Life-saving vaccination programme up for national award

People, Health and Care
13:43, Monday, 8th August 2022

The life-saving vaccine rollout programme in North Lincolnshire has been shortlisted for a prestigious national honour.

The campaign has been shortlisted for this year’s eagerly anticipated Health Service Journal awards.

The Vaccine Programme Award recognises excellence in the planning and delivery of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The success of North Lincolnshire’s vaccination programme is a collaborative effort between what was previously known as NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, North Lincolnshire Council, Safecare Network, North Lincolnshire GP practices, pharmacies and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation Trust.

The joint project enabled North Lincolnshire’s largest vaccination centre in the heart of Scunthorpe to open, and the barriers of language, ethnicity and socio-economic factors that prevented our population from getting the vaccine were challenged.

The programme was exclusive to all and excluded no one, with staff working tirelessly to encourage vaccine confidence among our culturally diverse communities via videos and leaflets translated into several languages, as well as setting up outreach sessions to take the vaccines to people in the community – including mosques, gurdwaras, the homeless and workplaces.

Dr Satpal Shekhawat, local GP and Senior Responsible Officer for the programme, said: “It is terrific news that we have been shortlisted, and that the collaborative work has been recognised.

“I would like to thank all the partners who worked tirelessly on this project, and for coming together to make the vaccination programme a reality – without the help of all the partners, it would not have been possible.”

Dr Shekhawat added: “Despite all the challenges we faced with the pandemic, the vaccination programme has been invaluable to the way we work and has set a precedent for how we will continue to work in the future and establish new projects to benefit the people and our communities ultimately.

“It undoubtedly saved lives, that may otherwise have not been saved.

“We won’t stop here though as we have an important autumn booster programme to rollout ahead of a challenging winter. We aim to do the same again and more.”

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The vaccine rollout was a game changer for the UK in the fight against Covid-19 – with the Government making a record investment in peoples’ health alongside supporting research and business in order to accelerate the rollout.

“While accessing the volume needed had to be done nationally, delivering it to those who needed it could only be achieved locally and in North Lincolnshire all partners come together quickly and effectively to deliver an unprecedented programme to keep thousands of people safe and well.

“Our local communities played a massive part in the success, from coming forward for the vaccine, to volunteering, marshalling car parks and when needed, helping to dispel myths.

“I volunteered alongside many of these people and this recognition is for them. It is great everyone’s hard work and collaboration has been recognised nationally.”