This December, staff from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, have been working hard, alongside local GP surgeries, to ensure that vulnerable patients, across Hampshire, are fully vaccinated by visiting them in their own homes to deliver the much-needed Covid 19 booster. So far over 4,000 housebound patients have been vaccinated, helping to protect them from COVID-19.
Community teams of nurses and allied health professionals have been delivering on average around 50-60 vaccinations a day to housebound patients; these are patients who are unable to leave their home environment through a physical or psychological illness. Many of them have also been given the flu vaccination at the same time to ensure they are fully protected and reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill.
Joshua Hammond, Clinical Services Manager, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, describes the impact the housebound vaccination programme has had on patients,
“Protecting our housebound patients from this new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is essential as they are the people that are more likely to fall ill, potentially leading to a need to be admitted to hospital.
“As a clinician, it feels very satisfying to be able to deliver this vaccination in their homes, avoiding the need for them to go somewhere just for a vaccine appointment which they are unable to get to, and may have otherwise not had.”
The response from patients and their families has been overwhelming with many commenting on how thankful and grateful they are that this effort to get their boosters has been made and makes them feel more protected.
Lesley White, 75, who has a respiratory illness and lives in West Leigh, Havant said:
“We are so grateful to the NHS for coming out to see us and give us both the booster and the flu jab, it’s given me and my wife piece of mind. I wouldn’t have been able to have it done, as I am housebound, and having it done in the house has taken a weight of my shoulders and makes me feel I’ve done everything possible to keep us safe at Christmas.”
The urgency to vaccinate all housebound patients is part of the Government’s national drive to vaccinate as many people as possible by the end of the year, to help protect them from the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Grant MacDonald, Chief Operating Officer, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust explains,
“Our housebound vaccination programme is part of our ongoing work to provide care and protection during this recent emergence of the new strain, Omicron. The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been evading immunity therefore the booster will give that extra protection required and is why is it so important to get all our patients vaccinated as soon as possible.
We are urging everyone eligible to get their COVID-19 booster and help protect themselves, their family and loved ones.”
You can now book your COVID-19 booster jab via the national NHS website: Booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine - NHS (www.nhs.uk)