Pregnancy vaccination service on track for prestigious award

Kirsty Cater, (left) and Kate Keeling

Kirsty Cater, JPUH Head of Midwifery and Gynaecology Services (left) and Kate Keeling, Head of Immunisation NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). - Credit: James Paget University Hospital

A ‘fast track’ vaccination service at a Norfolk hospital, which helped protect pregnant women from Covid-19, has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The James Paget University Hospital’s maternity department, working with colleagues from the Norfolk and Waveney CCG, developed the service last summer.

It was set up during a national drive to encourage more pregnant people - who are at increased risk of developing severe illness from Covid - to come forward for their vaccination.

All pregnant women invited to the hospital for their 20 week ultrasound scan were given the opportunity to have their Covid vaccine in the same visit and were provided with detailed information about the jab with their scan invitation.

Those choosing to have the vaccine were ‘fast tracked’ to the hospital’s vaccination centre, with no need to book an online appointment.

Once at the centre, they handed over a ‘fast track’ card to the vaccinators, to let them know they had been sent by the maternity team, and received their jab.

Establishment of the clinic led to a 20pc increase in vaccine uptake among pregnant women attending the James Paget.

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As a result, the service has now been shortlisted for the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards 2022, in the Maternity and Midwifery Initiative of the Year Category.

JPUH head of midwifery and gynaecology services Kirsty Cater, who was instrumental in setting up the fast track service, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“From the outset, we wanted to make sure that as many pregnant women as possible had the opportunity to protect themselves and their babies from Covid at a time when analysis showed that more than 90pc of expectant mothers in hospital with the virus were unvaccinated."

Kate Keeling, head of immunisation at NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG, said: “We are delighted to hear that we have been shortlisted for a HSJ award.

"This project has been a team effort from the very start."

The fast track vaccination clinic will be up against seven other initiatives, with a final round of judging due to take place later this summer ahead of the awards ceremony on September 15.