Staff in Ascot care home lead the way in getting the vaccine

The ongoing vaccination programme has seen 95% of care home staff at the Gracewell of Ascot given the Covid-19 vaccine, whilst 97% of residents (all those who could receive it) were also given the vaccine.

Gracewell of Ascot is an 80-bed care home with residential, nursing and memory care residents.

The care home management team working alongside the local GP Dr Edward Williams, Senior Partner at Ascot Medical Centre, and his team have been working hard to educate and reassure members of staff who were worried about having the vaccine.

Raina Jordan, Registered and General Manager at Gracewell of Ascot, said: “Initially we had 60% of the team members who had taken up the vaccine at Wexham Park. The management team all went for their vaccinations early on to lead by example.

“We had members of staff who couldn’t have the Pfizer vaccination due to allergies or they were breastfeeding, as well as some team members who were fearful.

“We spent time educating the fearful members of the team on how the vaccine works and reassured them that they were in no danger and that it would be the fastest way back to a more normal life. As well as it being the responsible route to take in view of protecting our residents that they care for.”

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The care home management team took every opportunity to communicate and provide factual information about the vaccine and its content, addressing myths and supporting members of staff with information to help them make an informed decision.

They also put together a video which featured team members and residents receiving the vaccination to encourage staff to get the vaccine.

Raina continued: “By the time Dr Williams and his team had received the Oxford vaccine we had spoken to nearly all of our fearful team members, as well as those who couldn’t have the Pfizer vaccine.

“Dr Williams and the team came to the care home on Sunday 10 January, and vaccinated staff. Of those team members who are not exempt from having the vaccination, 95% of our staff have now had the vaccine.”

Dr Edward Williams said: “Our care homes have faced many difficult challenges during this pandemic. The vaccine rollout gives hope and optimism for the future.

We will continue to work with all our local care homes to prioritise and protect of all our vulnerable residents and those who care for them.

“I would also like to praise the remarkable efforts of our GP practices and vaccination teams, who have been working tirelessly to get this vaccine out to our most vulnerable patients as quickly as possible.”

Below are some quotes from staff at Gracewell of Ascot who are delighted to have received the vaccine

Sophie, a Care Assistant said: ‘I’ve already had both courses of the vaccine. The first one I was really nervous because I’m not good with needles, so for me that was a big factor if I wanted it, but I overcame it and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  I took pride in receiving the vaccine.”

Pat, the Deputy Manager said “It gives you a sense of purpose to know that things are moving forward. It feels like we’re doing our bit for the country….and the world”.

Annaliese, Registered General Nurse said: “It’s our ticket to get back to hugging people again, it’s important to me”.