Team effort at Haywards Heath coronavirus vaccination centre: ‘It has been a very positive experience’

Volunteers have been working hard to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme at Clair Hall in Haywards Heath.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 9:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 9:44 am

The Perrymount Road site went live on December 28, and GP Federation Alliance for Better Care (ABC) has been working with Primary Care Networks in the area to deliver the programme.

On hand to support the team have been volunteers from the Patient Participation Groups who work together as a Locality Group to share local information of benefit to patients.

Among them are Lesley and Mike Bright, who are part of Dolphins Practice’s Patient Participation Group (PPG).

Dolphins PPG volunteers Denis Wilson, Derek Booker, Peter Ewen and Mike and Lesley Bright. Picture: Steve Robards

They said: “It has been a very positive experience, with inputs and help from many people and organisations.

“We all do our best to reassure patients where necessary, and they in turn have stayed positive.

“After such a miserable, uncertain year it’s been reassuring to see what we all can do together as a community.”

Over Christmas, Lesley and Mike helped set up rotas for the first couple of weeks at Clair Hall, and then finally in January handed the volunteers over to an ABC website called Lantum.

By then the stream of offers had become a flood of 200 and counting, the couple said, so soon afterwards they had to let people know that there were enough volunteers for current needs.

The layout at Clair Hall has been ideal for ABC to plan a safe one-way flow of patients, Lesley and Mike added, and with its central location, there is plenty of parking.

“The different teams – medical personnel, NHS admin staff, volunteers – all work together very well, with a good understanding of each other’s responsibilities,” they said.

“As volunteers we keep the vaccinators and others supplied with warm drinks and refreshments, many of these brought in by grateful patients – even homemade cakes!

“Waitrose, Cook and Jupps fish and chips have also kindly dropped off food. And patients have been so cheerful and grateful – there have been many letters of thanks, and personal thanks to volunteers on the day.”

Lesley and Mike said in the early days it was a first outing for months for some who came for their jab.

One man, when he was advised of a short wait, said: “That’s alright, love, I’ve waited all year for this, a little longer won’t hurt!”

Lesley and Mike added: “It’s been a privilege to take part. We’ve been so lucky here in Mid Sussex to have the Clair Hall premises available for this programme – it’s really been in the right place at the right time for all of us.”