Teams from across the Trust and wider system worked round the clock to support the Trust to be ready to deliver the COVID vaccine yesterday.

In addition to staff from NCIC, our meet and greet volunteers went above and beyond to ensure they could escort patients over 80’s to receive their vaccinations, with a community paramedic administering the vaccines to patients.   The Trust has also been supported by medics from across the system who have ensured that each vaccine can be prescribed.

The Trust’s Occupational Health team worked round the clock to make sure they were ready to give the first Covid-19 jabs to staff and patients.

Dawn Mahone, Senior Occupational Health Advisor at West Cumberland Hospital, gave the first jab yesterday to Consultant Mike Walker.

She said: “I felt very special and very privileged to give the first jab at West Cumberland Hospital contributing to the health and safety of my NHS colleagues.

“I was nervous and excited. I’d had a lot of messages of support from friends and family and I just wanted to get going.

“It has been a long and difficult year for our NHS family, however being involved in an event like yesterday has shown that we can still rally and overcome the challenges we seem to face on a daily basis.

“The team is working brilliantly and I’m humbled by everyone’s efforts.

“When I went home I felt a bit overwhelmed. There is light at the end of the tunnel now. We must all remain cautious but this is going to be a game changer.” 

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Pauline Speight, Head of Occupational Health & Wellbeing at NCIC, said: “I am so proud of my team that have supported this unique and exciting challenge in delivering the Covid-19 vaccine.

“We know the difficult year our NHS family has gone through and we thank them for supporting us with this vaccine uptake.

“Dawn has given 32 years’ service to the Trust, including her training, and we are immensely proud of her.”

Dr Colin Patterson, lead GP for NHS North Cumbria CCG, has been working with the team.

He said: “The way teams from across our health and care system have pulled together to make this happen has been brilliant. To be among the first in the country to offer the vaccine was only possible because of the hard work of a lot of people. I’m delighted people in our community are among the first to benefit.”

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