As the BGPA COVID-19 Vaccination Programme pauses, we wanted to take time to reflect on the tireless work that has taken place since the service was set up over 2 years ago. With the help of our excellent and dedicated staff (clinical and non-clinical), brilliant volunteers and Bromley residents, we have been able to deliver 222,392 vaccinations to patients.
We are delighted to be able to share some of our staff’s personal reflections on the service, their experiences and what it meant to them to be able to participate in the Bromley response.
Reflections from a GP
“At the end of December 2020, after 42 years in general practice, I decided to finally hang up my stethoscope and retire. Little did I know that my retirement would only last one month, a colleague who shall remain nameless sent me a text to say that the Bromley GP Alliance needed GPs to help with their vaccination program. I decided to give it a try and after completing all the necessary documents etc., I arrived at Community House in Bromley for my first clinic.
What a journey it’s been, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the vaccination program organised by BGPA. The clinics at various sites, the roving clinics, going out to see people at home and latterly dealing with people in nursing homes and delivering vaccinations to them. I’ve met some fantastic people and everybody I’ve dealt with has always been so accommodating, friendly, and helpful whether this be the nurses who are all amazing, the admin staff at Alliance Headquarters, and hard put upon site administrators and supervisors. They’ve all contributed to supplying a superb program which has delivered a great service to the people of Bromley, and at times, beyond Bromley.
For the first time, patients have been very grateful to receive a vaccine and generally clinics have run very smoothly. However there have been notable incidents and we’ve had to deal with multiple teenage fainters, irate vicars, freezing cold church halls in winter and boiling ones in the summer where it has been difficult to keep the vaccine cool enough. Throughout it all there has been a real camaraderie and an urge to get the job done efficiently and with competence, whilst also having a bit of fun on the way.
So although the vaccine program is paused at present I do hope that we will return to deliver an autumn program in a few months’ time and I for one will be looking forward to working with everybody again.
Thanks to everybody involved for doing a great job.
Dr Peter Elliott
Reflections from a Site Supervisor
“I joined the BGPA Covid team in August 2021 after finishing my University studies. I was keen to be a part of something rewarding yet challenging and the vaccination programme was a perfect fit.
I worked at a number of sites, including Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre, Shirley and West Wickham Baptist Church and Coldharbour Leisure Centre as well as visiting other locations like Majorie McClure School, the Phoenix Centre and pop-up clinics around Mottingham. No single clinic was ever the same and although some were more difficult than others, overall the hard work paid off and we were able to successfully vaccinate hundreds of patients a day. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working in the Covid team and with all of the amazing staff who made the programme as excellent as it was.”
BGPA COVID Site Supervisor
Reflections from a Nurse
“I joined the Bromley vaccination programme in September 2021 after the GP surgery I worked at stopped offering vaccination clinics, as I wanted to continue ensuring that the people of Bromley were vaccinated and kept safe.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of meeting the patients and working with new colleagues.
The experience has given me so much job satisfaction, alongside the chance of gaining knowledge and support from colleagues.”
Reflections from Vaccination Programme Lead
“As we pause our vaccination programme I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on my time here at BGPA. I joined in the middle of autumn 2021 as an Administrator Site Lead, looking after our West Wickham and Shirley Baptist church site and I really enjoyed this busy role. I then became the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Lead in March this year and coordinated the rollout of the Spring Booster vaccination programme.
It has been a joy to work alongside such an amazing team consisting of volunteers, administrators, managers and healthcare professionals. I have met some fantastic people and I feel proud to work with everybody involved in the programme. It has been hard work with some long hours and missed days off but it has been one of the most challenging and rewarding roles of my career and I want to thank everyone involved in our amazing achievement of vaccinating over 222, 392 vaccinations to Bromley residents!”
Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Lead
Bromley GP Alliance is a GP federation comprising of all 43 practices across Bromley, set up to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents. We run a variety of community services including GP Access Hubs, Phlebotomy, Dermatology, Headache, Vasectomy, Health Checks and Denosumab.
Our members remain independent practices and work together across 8 PCNs to find innovative and collaborative ways of working to address the challenges faced in the NHS today.
Together we are passionate about health care for Bromley patients and want to offer the highest quality care. Since implementation, our services have developed the ethos of sharing our professional knowledge and skills with our patients.
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