Staff at hospice for children and young people receive COVID vaccinations

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Staff at the Donna Louise Hospice for children and young people in Trentham have now had their first Covid-19 vaccination, marking an important turning point for the services and families.

The move means families have increased confidence that the Hospice is doing everything they can to keep their children and loved ones safe.

The Donna Louise is Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent's only hospice for children and young people. They provide specialist care and support services for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, due to illness or injury, from birth until the services are no longer needed.

The staff vaccinations mean they will be able to maintain current service provision and increase the flexibility and capacity to respond to the children and young people’s changing needs.

Director of Care at the Hospice Dot Gillespie said: “We are delighted that most of our staff have now been vaccinated, and we know that they feel more assured, as do the families of the children and young people we support.

Dot added: “As the staff group reach optimum immunity it will, hopefully, enable us to increase face-to-face activities including home support. It has given us a real boost and increased confidence to look forward and put firm plans in place for increasing in-house stays as soon as restrictions begin to ease. We haven’t been able to do that for such a long time, so I know our families will be grateful for added support.”

Dr Paddy Hannigan is the Clinical Lead for the Vaccination Programme in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. He said: “This is a very positive step for staff at the Hospice and I am sure they and families of the children and young people they support, feel a sense of relief that they have been vaccinated. They’ve told us that means they can begin to bring back staff who have been working from home into the building which will improve team working, morale, communication and efficiency which can only be a positive thing for them.

He added: “Let’s not forget that this is the biggest vaccination programme we have ever seen.  We would urge people to wait to be contacted before they try to get a vaccination but please take up the offer when it’s given to you. Every single vaccination is important and each one is a step closer to getting back to a new kind of normal.”

*Under the Joint Council on Vaccination and Immunisation’s main national advisory group staff at the Donna Louise Hospice fall under cohort two in terms of eligibility criteria.

For more information about the vaccine programme please go to: www.twbstaffsandstoke.org.uk/coronavirus

For more information about the Hospice please go to:  www.thedonnalouise.org