Hospice thanks East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust after 100th staff vaccination against Covid-19

St Elizabeth Hospice is thanking the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) following the milestone hundredth Covid-19 vaccination of a patient facing member of staff.

The landmark comes after vaccinations for hospice staff against the virus began on 9th January and it is hoped the continued rollout by ESNEFT and other local organisations will signal a more hopeful start to 2021 for patients, families and staff at the hospice.

One staff member to receive the vaccination is Sharron Cooper, Community Clinical Nurse Specialist at St Elizabeth Hospice, who said: “After such a difficult year, it was a relief to receive the vaccine and it feels like a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I am so grateful that my colleagues and I are receiving the vaccine, as it provides us and our patients with extra reassurance. As anyone who works in healthcare will tell you, our main focus is the people we care for and this has not changed despite Covid-19.

“It certainly has seen us adapt the ways we deliver our care, to ensure safety against the virus, but at the heart of our work is people and this vaccination will strengthen our position to care for people in the safest way possible.”

As well as St Elizabeth Hospice, staff at a number of local care homes and both Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals are also receiving the vaccination against the virus in order to protect them as they continue to care for patients and their families.

Since the pandemic began, in March last year, all staff and those who you use St Elizabeth Hospice’s services have adapted to new restrictions in order to maintain safety as much as possible for all.

This has seen staff and all visitors wearing PPE, the installation of additional hand sanitisation points, front line staff being tested twice a week for Covid-19 and restrictions on family visits to see loved ones at the hospice’s inpatient unit in Ipswich.

Verity Jolly, Director of Patient Services at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We are so pleased our staff have been able to receive their vaccinations from the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust and are hopeful this is a positive step for the hospice and all who use our services.

“The team have been magnificent in how they have adapted to the challenges posed by the pandemic in order to continue to support families and patients under our care.

“Throughout the last year we have stood united with the local community against coronavirus and as ever we are grateful for their support and hope this positive news is the start of much more as we move forward.”

Leading the Covid-19 vaccine roll out for ESNEFT is Executive Director Mike Meers, who said: “Our teams are delighted to be playing a key role in delivering the Covid-19 vaccine programme, the biggest vaccination programme in British history. We are currently focussed on vaccinating health and care workers from more than 130 organisations in Suffolk and north east Essex, including St Elizabeth Hospice.

“The NHS will let everyone know when it’s their turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.”

St Elizabeth Hospice is an independent Suffolk charity providing free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or life limiting illness throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Centered on an individual’s needs, the hospice provides specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice.

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