Heathfield pop-up Covid vaccine clinic gives out doses to more than 1000 people in a week

More than 1100 people from the Heathfield community were boosted or received their first or second doses of vaccine the week before Christmas, thanks to a pop-up booster clinic.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 12:41 pm
Updated Friday, 7th January 2022, 3:45 pm

Dr Sarah Jacques, a GP Partner at Heathfield & Firs Surgery, gave up her annual leave and missed out on spending Christmas Day with her children to run the booster clinic.

She said: "My goal was to get as many people vaccinated in the community as possible without disrupting the day to day working of the surgery. However, such an endeavour cannot be achieved single-handedly.

The activity and efforts that ensued over the next two weeks were heart-warming and uplifting. At a time when most of us were working on the front line were exhausted, I was so proud to see our staff go the extra mile. My practice manager Scott Lavocah and care administration and Covid manager Charlotte Deeprose-Shepheard pulled out all the stops."

Dr Sarah Jacques, a GP Partner at Heathfield & Firs Surgery, gave up her annual leave and missed out on spending Christmas Day with her children to run the booster clinic.

The clinic was based Heathfield Community Centre, which was made possible at short notice thanks the Parish Council clerk – Helen Johnson.

Dr Jacques continued: "Several pre-bookings for the community hall unfortunately had to be cancelled and I am grateful to those who graciously accommodated this request.

"However, I did not wish for the already booked child flu clinic to be disrupted. So, I worked with the School Immunisation Lead Nurse Cathy Wilkins, so that both clinics could run side by side.

"Another member of our community that came to our aid was the local MP, Huw Merriman. It has to be said, that through this pandemic, politicians and the medical profession have found it hard to see eye to eye on many matters. However, on a local level it has not been difficult to engage with Mr Merriman who has been willing to listen and be proactive.

"On this occasion he worked with the local CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) to help us secure much needed redeployed staff to help support the running of the clinic.

"I think that this proves that community spirit is still alive and kicking despite the ongoing anguish of the unabating pandemic. However, this goodwill must not be taken for granted and I ask the powers that be to consider better resources and planning so that resentment and bitterness does not stifle future efforts."

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