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“An important medicine that will keep him well” – guest blog by Heather Sanders

Published by Jo on 23rd April 2021

Heather Sanders caught up with team members and relatives earlier today after hearing they had reached an important milestone together.

The whole world is currently talking about the covid-19 vaccination. Should they? shouldn’t they? Which one is on offer? When they will have the opportunity to be vaccinated? – All in the hope of turning the tide on the pandemic.
Today, 28th January 2021, Green Light has reached our very own small but highly significant milestone in having the first of our larger homes, Penrose Farm in Goonhavern, successfully vaccinate all five people who live there.  Alongside this, another of our homes, September Lodge has successfully supported three people to have their vaccination today.

Whilst our numbers are modest when compared to some of the large residential and nursing homes in Cornwall who were early adopters of the vaccination rollout; our journey to ensure informed consent and best practice multi-disciplinary input for the highly complex range of learning disabilities and autism which affects the individuals we support has been rigorous and key to ensuring people were well prepared and supported for vaccination.

Registered managers, Ryan Smith and Hannah Lucas-Lake shared just how well managed the vaccination programme held at Perranporth surgery was. Excellent communication from the clinical staff at the surgery allowed for maximum time to ensure each individual could benefit from the preparation and delivery of an individualised ‘social story’ using appropriate educational materials to help people understand why being vaccinated was so important. Despite some natural nerves about having an injection, all eight people were supported by their core staff team to travel individually to the car park in Perranporth where they were administered their vaccination jabs from the carpark. This meant each person did not have the added stress of needing to leave the car park and go into the surgery.
A relative of one young man who had his vaccination today told us, “The way the whole process has been handled has been seamless. I do understand the measures social care providers have had to put in place and throughout the whole process there has never been any sense of pressure. As a family it was made clear to us that our views and preferences were valued and we felt listened to. We were congruent with Green Light that vaccination is so important. It was all explained really well and at an understandable level to (our relative), keeping the information simple as “an important medicine that will keep him well.”

Registered Manager Hannah told us with a giggle about one person’s response to having had their vaccination, which was to immediately write a song accompanied by his guitar, about it and share it with great gusto with his team! Not phased at all by the process, he told Hannah that he would happily go back and get the second vaccine tomorrow!

Ryan made sure he was able to attend each appointment slot with all five people from Penrose Farm. Having a key, trusted person with you provided the best opportunity of success and keeping the process as stress free as possible; that and the promise of a walk along the three mile beach afterwards and a pasty. Good thinking, Ryan!

So all in all a very good day and hopefully the start of a vaccination process that will turn the tide on this dreadful pandemic and give back hope and freedom to everyone.  Thank you to all team members, families and the team at Perranporth Surgery for making this happen!

Final very kind words to a relative who shared his appreciation for the staff who support a much loved young man at Penrose Farm;

“I wish to extend our thanks for the hard work and diligence of the whole team; at such an unprecedented time and with no manual for how best to manage in the midst of a pandemic, Green Light have been excellent. We are so grateful.”

Heather Sanders
Group Quality Manager
Useful resources used by our teams:
  • Mencap Social Story on Covid 19 vaccination can be found here
  • The Challenging Behaviour Foundation Accessibility & Reasonable Adjustments re Covid 19 vaccination found here