Derbyshire vaccination team wins award for work with vulnerable people

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has won a regional award for its personalised Covid-19 vaccination service for people with severe mental illness, learning disabilities or autism.

The trust’s Specialist Vaccination Team won the ‘biggest contribution to those who are vulnerable and at risk’ category in the NHS England Regional Recognition and Celebration Awards, based on its work supporting vulnerable people with receiving their vaccinations.

The team was nominated for the award by NHS Derby and Derbyshire, and it is the second time their work has been recognised this year, having also been named as a regional winner at the 2022 NHS Parliamentary Awards.

The team supported people who struggled with anxieties around receiving the vaccine, offering a bespoke service to meet their needs and help them to receive their vaccine in line with national advice.

Service users were offered appointments in quieter locations with sensory activities, music and fewer staff around. Vaccinators would wear non-uniform clothes, and nurses who knew the patients well would attend where possible.

The team also offered vaccinations in people’s homes or on hospital wards as part of the effort to target those in need of the vaccine.

The team’s efforts were part of the wider vaccination programme, which actively sought to reduce inequalities in Derby and Derbyshire by focusing on engagement, availability and accessibility.

The Trust’s nurses and Health Protection Unit worked closely with NHS Derby and Derbyshire, and with Derbyshire Community Healthcare Services, as well as other organisations within Joined Up Care Derbyshire.

Richard Morrow, Assistant Director of Public and Physical Healthcare at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, attended the regional award event. He said: “To win not one, but two regional awards is fantastic.

“The Specialist Vaccination team, with support from Joined Up Care Derbyshire partners, have been key in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic to vaccinate a cohort of vulnerable service users who have found the process an extremely daunting one.

“It is only right that this team have received regional recognition for their exceptional work.”

Dr Steven Lloyd is the executive senior responsible officer for Covid-19 vaccination programme and said: “The specialist vaccination team embody all that is good about the Derbyshire approach to the programme and have been exceptional in their reach out to those most vulnerable and at need in our communities.

“It is a matter of great pride and celebration that this has been recognised more widely across the region and beyond and an outstanding credit to all involved in the team.”

The NHS England Regional Recognition and Celebration Awards celebrates those who have contributed to the health and care sector with initiatives that have had a real impact on communities.