Falkirk Community Trust staff praised for supporting NHS Forth Valley

Staff at Falkirk Community Trust (FCT) have been lending a helping hand to NHS Forth Valley throughout the COVID-19 pandemic whether through assisting with vaccinations or testing.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 1:28 pm

In the last year FCT has supported several NHS Forth Valley programmes, including flu vaccinations, COVID vaccinations, mobile testing units and a fixed asymptomatic test site involving several trust operated sites.

When 40 trust staff completed their final shift as marshals assisting with vaccinations at Forth Valley College recently, it was time to reflect on a massive effort by FCT in 2020 and carrying on into 2021.

FCT chief executive Maureen Campbell OBE said: “Like so many other organisations, we have been delighted to support NHS Forth Valley with their requests throughout the period of the pandemic.

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Falkirk Community Trust staff relax after a hard shift volunteering to help NHS Forth Valley's vaccination programme at Forth Valley College

"Our staff have provided a positive response to all requests and demonstrated our customer oriented ‘can-do’ approach that has been much valued by NHS Forth Valley. I am extremely proud of the hard work, motivation and support provided by our staff.

"They have been magnificent in their response and often had to amend their working arrangements at short notice and work within the most unusual and challenging environments to meet the needs of the specific support required.”

Staff showed their dedication during last year’s flu vaccination programme carried out at Falkirk Town Hall, Grangemouth Town Hall and Bo’ness Town Hall.

A great deal of preparation and planning was required by both trust and NHS staff to deliver a vaccination centre for those over 50 years of age, the elderly and the vulnerable, in non-clinical surroundings and during a pandemic.

Trust staff were asked to return from furlough to prepare and operate the facilities and risk assessments were completed in partnership with the NHS to deliver the programme.

Following on from the success of the flu vaccinations, NHS Forth Valley then approached the trust for assistance with their COVID vaccinations – which are still in

operation in the trust’s town halls in Falkirk, Grangemouth and Bo’ness.

Once again, additional trust staff were asked to return from furlough and provided with the necessary training to assist.

When Falkirk’s Forth Valley College campus was established as a large-scale facility that could also be utilised as an additional vaccination centre for the area, FCT staff were asked to help by undertaking the role of marshals and arround 40 staff came forward to help.

Their support has been much appreciated by NHS staff and all who have attended the centre.

Victoria Bonnie, normally a soft play assistant at the Mariner Centre, said: “Working at the Forth Valley College vaccination centre was a fantastic experience. I got to see how hard the staff at the NHS work and how well the whole clinic worked overall.

"I also gained valuable experience working with people from all walks of the community and thoroughly enjoyed helping, caring and calming patients. As I return to my job at The Great Mariner Reef Soft Play, I will be taking this valuable experience and a new set of skills with me.”