The Pharmacy department at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has a team dedicated to supporting the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine programme across Lincolnshire. This includes myself, Andrew Baines as the Trust’s procurement lead pharmacist, the Trust’s Associate Chief Pharmacist for aseptic services, the Trust’s Chief Pharmacist, and many other pharmacy staff who worked initially at the hospital vaccination hubs to deliver the staff vaccination programme.
We were originally involved in the plans to roll out the Covid-19 staff vaccination programme back in September 2020 at Lincoln County Hospital. Since then, supported by Regional Quality Assurance, we have developed an accountable governance framework based on national guidance to manage the ordering, receipt, distribution and preparation of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines across Lincolnshire.
In January 2021 we started the new year by providing support to the Pilgrim hospital hub and very soon after we were invited to visit the Princess Royal Sports Arena (PRSA) to look at the set-up of the region’s first mass vaccination centre, followed less than one month later by the second mass vaccination centre at Lincolnshire Showground.
We are about to start embarking on the next chapter in this story with the potential for a roll out of the Moderna vaccine at one of the sites, and so a whole new raft of procedure writing, training and support is about to ensue.
Working as part of the wider team on this massive project has certainly been tough at times, mentally challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. It’s given us a chance to work with a wide range of staff from across the healthcare service – nurses, midwives, occupational health teams, management, finance, IT colleagues to name a few, and seeing first-hand the whole NHS machine working together like this and delivering, often against the odds, will be something we remember for a long time to come.