Vaccination of Blackpool NHS workers can help tackle patient backlog
Thousands of hospital workers in Blackpool have now been vaccinated against Covid unlocking the way for the restoration of medical services impacted by the pandemic.
But hospital chief executive Kevin McGee has warned many staff were exhausted from tackling the disease on the wards and would need their own recuperation.
Around 7,500 hospital staff have now received a Covid jab at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital vaccination hub.
A public meeting of the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS board heard uptake had been boosted by the Government’s announcement of a road map out of lockdown with “more staff coming forward for vaccination as they were thinking they might need a vaccination to go on holiday.”
The board heard the priority now was to restore all medical services at the hospital but this would be a challenging process.
Previously it has been estimated it could take up to three years to restore the NHS to pre-Covid levels due to longer waiting lists.
In October only three quarters of Blackpool cancer patients (75.4 per cent) began treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral by their GP, compared to the target of 95 per cent.
Trust chief executive Mr McGee said: “As we come out of the pandemic and our Covid numbers decline, we are turning our attention to work around restoration.
“This will take time and what we need to do over the next weeks and months is to support our staff who will require rest and recuperation due to the work they have done over the last 12 months and how difficult it has been.”
But he added the hospital also needed to bring back more treatments so a balance had to be achieved.
This would include close working with other hospitals in Lancashire and Cumbria especially around critical care capacity.
Mr McGee warned there was “a particular pinch point in Blackpool around critical care beds”.
He said: “We will have to work with Lancashire and South Cumbria in shoring up our critical care capacity.”
He added there also remained uncertainty in how longer term NHS funding allocations would be distributed.
Figures up to March 3, showed 17,000 jabs in total had been given out at the BVH vaccination hub, including 7,500 Trust staff, 2,100 to people aged over 80 and 1,200 to care home workers.
Another 15,000 jabs have been given out at the mass vaccination centre in the Winter Gardens.
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