9th November 2021
Sandwell has won a national public health award for its Covid vaccination programme.
The Local Government Chronicle Awards (LGC) awards identify, celebrate and help spread the finest example of innovation and quality delivered by councils on a daily basis. Due to the high number of entries year on year, winning an LGC Award has become the most sought after accolade in local government.
The council joined forces with NHS and voluntary and faith organisations on the programme. The aim was to support vaccination uptake in the Borough, with a particular focus on black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, which traditionally have lower vaccination uptake rates.
This involved providing vaccination clinics in mosques, gurdwaras, community centres and other venues. The Sandwell ‘Vaccination Bus’ also regularly rolled up at the Hawthorns Stadium.
The public health team also trained up influential people in the community to support people to get their jab. The ‘Community Vaccination Leaders’ course trained around 180 local people including faith leaders, community organisers and voluntary sector workers. The course proved so popular that other council teams in the UK came to Sandwell to learn how to deliver the course in their areas.
Dr Lisa McNally, Sandwell’s Director of Public Health said
“This is how we do public health work in Sandwell. Everything is in partnership with our community. Our voluntary sector and faith groups have enormous expertise and influence that we could tap into. No words can express how grateful I am to those community leaders for their support.
“I’m also in awe of the work done by the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG and the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital Trust. The effort, energy and enthusiasm put into this by everyone involved was immense.”
Mel Roberts, Chief Nurse at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust explained:
“Vaccination is the single most important step in our response to COVID-19. We see first-hand the difference it makes to patients who require hospitalisation and critical care support due to this virus. Remaining unvaccinated is a frightening gamble with potentially deadly or life changing consequences.
“We appreciate the response and support from our partners across health in helping both to get the message out and to ensure the vaccine is delivered to those who need it, thereby saving lives across our communities.”
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for Black Country and West Birmingham CCG and local vaccination programme lead, said:
“I would like to congratulate Sandwell Council on this well-deserved award. The team’s strong ties to the local community and commitment to putting Sandwell people at the heart of all they do, has played a key role in boosting uptake of this lifesaving vaccine in the borough.
“The vaccination programme continues at pace, with boosters now available at locations across Sandwell for everyone who is eligible, so we look forward to continuing to work with the council to protect the most vulnerable in our community.”
The LGC editor Nick Golding said; ”To win an LGC Award is the ultimate symbol of the brilliance of council teams – we should be grateful for their work, particularly in difficult times.” (link to quote on LGC website)
People can book their vaccinations, including their booster jabs, by calling 119 or going online here