Residents at many care homes for the elderly across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead were vaccinated with the first dose of the Covid vaccination over the weekend.
This work was carried out by the three local Primary Care Networks* across the borough: Ascot Primary Care Network, Maidenhead Primary Care Network and Windsor Primary Care Network.
In a joint statement the Primary Care Network Clinical Directors; Dr Prash Patel (Ascot Primary Care Network), Dr Amandeep Dosanjh (Maidenhead Primary Care Network), and Dr Sufian Jabbar and Dr Edward Harrison (Windsor Primary Care Network) said:
“This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken. We are delighted that our teams of doctors, nurses and pharmacists were able to offer the first dose of the vaccination to our care homes where some of our most at-risk residents live.
“It is a real achievement for all involved and something we are delighted to be part of. Our dedicated teams worked late into the weekend to ensure we could vaccinate in as many care homes across the borough as possible.
“We’d like to thank everyone involved for working tirelessly over the weekend to get the vaccine rolled out to our care homes.
“This is a huge step forward in protecting the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Over the weekend, staff received positive feedback from local care home residents who were very keen to have the immunisation. For one 82-year-old patient, it was the 1st immunisation he had ever had, indicating the importance of this programme to residents across the area.
A resident at Meadowbank Care Home said: “We were very lucky to have the first vaccination within Meadowbank. It was painless and there have not been unpleasant after effects.
Another resident said: “Thank you for looking after us so well. We are so grateful for being able to have it”.
As well as vaccinating local care homes, the three Primary Care Networks have been delivering the vaccine to their registered populations at local vaccination services. Since December, patients 80 years of age and above, as well as frontline health and social care staff have been the first cohorts to be offered the vaccine, based on the JCVI guidance for priority groups.
Dr Huw Thomas, local GP and Clinical Lead for RBWM Place for the Frimley Collaborative said: “It is a great achievement that we have been able to start the roll out of vaccinations to our local care homes.
“This is brilliant news for these residents, who haven’t been able to have any physical contact with their families in such a long time. It has been a real effort to get to this point.
“We continue to roll out the covid-19 vaccinations across the borough as a top priority. We know local people are extremely keen to get access to the vaccinations.
“There are a lot of people to vaccinate and you may find that friends and family have been vaccinated before you. Please do not worry and assume that you’ve been missed.
Dr Thomas continued: "It is only the start of the vaccination programme and it will take some time to work through everyone, as there is still a limit to the pace of the delivery. The practice staff continue to work hard to vaccinate as many people as quickly and safely as possible.
“I would like to thank everyone involved, especially our local volunteer marshals at our sites, to whom we are very grateful as we would not be able to undertake this vaccination programme without them.”
During January many more people will be invited for their vaccination. Please do not contact your practice to try and book an appointment even if people in the same age group are being offered it.
Those eligible for a vaccine will be contacted directly by their GP surgery with an invitation. This could be via text message or a phone call. If you receive a text message inviting you to make a booking you should follow the instructions and book an appointment. The text message invitation is not confirmation of the appointment.
Whilst the vaccination programme is being rolled out, it is really important for people to follow the government guidance to stay at home, and continue to the Hands, Face, Space infection control guidelines.
For the latest information about the vaccination programme please visit the Frimley Health and Care website.
More information on the COVID 19 vaccine can be found at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine