Over 160,000 people have received their first dose of a covid vaccine in Sheffield, thanks to the tireless efforts of medical and non-medical staff.
Staff members such as practice managers, receptionists and administration staff from Sheffield GP have been working non-stop to arrange and support the vaccinations of the vulnerable and elderly.
Reception Manager at Sothall Medical Practice, Melanie Pickering said: “We’ve taken it in turns to be there, often spending hours in the freezing cold to help people. Back in the office we’ve continued our normal surgery duties, as well as ringing hundreds of patients to get them booked in.”
The eligible patients, who may struggle using the internet, have been receiving much needed phone calls from staff to arrange appointments and even to ask how their day was.
A feedback survey, by NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), found that 95 pre cent of people who responded rated their overall experience of receiving a vaccination as ‘very good’.
Birley Health Centre in particular, has been contacted by patients who have been experiencing a sense of loneliness due to lockdown and just simply want someone to talk to.
Kiz Haigh, Practice Manager at Birley Health Centre, said: “The patients that we contacted had been shielding for months, and just simply chatting through the simple things, like what they were having for lunch or what to watch on the TV lifted their spirits.”
Encouraging black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities to take the vaccination has become a tough task for GP practices due to their fears and myths surrounding the side effects of the vaccine.
At the Hanover and Devonshire Green Medical Centres their Somali Link Worker, Hodo Maalin, has been dispelling myths and removing fears by sharing her own experience with the vaccine to patients.
Despite new patients being vaccinated, those over 70, vulnerable or a frontline health/ social care worker, can still book their vaccination appointment online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ or call the free number on 119.