TODAY I am aiming my message squarely and directly to all staff because I want to say a huge and personal thank you to each and every one of you. I also want to reiterate my regular message to you – you matter, and I care about you and your wellbeing.
Although we are more than six months on from the beginning of the COVID pandemic, and tremendous progress is being made in restoring our services, I am very conscious that we remain in an extremely challenging position and life – especially work life – is really tough at the moment. You all have so much to be proud of – not least for your incredible resilience. We need that resilience now more than ever as we face winter, the increasing amounts of ‘normal’ work and the rising rate of COVID infections.
It is so important that we all look out for, and look after, each other at the moment. Be there for your colleagues; take advantage of the support that is available; take your breaks and leave entitlements; and wherever possible, rest. Looking after each other also includes being meticulous about safety, always.
This means rigorously appropriate use of PPE and sticking to the rules around social distancing. You will be doing your colleagues a favour by this, and also pointing out any lapses. We are role models and we need to help our friends and families understand that whilst restrictions and rules can be tiresome, observing them greatly impacts on reducing spread of the infection. Take every opportunity to reinforce the messages about hand hygiene, face coverings and keeping space between people.
A UK first for Trust
THERE was some fantastic news for the Trust this week when it was announced that we had been part of a UK first.
The Trust’s Patient Recruitment Centre – in partnership with Layton Medical Centre – was recently chosen to trial the Novavax vaccine, one of only 18 sites in the UK. And this week, the first person in the UK to be fully accepted into the trial took part in their initial session at the practice in Blackpool. We now have more than 100 volunteers signed up, half of whom would have been in receipt of a coronavirus vaccine and half a placebo injection – in turn hopefully protecting many of our local population including staff from catching the virus.
The plan is to recruit between 400 and 500 in total to the research study before Friday, October 16. Anyone aged between 18 and 84 can register to take part in the trial, which is open to anyone.
Everyone taking part in the trial will receive an initial injection of the vaccine or a placebo injection, followed by a booster injection three weeks later. Antibodies will be taken a further three weeks after that, with check-ups taking place after three, six and 12 months.
This has been a fantastic collaboration between the Research Team at Layton Medical Centre and the team at the Patient Recruitment Centre at the hospital. It takes a huge amount of effort to conduct a study of this size and at this pace and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved so far. It is heartening to see how many volunteers across the Fylde coast have indicated their interest in taking part. There is still chance for you to enquire about the research study and take part. If you are interested please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 01253 (9)51508 for further information.