A message from our clinical director

The news is pretty grim at the moment with talk of schools staying locked down till Easter, hospitals struggling to cope and emerging new strains of the virus that are potentially more deadly than the original.

Add to this the irresponsible actions of a small section of the population who flout infection control measures and it is easy to become somewhat despondent and angry with the state of the world and people in general.

But yesterday (Saturday 23rd January) restored my faith in humanity and the power of community.

Our medical centre in sleepy West Dorset, one of a thousand vaccination centres in the UK, has been tasked with vaccinating the most at risk patients in West Dorset.

It’s been a steep learning curve and not without its stresses and obstacles, but each time we get a supply of vaccine, the five practices in the Jurassic coast network, often at short notice, have co-ordinated resources and staff to vaccinate as many patients as possible. All whilst maintaining business as usual, which contrary to popular belief has been busier than ever.

Yesterday (Saturday 23rd January) was our best effort to date. With an army of 50 volunteers from the community, who stood all day, directing patients from nearby car parks to the medical centre, dishing out alcohol hand gel and checking temperatures, we maximised the flow of patients through the health centre and our team safely vaccinated 1,736 patients all over the age of 75. No long waits. No unsafe queues. It was teamwork at its best.

Pharmacists and managers, nurses and administrators, paramedics and GPs, volunteers and retired medical staff all working together to protect the most vulnerable in their community.

Came bakers and sandwich makers, runners who fed the volunteers standing in the cold, hot drinks and kind words; this is our community pulling together.

Being part of something bigger than your own struggles and worries, bringing meaning and purpose to your actions, this is true happiness.

To all the volunteers, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

Published: Jan 25, 2021

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