Over 1,000 vaccinated in their own homes across Derry and the Western Trust area

The Western Trust’s District and Community Nursing Teams have successful delivered over 1,000 doses of Covid-19 Vaccine to homebound patients in the community across the Western Trust area.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 8:32 am

District and Community Nurses have a wide range of roles, including working with patients and their families in managing long term conditions such as diabetes, dementia, complex wound care and heart failure.

The teams work from in local community hubs. Based in Shantallow Health Centre, Derry, Community Staff Nurse Fionnuala Bell, said: “Our roles are hugely varied and at times can be very challenging, particularly now due to the additional complications presented by Covid-19.

“For example, we provide care for those going through cancer treatment and we also provide palliative and end of life care to patients in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. We work with them and their families and other professionals to ensure the best possible individualised care is provided at all times and that patients are as comfortable as possible.

Fionnuala Bell with patient Mary Porter (85) in Derry.

“An important part of our job is to administer injections, including vaccinations and more recently the COVID-19 vaccination to those who are housebound. Due to the nature and severity of many patients’ conditions, it has been important for us to ensure that we work in full accordance with the required infection control measures when entering and working within patients’ homes.

“This includes the wearing of PPE and adhering to the relevant social distancing requirements where practical in the home. This has made what previously was a relatively simple effort, much more complicated.”

“For us as a team to be able to play a key part in the vaccination roll out has been hugely challenging in terms of logistics, due to the number of homes required to visit and the distances between them.

“However, with the news that we have administered doses to over 1,000 people and knowing the level of reassurance and peace of mind that it has given those who have received it, has undoubtedly been one of the most rewarding things we have ever achieved as a group.”

Community Nurse, Fionnuala Bell.

Dr Bob Brown, Executive Director of Nursing / Primary Care and Older People’s services with the Western Trust, said: “Our District and Community Nursing teams carry out a vital role in providing care for some of the most vulnerable people in society.

“As not everyone is able to attend one of the three mass vaccination centres set up across the Western Trust area, these teams have worked hard to enable us to deliver over 1,100 doses to people as quickly as possible, in the safety and comfort of their own home.”

The Covid-19 vaccine has been made available to a number of different ages and groups across Northern Ireland.

For up to date information about the current Covid-19 eligibility criteria or to book a vaccination place visit the online booking portal covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinatedAlternatively you can call the regional booking line on 0300 200 7813 from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Those within the Western Trust area can also call the local booking line on 028