Care home's new year cheer following coronavirus vaccine roll-out

Caroline Newman, manager of Hassingham House Nursing Home, receives her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Caroline Newman, manager of Hassingham House Nursing Home, receives her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. - Credit: Hassingham House

Residents in a Norfolk nursing home received the greatest start to a new year with their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

The group of 40 residents and 30 staff at Hassingham Hall Nursing Home, in Hingham, were vaccinated on New Year's Day by staff at Hingham Surgery.

Staff and residents at Hassingham House, in Hingham, received vaccinations from Hingham Surgery.

Staff and residents at Hassingham House, in Hingham, received vaccinations from Hingham Surgery. - Credit: Hassingham House

Caroline Newman, manager of Hassingham House Nursing Home, helps to vaccinate staff and residents at the home.

Caroline Newman, manager of Hassingham House Nursing Home, helps to vaccinate staff and residents at the home. - Credit: Hassingham House

Caroline Newman, manager from the home, received a call from Dr Shaun Conway after Christmas about the possibility of vaccination. 

The confirmation came on December 29 and the home began gathering consent from residents, relatives and staff ready for the arrival of the vaccine on January 1.

The government is stepping up on the rolling out of vaccinations to the top four priority groups which include those aged 80 and above, care home residents and frontline health and care workers

Mrs Newman, who is also a nurse, helped the surgical team alongside her deputy and senior nurse to administer the vaccine across a six-hour period.

She described a buzz around the home, and said relatives and residents feel the vaccine is "a step closer to them coming in".

The coronavirus vaccine is prepared for residents and staff at Hassingham House.

The coronavirus vaccine is prepared for residents and staff at Hassingham House. - Credit: Hassingham House

She said: "It was amazing. They rang me at the back end of last week of the possibility of vaccination and asked are you interested in us coming to home and getting as many of the staff and resident vaccinated. Absolutely.

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"What a great way to start the new year. With the new lockdown we thought thank goodness we had the first vaccine so we are ready to have a bit of immunity.

"We felt really excited. There was a real buzz in the home."

Mrs Newman said any other home offered the vaccine should "go for it".

A spokesman for NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said Lowestoft, Thetford and Swanton Morley Primary Care Networks began a pilot scheme of vaccinating care home residents between Christmas and New Year.

The spokesman said: "As we start to receive supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the end of this week – which can be stored and transported more easily – we will be able to vaccinate more people living in local care homes.  We are in the process of mobilising primary care teams to go into care homes and vaccinate residents as soon as possible, in line with the supplies of vaccines we receive.”

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