Published: 28th January 2021

Residents in all of Manchester’s older people’s care homes have received their Covid-19 vaccinations following a huge effort to protect some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Care home residents were among the first people to be prioritised for the vaccine rollout, with gtd healthcare's Proactive Primary Care team alongside other NHS teams aiming to have completed the vaccination of this cohort by the end of January.

Following a final push over the weekend of January 23-24 this work has now been completed. More than 2,100 vaccines have been administered in 56 care homes over the last three weeks.

The vaccines were administered either by local GPs or gtd healthcare. gtd healthcare has been commissioned by the NHS to support the delivery and rollout of the vaccine to care homes and worked alongside a project team from the city’s NHS organisations and Manchester City Council.

The programme has been supported by pharmacists from the Manchester Health and Care Commissioning Medicines Optimisation Team, who have gone into each home with the team, and NHS community staff.

Carolyn Ball, general manager of Belong Morris Feinmann Care Village in Didsbury, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our residents have had this opportunity to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. This is the additional protection we have long been waiting for and it’s great to be starting the new year knowing that our residents are at reduced risk. The commitment of the NHS in Manchester to rolling the programme out promptly, and the team from gtd healthcare delivering it in our care setting in spite of the complex logistics, is really impressive. We’re so grateful as their well organised approach meant our residents and colleagues were amongst the first in the UK to receive the vaccine.”

Bill Halon, aged 77, a tenant in one of the independent living apartments at Belong who received the vaccine, said: “I was over the moon to receive my first Covid-19 vaccine. The delivery was well-organised and I felt safe and supported throughout.”

Care home staff from across the city are also a priority group for the vaccine. They have been able to book a vaccination at special clinics at Manchester Royal Infirmary delivered by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust since mid-December.

Staff have also been able to receive a vaccine in their care home as part of the rollout to residents if they are on duty at the time and supplies allow, but can also still book at one of the hospital based clinics which are now available at Wythenshawe Hospital, North Manchester General Hospital and Trafford General Hospital as well as at the MRI.

Brocklehurst Nursing Home in West Didsbury received their vaccines on 12 January and manager Hollie Collins said: “I feel quite emotional. I’m so grateful that nursing homes and care homes have been the priority. We’ve had a massive staff and resident uptake which has made me really proud. It’s a nice relief to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I can go home and sleep knowing they're more protected. I’ve had the vaccine and I’ve seen over 20 residents and staff safely have it here. It’s just a really nice relief to be honest.”

The first care home worker to receive the vaccine in Manchester was Michael Fielding from Ringway Mews care home in Sharston who had his vaccine at Manchester Royal Infirmary in December and said: “I wanted to keep safe and keep the residents safe. It’s a good thing and I’ve encouraged other staff to have it too. You’ve got to do anything you can do to keep yourself and others safe.”

Cllr Bev Craig, Manchester City Council’s executive member for adult health and wellbeing, said: “We have been supporting care homes to keep their residents safe throughout COVID and we have been really eager to see our care home residents and staff vaccinated. I am so proud of the work that has been going on throughout January to protect some of our most vulnerable residents.

“Alongside that we are already also seeing a really encouraging take up of the vaccine amongst care home staff, we cannot stress how important this is and we’d urge any staff member who is still unsure to talk to their colleagues who have already had it so they can see how easy and safe the process has been. They can book an appointment through their home managers and we really want to encourage them to take this opportunity as soon as possible.

“We all need to do our bit to help reduce the spread and keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”