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Housebound residents in County Durham receiving Covid-19 Vaccine from Trust’s District Nurses

Thousands of people across County Durham who are unable to leave their homes, are receiving their Covid-19 vaccination thanks to the district nursing teams from County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.  Malcolm Walker, associate director operations for community services, said, "Not everyone is able to attend one of the vaccination centres set up across the County.  We've worked with GP practices - and Durham County Council as part of the County Durham Care Partnership - to ensure people in the top priority groups, as identified by the national Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), are able to have their vaccine as quickly as possible, in the safety and comfort of their own home.

"Our district nursing teams are based in local community hubs and, as such, already know and are involved in caring for many of the people now being vaccinated.  Most are in high risk age categories and many have been limiting their contact with loved ones for almost a year.  Having the vaccine will help protect them and is an emotional experience for many.  Older patients remember a time before national vaccination programmes and are incredibly appreciative and grateful.  It's humbling for our staff but rewarding to be involved in something so positive.

"So far, we've vaccinated over 3,500 people in their homes."

Mary Days from Pelton, Chester le Street, received her vaccination, at home, in mid-January.  Her daughter, Maureen Lockie, said, "Mam hasn't been able to leave home for some time now and the district nurses are coming regularly to replace dressings on her leg.  We were so pleased when they arranged for someone to come and vaccinate her at home.  She's 88 and not in great health, so knowing she's one of the first to be vaccinated is a huge relief - and a privilege.  The district nurses look after her really well - it was reassuring to know it would be their team giving the vaccine."

Mary Burnip, 96, also received her vaccine at home, in Ouston, Chester le Street.  Her daughter, Mrs Pam McDonald, said, "Mam is a mother of three and has nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.  We've all been worried about her.  Hopefully, having the vaccine will be the first step towards her being able to see them.  The district nurses and doctors who visit mam are very professional and we're grateful to them for all their support.  We feel very lucky they're able to visit to vaccinate mam at home - and not just once, but twice - we'll have the second dose in April."


Published: 17 February 2021

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital