CEO Stephen Eames extends warm thanks to Easingwold vaccination team for their resilience during storm Arwen

Stephen Eames, Designate Integrated Care System Chief Executive in Humber, Coast and Vale, has expressed his gratitude to a local vaccination team who carried on in the face of adversity when Storm Arwen hit.

South Hambleton Galtres Centre in Easingwold lost power on Saturday morning during last week’s storm, but despite this managed to vaccinate 645 people.

Stephen Eames said:

“The resilience and resourcefulness shown by this team, who serve one of our most rural communities, was admirable. Prioritising the Covid-19 vaccination programme, this group of volunteers, healthcare professionals and community business leaders came together to get the job done.

“On behalf on Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership I’d like to say thank you for your hard work and dedication.”

Marianne Doyle, Advanced Nurse Practitioner leads the vaccination service in Easingwold. She explains that although Storm Arwen had caused havoc in the rural community on Friday night, by 8.30am on Saturday the full complement of staff was present and ready to work:

“Just after 10am a power cut affected most of the local the area including the Galtres Centre. We were left in a windowless sports hall, in the pitch black with no computers and no vaccine fridge.

“The centre was full of patients queuing for their vaccines, being vaccinated, or sitting for the 15-minute observation period so the team barely paused, vaccinators put their phone torches on, I got out the manual data inputting sheets and we continued vaccinating hoping it would be a momentary power loss.”

The loss of electricity posed a real threat to the stability of the vaccine itself, which must be kept refrigerated. Working together, the Galtres Centre team and local company M.E Willis Ltd. solved the problem by sourcing generators. They also set up spotlights in the vaccine mixing room and tower lights in the vaccination room itself.

Patients continued to arrive, so the volunteer marshals managed the queue in the dim corridor and the team kept vaccinating. There were no hot drinks for the team, until a local cafe with power kindly sent teas and coffees.

The clinic was led by a retired local GP Dr Lorraine Boyd, who said:

“It never occurred to us that we might cancel, but we worried that people might not turn up. It was one of the most memorable clinics without question, we’re a real ‘can do’ group of people – we don’t think about what can’t be done, we just think about how we can do it.”

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