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Successful rollout of Vaccine Programme to the Care Home sector


Catherine Byers receiving her 2nd vaccine from nurse Aisling Burns
Smiling Tilery Nursing Home Resident, Catherine Byers, at 103 years of age, has just received her 2nd vaccination from public health nurse, Aisling Burns, one of the Trust care home vaccinators.

The Western Trust began the roll out of the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to the independent and  trust residential and nursing Care Home residents and staff on 14th December 2020 .The Pfizer vaccine  was administered by mobile trust vaccinating teams  to the majority of staff and residents in the 64  Care Homes within the  Western Trust area  by the 23rd December 2020.

The successful coordination and implementation of the Care Home Vaccination programme involved many groups working closely together such as the Care Home Support Team, the Care Home staff, GPs, Pharmacy, Occupational Health, Human Resources, ICT  and transport.

The mobile  trust vaccination teams comprised of staff  who volunteered from various  nursing, medical , and allied health professional staffing groups . All staff undertook extensive training by accessing on line learning and practical training  was provided by  Pharmacists and Occupational Health Nurses. Each vaccinator was  signed off by the trust’s  nursing governance body  before commencing to vaccinate.   Administrative staff also volunteered and were trained in capturing all the essential data on IT systems ,  which was reported daily to the Department of Health . Partnership working between all groups in the delivery of the vaccine  ensured there was  no wastage . The trust’s Occupational Health Doctor was  available for advice and  any staff queries on a daily basis, the transport drivers played a critical role in ensuring the vaccine was safely delivered to each Care Home.

This has been a successfully planned and delivered programme to the Care home Sector and Claire Cartin, Primary Care and Community Co-ordinator, commented:

“Many of the Care Homes have given positive feedback on how the trust managed the vaccination roll out and the professionalism of the staff involved in the vaccination teams. The Trust is very proud  of all the staff who were involved in the safe and effective roll out of this vaccination programme, in such a short period of time.”

“When the vaccine programme began, there were a small number of Care Homes who were experiencing Covid-19 outbreaks at that time and those staff and residents could not be vaccinated. A mop up programme is ongoing at present to those Care  homes who were in Covid-19 outbreak, it is anticipated that by the end of February 2021 this programme will be completed”

Administration of the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine commenced on the 4th January 2021 and was completed on the 14th January  2021, at this stage the majority of staff and residents have received their second dose within the 21 day DOH  guidance for Care Homes .

Any new residents in Care Homes from this date will be followed up by GPs and the district nurses using the AstraZeneca vaccine.