Military medics drafted in to support COVID-19 vaccination programme

The NHS has once again joined forces with the Army, RAF and Navy to give COVID-19 vaccinations to some of the most vulnerable people in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

Military medics will be visiting housebound people living across the Fylde Coast to give them their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

The partnership, which starts on Monday (5 April 2021) and will run for the next few weeks, will help to make sure people who are housebound are vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Dr Ben Butler-Reid, a Blackpool GP and clinical director for NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said: “A common theme of the response to this pandemic has been everyone pitching in and doing their bit to help us through the crisis.

“We are delighted that the Armed Forces have joined the Fylde Coast vaccination efforts which have helped us to provide vaccinations to nearly 2,000 housebound people in the area.

“I would like to thank all those military medics who have supported the vaccination programme on behalf of everyone in the local NHS.”

The latest round of military-supported vaccinations follows the success seen in north Blackpool and Fleetwood earlier this year, when teams from the Armed Forces first joined the Fylde Coast COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Lieutenant Holly-Jane Thurgood, a registered mental health nurse and cognitive behavioural therapist with the Royal Navy, said: “We are honoured to work alongside our wonderful NHS partners, assisting them with unexpected changes, hard to reach locations and accelerating vaccination delivery particularly to our most vulnerable housebound patients or those in care homes.

“The North West vaccination programme has, and continues to have, a significant positive impact across the region. Next week we will again be assisting on the Fylde Coast. It is a great example of teamwork and wonderful to see the NHS and military working side by side.”

The military medics will be operating in teams of six across the Fylde Coast from next week (5 April) and will have full ID and personal protective equipment (PPE) with them.

GP practices have been reminded to tell their housebound patients that someone from the military may be providing their vaccination at home.