RESIDENTS and staff at Nottingham’s specialist care group, Church Farm Care, have received their first COVID-19 injections today (22 January 2021) as part of the government’s national vaccination programme.
The roving vaccine service visited all four homes, three of which offer specialist dementia care, in a day that’s been described as one of “massive relief” for residents, staff and family members alike.
Patrick Atkinson, owner of Church Farm Care Ltd, said: “This is a momentous day for everyone at all of our homes and one that we’ve been waiting for ever since the government announced the vaccination rollout in December. It’s such a relief to now be able to say that our homes are on the way to being protected from coronavirus.”
According to government figures, more than four point five million people have received their initial jab across the UK, with care home residents and staff topping the priority list for the first phase of the rollout.
One of the first recipients of the vaccine in the region was Rachel Williams, care home manager at Church Farm’s Skylarks home, who received her first dose on 10 December. Speaking at the time, she said: “We all need to do our part to protect the vulnerable in our society, so I see the vaccination as an essential part of doing this and continuing to ensure life is as fun and healthy as possible for people who live with us.”
Patrick added: “It was incredible to see how the mood instantly lifted while people were waiting to have their vaccination and you can tell that everyone is feeling a lot more positive. After what’s been an incredibly tough year, with our residents only able to see family members through a window or computer screen, this feel likes the first step in the journey to returning to the normality everyone is craving.”
Last April, at the height of the first lockdown, Church Farm’s Skylarks home made headlines after 13 residents made a full recovery from coronavirus – thanks to the quick response from carers and staff, led by the head of nursing, Maria Spollin. An isolation area was set up within the home, which included beds, chairs and activities to ensure residents didn’t have to remain bedbound during their recovery.
Patrick added: “Every single person across our four homes has played a pivotal role in the care of our residents over the past year to get us to this moment. We couldn’t have asked for a smoother running of the day, with everyone’s vaccinations completed by lunchtime, and would like to thank the roving vaccine service, our GP surgeries, nurses and all our staff involved for a fantastic effort.”