A senior member of staff at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust has spoken of his pride over his role in vaccinating people against Covid-19.
Ramesh Subbiah, one of a number of CPFT staff who are part of the programme, said he and his colleagues feel they are “bringing a ray of hope” to those they give a vaccination to.
Ramesh, the Trust’s Inclusion Manager, who represents the views of minority groups within CPFT, became a vaccinator in December.
The 42-year-old, who is a mental health nurse by background, said: “Staff and organisations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are all working together to ensure everyone is vaccinated against Covid, and I am really proud to be playing my part.”
Ramesh is working at the Covid vaccination centre set up at Peterborough City Hospital – next door to CPFT’s Cavell Centre which houses a range of adult mental health wards where he is usually based.
He said: “When I started we were vaccinating fellow NHS colleagues as well as people over 70.
“Some of those older people had not left their homes since the start of lockdown in March except to see their GP or attend a hospital appointment.
“The major theme that came through from some older people was the loneliness and how difficult it was for them not to see anyone.
“They wanted to have a vaccine and become excited to meet their families again. I felt like I was bringing a ray of hope to people’s lives.
“I’m just one of the many members of CPFT staff who have joined the programme and I know we’ve all felt the same way.”
For Ramesh, who is pictured above giving a Covid vaccine to colleague Jennifer Tengur, it was important to join the vaccination programme – and have the vaccine himself – so he could demonstrate to people from ethnic minority backgrounds, who research has shown have been disproportionately affected by Covid, that vaccines are safe and effective.
He said: “One of the other reasons I got involved was to be at the front and show them. I only do the things I believe in. I believe in vaccines and what the scientists have said is true.
“People take in information much easier when it comes from someone who looks like them, someone who they know, someone they could relate to.
“That’s why I’ve needed to be on the frontline. Not only vaccinating, but also promoting and engaging. We’ve still got a little way to go but we will carry on.”
CPFT employs more than 4,000 staff who provide community physical healthcare for older people and those with long-term conditions, mental healthcare for children and adults, children’s health services in Peterborough, learning disability support and social care support.
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