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The team running the COVID-19 vaccination hub at Chesterfield Royal Hospital has plenty to celebrate today (Tuesday, January 26 2021) - reaching a major milestone since they opened the doors.

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Matron Gemma Cort gave the first vaccination on Tuesday, December 8 2020 to our colleague Ian Hazel, Director of IT and Infrastructure at DSFS (pictured above).  Ian has been shielding throughout the pandemic - as a failed kidney transplant and subsequent haemo-dialysis makes him extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.  Today it was the turn of Matron Stacey Burton to mark the moment - when she was called upon to deliver the 10,000th 'jab' to Amy Chapman from the Community Nursing Team at Alfreton Primary Care.

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It means the Royal - one of the first 50 hospital vaccination hubs in the country - has given the Pfizer vaccine to around 4300 of #TeamCRH (over 90%), as well as to colleagues from other local NHS organisations, care and residential homes, and some of its most vulnerable out-patients.  These were priority groups for the first phase of the national vaccination programme, which has now moved progressively out into the community, helping even more people to access the vaccine at a local centres, closer to home.

Commenting on the team's achievement, Chief Nurse, Krishna Kallianpur said: "I am incredibly proud of them all.  They came together at short notice to create a well-organised system, working outside of their 'normal' duties to support the vaccination programme.  It's been incredible to be involved right from the start.  Achieving 10,000 vaccines in just seven weeks is phenomenal and we are looking forward to supporting the next stage in the country's biggest-ever mass vaccination programme."

The Royal is to take a step-back for the next few weeks, to enable the community vaccination programme across Derbyshire to become the main point of access.  The hub will temporarily suspend its services at the end of this week; and will pick back-up in around four weeks-time, when second doses will need to be administered.  It will allow staff working out of the vaccination hub to return to their substantive medical, nursing, pharmacy and administrative roles, supporting other areas of the hospital at this critical time.  

"This short pause in vaccinating will help the rest of the hospital," continued Krishna.  "Right now we are balancing the demands of caring for over 180 patients with COVID-19, with equally high numbers of the 'normal' medical and surgical admissions we see at this time of year.  Our vaccination team will return to their roles for a while to support areas of greatest need, returning in a few weeks to do it all again when we'll start to give people the much-awaited second dose.  In the meantime we'll be linking in with our health system partners to ensure that appointments for NHS and social care staff will continue to be prioritised at other centres, including the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield town centre.