To mark the National Day of Reflection we are revisiting some of the major milestones in Edge Hill’s response to the pandemic, including our partnership with a local pharmacy to support the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Aspire Pharmacy, part of the Alamaz group, is managing the new vaccine centre on the Ormskirk campus, where its pharmacists have been administering the vaccine to priority patients.
People cannot turn up to the site, instead they will receive a letter inviting them to book a vaccine appointment through an online NHS booking service. This is to ensure the centre does not become overrun with people dropping in.
Edge Hill University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Steve Igoe said:
“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked together with our partners and have risen to the challenges of Covid-19; from offering symptoms and no symptoms testing facilities on campus, to volunteering to support our local communities or leading on research to increase our understanding of the virus and its impact.
“We will continue to listen to the needs of our community, and we’re proud to have been able to act quickly to support our pharmacy partners to provide them with the right sized facilities to administer the vaccine.
“The delivery of these vaccines offers us some light at the end of the tunnel that one day soon we will be able to come together again with family, friends and colleagues.”
The University quickly mobilised staff to convert space on campus into suitable vaccination pods ready to receive patients and to ensure that health and safety measures and essential facilities such as adequate car parking were in place.
Ali Dalal, Superintendent Pharmacist, said: “Pharmacists across the country have been ready and willing to participate in the vaccination programme, so to finally see our centre ready is a really positive step for the profession. I’m delighted to be working with Edge Hill University on this as we will be able to administer the large number of doses per week to meet the national target. Being able to use the University’s campus and the first-class facilities they have will allow us to offer more vaccines to those eligible in our community. This crucial service, along with the annual flu jab, and the many other services we provide, is community pharmacy at its best – serving our local community as we battle though the pandemic. We as pharmacists with our pharmacy teams have been open and accessible to the public since the start of the pandemic and are proud to demonstrate what we can achieve when given the opportunity. I hope we can be at the forefront of many other services for the NHS in the future and become a vital asset for the health care system.”
He added: “People must have received a letter before booking though. The letter will have full details of how to make an appointment. Do not call your GP or turn up at A&E or your doctor’s surgery – the only way to get an appointment and the jab is to follow the instructions in the letter. Once you have received a letter, please make your appointment as quickly as possible.”
The vaccine site will be open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, subject to vaccine stock being available.
The efforts of Edge Hill University’s staff and students who have helped to support NHS colleagues throughout the pandemic has been inspirational. Hundreds of health students have been supporting hospitals on the frontline and are now supporting the vaccination programme across the North West. To find out more about how the University is rising to the challenges of the pandemic, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk.