshire are being protected by receiving their vaccine.
My colleague, Dr Hindocha, told me that it is a privilege to be part of this huge effort to vaccinate people across our county, and this is about our patients, friends and families. This has been one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences of his career. Every time he hears the hope and gratitude spoken by someone he meets who has been vaccinated, for whom this is the first outing since March, he is reminded of the importance of delivering this vaccination to as many of our vulnerable population as quickly as we can. The positive feedback from our patients and care home partners has been very proudly received by us all.
Lastly, we know how difficult it has been for many people who have stayed at home to protect the NHS and save life, and the sacrifices this has meant. Your efforts have made such a difference to the NHS and I ask that you continue to follow the government advice until such time when life can return to some kind of normality.