Falkirk care homes to start COVID vaccination programme

The vaccination programme to protect staff in Falkirk Council care homes from Covid-19 is well underway and vulnerable residents will start to receive theirs as soon as next week.

By Kirsty Paterson
Friday, 11th December 2020, 4:40 pm

The roll-out of the vaccination to care home residents is expected to start happening within the next week to ten days, Patricia Cassidy, the chief officer of Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, told members of Falkirk Council's scrutiny committee.

She said: "There is a lot of support that is needed to provide training and guidance for the care homes in relation to residents' vaccination but also the training around testing for visitors.

"We have put quite a lot of demands on our care home staff over the last nine months and while this is a very positive development it requires considerable support and input from ourselves and colleagues in public health and nursing.

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Picture Michael Gillen

"We would expect our district nurses, who are part of our integrated teams to be heavily involved in the vaccination when it gets to the stage of going out to older people who are living at home and less able to come out and access the vaccine at any large centres.

"We've had a good number of staff already vaccinated this week at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, so we're working on that and preparing for the next phase."

Falkirk HSCP staffing levels have been badly hit by community levels of coronavirus and in particular the track and trace scheme which means staff have to isolate if they are contacted.

This is affecting not just council staff but also private care home providers.

Ms Cassidy told councillors they were looking at a number of options and are actively recruiting at the moment, with a campaign running across social media channels.

The partnership is also talking to Forth Valley College and hoping to employ some of its students.

"Also, across the council we are looking at how staff can volunteer - not to deliver care but to free up staff who can," said Ms Cassidy.

She added: “It's something that is a constant and ongoing challenge but we are managing it."

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