A team from Corby Lakeside Surgery vaccinated rough sleepers from the town, as part of an ongoing commitment to provide healthcare for all. More than 20 patients had their first Covid vaccination and basic healthcare checks at a special clinic at the practice in Cottingham Road via the initiative.
There are plans to implement an ongoing joint programme of healthcare advice and support for this vulnerable group and it is the second time that a team from the surgery has specifically targeted the vulnerable to homelessness population, following a round of flu vaccinations last year.
GP Dr Andy Ward from Lakeside Corby received funding from the local CCG to develop a role supporting the local community susceptible to rough sleeping. He said: 'Prior to the pandemic we have 30 vulnerable to homelessness patients with complex needs currently registered with the surgery, so there is a definite need for this type of service.
'We worked with Martin Sawers, the council's Rough Sleepers' Outreach Worker, arranged transport for the clients and produced leaflets in multiple languages explaining about the vaccine and why they should have it, which the council helped to print and distribute. It was a very successful initiative as we vaccinated 21 clients aged 18 to over 62, including two women.
'They were grateful for this service, which also included healthcare checks including hepatitis C screening provided by the HepC Trust, blood pressure and weight checks. Our social prescribers talked to individuals about the other services we offer and, with the support of the council, they will receive their second dose of the vaccine in due course.
'Thanks to all of the team, which included two retired GPs, who carried out the vaccinations, to Martin Sawers and the local authority who ensured that the event was well received and used by vulnerable residents. We are now looking to build on this positive initiative, building relationships with and caring for those who are often overlooked in our community.'
Rough Sleeper Outreach Worker for North Northamptonshire Council, Martin Sawers, said: 'It is vital that everyone in our communities has access to the necessary vaccines and healthcare needed during this worldwide pandemic. We are pleased to see a positive uptake of vaccines from some of Corby's most vulnerable residents, and that the service was both well received and well used.'