Hundreds of carers have been commended for their efforts to protect some of the most vulnerable people in Lancashire.
By late Autumn, anyone working in a care home in England must have two vaccine doses unless they are medically exempt. The regulations have been approved by both Houses of Parliament and will now be signed into law, and once this happens, they will come into force after 16 weeks.
In Lancashire, great strides have already been made in getting carers fully vaccinated to protect them, residents and service users from Covid-19. A recent survey undertaken by Lancashire County Council found that in 152 settings, staff uptake for both doses was 95% and above.
In recognition of this achievement, 99 care settings have received a certificate from the County Council, with 53 set to receive them shortly. These certificates will be displayed in the homes to mark the achievement and to provide extra reassurance to residents and their families.
One care setting that has received the platinum certificate after achieving a 100% uptake among staff is Berkeley Village and Cuerden Grange in Bamber Bridge.
The nursing home, which is run by Cuerden Care, was one of the first care homes in Lancashire to be offered vaccinations, and staff grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
“Our staff have been absolutely amazing,” said Sam Dooney, registered home manager at Berkeley Village and Cuerden Grange. They have put others before themselves and even at times when they were worried about having a vaccine, they understood that they needed to do this to protect the people we look after.
“We now have all staff on site vaccinated which is wonderful and has helped to make people living in our homes and other staff safer from this terrible virus. It is great to have this success recognised and acknowledged by other agencies and we are pleased to be able to share our success with others in Lancashire.
“All staff in care homes deserve recognition and praise for what they have been through and achieved over the past 16 months.”
Lancashire County Council will review vaccination uptake among staff again in August and will send out further certificates to any care settings that have reached the 95%+ goal.
Cllr Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult services, is urging carers who are not yet fully vaccinated to get their jabs as soon as possible.
Cllr Gooch said: “Care staff have been incredible throughout the pandemic, having faced so much adversity and never wavering in their dedication to keeping people who use services safe.
“It is wonderful to see that so many are now fully vaccinated, and it is only right that we recognise this achievement. We hope this gesture will be a source of pride to staff and provide extra reassurance to residents and their families.
“Getting both of your jabs will significantly reduce your chances of getting seriously ill from the virus, and there is increasing evidence that vaccines help to reduce transmission. This is why it is so vital that everyone gets both jabs to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe.”