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Community champions helping to vaccinate hard to reach communities

A 43-strong roving immunisation team has been bringing COVID-19 vaccinations to the clinically vulnerable and hard to reach communities in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES),

The team of nurses from Virgin Care have vaccinated more than 700 people from minority groups and the housebound in which included 101-year-old Mollie Green.

Mollie’s daughter, Rosemary Green said, “Alison Glenday, who visited us was a charming and caring nurse, she explained everything to us clearly and simply and carried out the vaccination in a very professional way. Having the vaccination means that the narrow world of my mother’s housebound life can be a little broader. It makes it easier for family to visit her and at 101 year’s old every day is precious.”

Alison Glenday, Immunisation Nurse said, “It has been a real privilege to help deliver the vaccination programme. We’ve seen a lot of elderly people, including Mollie, who lived through the Spanish flu pandemic and now this one.

“Many of our housebound patients have serious health problems and as a result are more isolated because they are shielding and can’t have any visitors. The people we have visited have been so pleased to see someone, so grateful for the care, and so relieved that they are getting protected and are moving one step forward to being able to start seeing their families again. It has been a really rewarding experience and I’m proud that I’ve had the opportunity to be involved.”

Outreach staff have also delivered vaccines to B&NES Gypsy, Romany and Traveller (GRT) and Boaters communities.

Research has shown that people within the GRT communities are often unable to access health care in the same way as the settled community so the team of volunteer vaccinators have been delivering a wide range of measures to protect those most at risk in these communities by building trust, sharing accurate information and ultimately helping to save lives.

Lorraine Dooley, B&NES Health Visitor and works with the GRT community said, “The pandemic put a spotlight on the health inequalities that exist for marginalised communities with poor health outcomes. Some of these communities felt forgotten at the time when the world locked down around them. I am fortunate enough to work with this group of people to encourage and enable the uptake of the vaccine and support them to access the right health care.”

Val Scrase, Managing Director for Devon, Wiltshire and B&NES at Virgin Care said, “I am incredibly proud of our team’s continued hard work to protect higher risk communities from COVID-19. Their efforts have been outstanding to provide information about testing, healthcare and the benefits of having the jab. I am delighted to see so many people take up the offer of a free vaccination. Thank you to staff and all our partners for their support and doing such an incredible job.”

If you are eligible for a vaccine visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 to get booked in.

Virgin Care
Virgin Care
Virgin Care
Virgin Care

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