Covid vaccine uptake high among Sleaford care home staff

The debate continues whether it should be made compulsory for care home staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in light of the heavy toll homes have suffered over the past year, but Sleaford homes may be ahead of the curve.

Sandi Salt meeting up with her mum, Gladys Hatcher at Ashdene. EMN-210329-190743001

One major care home provider in England, Barchester Healthcare, has issued an ultimatum for staff to get vaccinated. However, in Sleaford, Ashdene Care Home has already had a 99 per cent uptake of the drug, with the last few staff “just wanting to wait a bit” before getting the jab.

Ashdene manager, Jilly Hunt told The Standard: “I have mixed feelings about it being made mandatory as we are all about person centred care and going with the person’s own choice - it goes against it.

“However as a manager and part of the family that own the care home, I would like everyone to have the vaccine, we need to do everything in our power to keep everyone safe, not just the residents, but staff team too and as a daughter of someone who is in a care home I would like the staff looking after my mum to have the vaccine.

“I’m really proud of the team and their determination to keep everyone safe and am sure it won’t be long before we’re at 100 per cent.”

She offered reassurance, saying: “I know everyone thinks that it has been rushed through, but the difference is that so much money was thrown at getting the vaccine ready it was able to be faster than normal, it’s still gone through all the safety checks and trials just that they have run the trials alongside each other.

Last week saw the first visitors allowed to the home after lockdown restrictions were eased to allow one nominated person to see a resident.

Jilly said: “It was extremely emotional for everyone involved and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the relatives that have visited and they have already rebooked for more visits. I’m so glad that we’ve been able to finally reunite families with their loved ones, it really makes your heart melt to know that you’ve managed to keep everyone safe.

“All the staff over the last year have worked so hard to keep everyone fit and well and keep spirits up, I can’t express how proud I am of each and everyone of them. They have really earned the name Ashdene angels given to us by the relatives.”