COVID-19 vaccinations rolled out across Merton care homes for staff and residents

Residents and staff at Eltandia Hall Care Home in Merton have been celebrating after they received COVID-19 vaccinations for almost everyone living and working in the home.

With the support of Dr Ila Bommayya, Merton lead nurse Fiona White and the Tamworth House Medical Centre, the vast majority of residents and team members at the home, were given the first dose of the vaccination.

In Merton to date 93% of care home residents and over 70% of staff have received the vaccine.

When staff were initially offered a first dose of the vaccine, around 40% said that they preferred not to have it. When care home manager Maribel Pascual discussed this further with staff members and listened to their concerns, it became clear that an education programme was needed to convince people that the jab was safe. Now Eltandia Hall has achieved a staff first vaccine dose of over 90%, well above the current national average.

Maribel said: “We have ensured every resident and member of staff has been offered and encouraged to take up the vaccination. I have spoken to every member of staff and when they have been invited for their appointment have arranged cover and transport to the appointment if needed. I tried to dispel all the inaccurate, and quite frankly alarming, information that was being reported on social media. If there have been any questions, I have put them in touch with our GPs to answer any concerns.

“As this past year has shown us, by working together we can keep people safe, well, and happy – and together we will get through what we hope will be the final stages of this lockdown. I feel extremely proud that our team are all working together and playing their part in protecting our residents and colleagues whilst helping to ensure the return to more normal times again. I think that taking the time to talk with staff individually and always being available to answer any ongoing concerns has really been the key to our success.”

Eugenie, a resident of the home, said: “COVID-19 is such a nasty illness that it’s worth having the vaccine.”

Merton’s care homes vaccination clinical lead Dr Paul Riley, from the Rowans Surgery, said: “I want to thank everyone involved in the care home vaccination programme for their outstanding commitment to ensuring Merton’s residents and staff are protected from COVID-19. Many care homes like Eltandia Hall have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make sure staff and residents are safe and close collaborative work between homes and their GP practices has been key to the success of the vaccine roll out.”

Staff at Eltandia Care Home