Vaccinating the homeless in Basingstoke

NHS staff who are normally found working in offices and away from the frontline have been joining local GPs to help vaccinate the homeless population in Basingstoke. 

On Wednesday 24 March, a team of staff including three GPs and two ‘back office’ staff from the North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), visited the May Place and Mary Rose Centre in Basingstoke to deliver Covid vaccines and carry out a number of health checks. 

Becky Rogers, Senior Commissioning Manager at North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group and a newly qualified non-clinical vaccinator who volunteered said: “Until now my NHS career has been non-clinical but having worked operationally over the last year on COVID response services and the vaccination programme this was a great opportunity to take on a frontline patient facing job. 

“Many of my colleagues have done the same, swapping our laptops for shifts on the frontline – it has been incredibly rewarding, and it is a real privilege to be able to make such a difference to people.” 

Becky, and her CCG colleague Elveta Bailey, whose day job is in commissioning mental health services locally, both received thorough online and face-to-face training to enable them to be qualified to offer vaccinations. 

Dr Tim Cooper, GP and vaccination lead for North Hampshire said: “It is important that the Covid vaccine is available to everyone, especially those who are particularly vulnerable and may not be registered to a GP practice.  Some of our most vulnerable patients are those living on the streets or have no fixed address. 

“These people are also likely to be in close contact with a large number of people which increases the importance of vaccinating them to reduce the spread of the virus. 

“We will be continuing our work with local homeless facilities to increase the number of vaccinations given to people living on the streets.”