Published on: 18 January 2021
MORE than 80 per cent of residents and 50 per cent of staff in care homes for older people in Sunderland have been vaccinated as the city continues its fight back against Covid-19.
Sunderland was among a number of areas of the country singled out for praise by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his news conference this afternoon for their vaccination efforts to protect the vulnerable.
The drive to vaccinate the 2,000 residents and 2,000 staff across the city's 50 care homes for older people against the virus began at New Year with teams of community nurses from South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust working to deliver the jabs in care homes.
The programme has been delivered by a partnership made up of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group and Sunderland City Council, Primary Care Network and Sunderland GP Alliance
Work to begin vaccinating health and social care staff who work in other settings, including those who deliver care to people in their own homes will get underway next week.
Council Leader Councillor Graeme Miller, said: "It's brilliant to see so many of the most vulnerable residents in our communities and the dedicated staff who look after them being vaccinated.
"While we all need to remain cautious and keep following the guidance that's there to keep us all safe, we know how much the families of those in care homes have been longing for the day when their loved ones would be vaccinated and we hope this gives them some reassurance and peace of mind.
"This is also good news for the dedicated care home staff who deserve our eternal thanks for all they have done to look after our most vulnerable residents throughout this pandemic.
"I'd also like to thank our excellent colleagues in the community nursing team who are delivering the vaccine programme to care home residents and staff, and our partners at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group for everything they have done to help drive this forward. To have reached this point really is testament to the strength of partnership working in the city."
Anna Hargrave, Divisional Director for Community Services at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The COVID-19 vaccine has brought hope to everyone in our local communities, especially those in our care homes who are at much higher risk of serious illness. I am extremely proud of the way our community teams have stepped up to ensure that as many care home residents and staff receive the vaccine. It’s been very much a team effort and really shines a light on how successfully we work together as a system to ensure that local people get the very best care possible."
Dr Ian Pattison, local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group said: "The way local partners have come together to get the vaccine to this priority group in such a short space of time, and the dedication I’ve seen first-hand from our staff, has been inspiring and I’m so proud to be a part of that.
"When we complete this group, we will have made a significant step towards ensuring our most vulnerable patients gain significant increased protection against the Covid-19 virus.
"For our communities to be fully protected, it is important that we continue to follow the stay safe rules and have your vaccination when it is your turn."