'We've been left blind' - care home boss demands clearer vaccine information

Raj Sehgal, managing director at ArmsCare, says there must be better communication regarding the coronavirus vaccine...

Raj Sehgal, managing director at ArmsCare - Credit: Raj Sehgal

The boss of a care provider has criticised an apparent lack of communication regarding the coronavirus vaccination roll-out in care homes. 

Raj Sehgal, managing director at ArmsCare, has labelled the process of organising vaccinations in care homes a "postcode lottery". 

The Covid-19 injection at the new vaccination centre at Bowthorpe. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Covid-19 injection at the new vaccination centre at Bowthorpe. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2021

Residents and staff at two of the company's four west Norfolk homes have received their first dose.

Vaccinations are also under way at Summerville House in Heacham, but Norfolk Lodge in Hunstanton has "heard nothing". 

While acknowledging the scale of the task, Mr Sehgal believed clear updates would allay concerns.

Raj Sehgal, managing director at ArmsCare, says there must be better communication regarding the coronavirus vaccine...

Raj Sehgal, managing director at ArmsCare - Credit: Raj Sehgal

"The government and NHS are pushing hard for surgeries to get out and administer everything they have," he said.

"Some surgeries are being very proactive and telling us what is happening, which at least keeps us informed and gives hope. Then there are others which say 'don't call us, we will call you', and that's it.

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"It is a bit of a postcode lottery because we have got a home in Heacham where everything has been done, and six miles up the road in Hunstanton we have not heard a peep.

"I appreciate Hunstanton has a greater population of the elderly, but no information at all leaves us blind."

NHS England has told commissioning groups across the nation that everyone in care settings should be vaccinated by January 24 "at the latest".

Mr Sehgal says the target is "definitely" achievable, but thinks organisers are hampering their own efforts by failing to utilise care staff. 

"I don't deny it is a mammoth task, but we need to think outside the box," he added.

Please do not attend a centre without an appointment or call your GP to arrange a jab - you will be contacted

"We've known for a year that a vaccine would be developed, and now we're sitting here wondering how to roll it out.

"Our staff are medication trained. Why can't we say 'send the vaccines with our normal meds and we will administer them'? Why can't we reduce the burden on the NHS?"

A spokesman for Norfolk and Waveney said "good progress" was being made in delivering Covid-19 vaccinations to care home residents and staff.

They added: "More vaccination sites are going live in the coming days and weeks, which will increase the pace at which we can deliver vaccinations in care homes."

One of the vaccination stations at the new vaccination centre at Bowthorpe. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The coronavirus vaccine is being rolled out across Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2021

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