BLMK NHS staff playing their part to vaccinate residents
In December 2021, NHS staff from Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) were redeployed to the frontline of the vaccination programme to protect vulnerable residents against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Two colleagues, Helen Barker and Debbie Blake, BLMK Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Quality Improvement Nurses, took on the challenge to vaccinate
housebound patients and care home residents.
Teaming up with a third nurse, Gill, who held the fort in the office, Debbie and Helen, travelled over 600 miles around Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough, delivering vaccines to those who need them most.
Helen Barker, told us: “When the call came for staff to be redeployed, as newbies to the organisation, both Debbie and I jumped at the opportunity to play our part.”
The team of nurses worked with Local Authority and Pharmacy colleagues across the patch to make sure they had a full supply of vaccines and the equipment needed.
Helen added: “We worked with three different sites, Kidman’s Pharmacy, Chicksands and Smartacare, across the two areas to keep our stocks up. As we were often travelling large distances and using my car, it was important to always have somewhere close by as our ‘base’.”
Since the launch of the vaccination programme in 2020, health and social care partners have continued to work together to support and protect communities across BLMK.
Debbie Blake said: “Working with CCG, Local Authority and Pharmacy colleagues, we were able to deliver over 240 vaccines in our 14 days of redeployment!
“The experience has been invaluable; we’ve loved every minute and would urge anyone with a similar opportunity to grab it with both hands because you’ll never know where it will take you.”
As well as delivering the vaccines to care home residents, Helen and Debbie were also able to vaccinate care home staff with their boosters.
Debbie continued: “It was a great opportunity to get into the care homes, meet the staff and talk to them about the pandemic and their experience of it. Conversations like these help us understand how we can continue to support care homes to provide the best care to residents. It was also great to give them their booster vaccines.
“The achievements we have made is only testament to all the fantastic work going on behind the scenes across the system. Thank you to everyone who is making this possible.”
Since the start of December, we have delivered over 202,000 booster vaccines to the residents of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes and it’s people like Helen and Debbie who have helped make this happen.