Ashbourne lodge care home vaccination.jpgResidents of Ashbourne Lodge were among the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in a Derbyshire care home, when they were vaccinated today.

100-year-old Dorothy Haley said she was “delighted” to receive her jab, while 78-year-old David Handley described himself as “over the moon” after getting his vaccination.

The two are among more than fifty residents of the care home in Ashbourne, on the southern edge of the Peak District National Park. Staff at the care home have worked closely with local GPs to ensure the delicate Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could be transported and stored safely.

Vaccinations in the care home were carried out by DHU Healthcare, in conjunction with Derbyshire Dales Primary Care Network (PCN). The PCN is a collaboration of 13 GP practices, while DHU provides a range of healthcare services across the East Midlands, including out-of-hours and integrated urgent care.

DHU’s Deputy Director of Urgent Care, Kirsty Osborn, said she was delighted DHU was able to play such an important role in the vaccination process: “I’m delighted we have overcome the challenges of carrying out these vaccinations. It’s a wonderful feeling to know we are helping to protect care home residents like this.”

Dr Penny Blackwell, a rural GP at Hannage Brook Medical Centre in Wirksworth and Clinical Lead for the South Dales area for NHS Derby & Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said she was pleased to see the county’s first vaccinations in care homes.

“People living in care homes are amongst the most vulnerable in society to this virus, and so many have not seen their loved ones for many months. Groups of people across Derbyshire, in the care homes and across several partner organisations have worked really hard to make this happen this week. It really is a proud moment.”

Vaccinations will be rolled out to more care homes over the coming days and weeks, as the vaccination programme continues to build momentum.

The first vaccinations in Derbyshire took place at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Royal Derby Hospital on December 8th, followed by the county’s first vaccinations at a primary care site on December 18th at Stubley Medical Centre. Three more primary care sites have opened since then, in Ripley, Bakewell and Long Eaton.

Dr Steve Lloyd, Medical Director for the CCG, said: “Rolling out vaccinations to care homes is a critical part of the phased programme of vaccinations. People living in care homes are often extremely vulnerable, so it is our clear duty to do our best to protect them by providing these vaccinations safely and effectively.

“Our focus is on ensuring everyone eligible for a vaccine gets access to a vaccine, whether they are able to attend a primary care site or receive their vaccination in a care home. We ask that people continue to be patient, and wait for the NHS to contact them about a vaccination.

“Staff are working incredibly hard to get these sites set up, and are doing an astonishing job to mount the greatest vaccination programme in NHS history.”