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Vaccination service in running for national title after winning regional award

Surrey Heath MP visiting the Surrey Heath vaccination service in 2021

A local Covid-19 vaccination service has been named the regional winner of a national award and is now a finalist for the national title.

The Surrey Heath vaccination service took the South East Region honours in the Covid response category of the 2022 NHS Parliamentary Awards for the way different organisations came together to support their community.

Team members are now waiting to hear if their efforts have scooped the national award.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards were launched to mark the NHS’ 70th birthday in 2018 and are held annually to recognise the outstanding contribution of staff, volunteers and others working in the health and care sector. Applicants are recommended to Members of Parliament who then nominate one from their constituency. The vaccination service for people within Surrey Heath was nominated by Michael Gove, MP for Surrey Heath and the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

In Surrey Heath GP practices worked together with the NHS, the voluntary sector and borough and county councils to create a caring, efficient, responsive, high-performing vaccination services.

By working as a single team the partners have not only offered appointments to everyone in the local area over the age of five, they have vaccinated 97% of the community’s most vulnerable members and have delivered more than 212,000 doses of vaccine….. and counting.

As well as the mainstream vaccination service, arrangements have been made for carers, older people and those with vulnerabilities and disabilities – with information provided to support them specifically. Wheelchairs have been made available and Surrey Heath Borough Council has laid on free transport for people to be able to attend. Outreach clinics have also been held for the Gypsy, Roma and traveller community, as well as homeless people, and additional support has been provided to increase vaccination in minority ethnic communities and for those in vulnerable groups.

A contact centre was set up to field questions and help with appointment bookings, as well as to call people to invite them to attend.

Covid-19 hasn’t been the only virus to be vaccinated against, with people also being offered the flu vaccine where appropriate. Hypertension and pulse checks have also been offered to help raise awareness around health and wellbeing.

Dr Mark Pugsley, local GP and Accountable Clinical Director of Surrey Heath Primary Care Network, said: “It’s wonderful to have been named the regional winner of the NHS Parliamentary Awards and we’re very grateful to Michael Gove to have selected our submission and put it forward for consideration.

“From the first days of preparing for the local rollout of the vaccination programme, we have seen some amazing commitment, selflessness and generosity from across our collective team. The Surrey Heath vaccination programme is the work of several organisations and lots of individuals all coming together to support a common goal and it’s remarkable to think of all that we’ve been able to achieve for the good of our residents, in such a short space of time.”

The partnership working that has enabled the successful vaccination programme has also built and strengthened relationships between the different groups involved, and organisers are hoping they can use these links to provide further health and wellbeing benefits to the local population in the future.

Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated is encouraged to either book an appointment or visit a walk-in service as soon as possible if they are eligible. More information can be found here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/

Frimley Health and Care