It has been, perhaps more than any other, a year of massive uncertainty in the healthcare sector. From wavering public policy, successive lockdowns and the simple fact of the pandemic to deal with, there’s no doubt it’s been a difficult year for everybody in the sector.

As we now begin to look ahead to 2021 and the potential for a widespread Covid-19 vaccine; with all the hope this brings we’re also looking at another cause for uncertainty. While policy is developing quickly, there seem to be few concrete facts around how the vaccine will be given, where this will take place – or even which vaccine we’ll be using in the long term. This is all contributing to an understandable anxiety in the public, and many in the healthcare sector are worried that this will translate into worries around the virus itself, and even contribute to a poor take-up.

At Little Green Button, we’re trying to help healthcare organisations who have concerns about the vaccine rollout. We’re delighted to announce that any healthcare organisation with worries about the coronavirus vaccine is entitled to a generous free trial period of the Little Green Button panic alarm product. Read on to the end of the article to see how to claim.

How will the vaccine be distributed?

We’re still in the early stages in terms of information about the strategy for rolling out the coronavirus vaccine. We do have some details of the larger strategy for how the vaccine will be distributed, but little in the way of specifics. This is making it difficult for those in places like GP’s offices, who have been told they need to be ready for the vaccine rollout but given little specific guidance on how to do so.

The government has released some information on the distribution method for the vaccine. Mostly, they’ve given broad strokes details on the logistical plans: the vaccine logistics for local areas will be based in a number of large hospital hubs, from there the vaccine will be distributed to patients via a network of local GP surgeries. These surgeries may be administering the vaccine at a fixed location or by going out to the community, for example visiting care homes.

The worry here is that this will place a lot of strain on GPs and their staff, especially without clear guidance from the government and central NHS. A “one size fits all” rollout method may not be appropriate for all surgeries, especially those with limited space or a large catchment area.

There is also talk of using stadiums or other public spaces as temporary mass vaccination centres, but we would expect to be significantly further along the mass rollout of the vaccine before this happens.

We are also not sure yet on exactly how the increased staffing needs will be met. The government has laid out some plans for using a network of volunteer virus staff, but there will need to be a period of training before this can be scaled up.

Our tips for those in the healthcare sector

While the vaccine rollout is obviously a cause for celebration and may even represent the light at the end of the tunnel, there are still some worries for those in the healthcare sector. GP practices aren’t necessarily designed for this kind of work, as space can be very limited. This is especially true as social distancing legislation needs to be complied with, requiring even more space.

While the NHS and GP practices do have lots of experience and planning to manage this kind of situation, this vaccine rollout is on an unprecedented scale.

At Little Green Button, we’ve worked with hundreds of NHS sites across the country to help keep staff safe and secure at work. Here are our 3 top tips to help you keep your staff safe throughout the Covid-19 vaccine rollout:

1.     Ensure new procedures are communicated quickly and effectively

With a lot of wider NHS procedures being written and distributed at speed, it’s essential to keep on top of communicating these new processes. This will obviously include procedures on the storage and delivery of vaccines, but also new safety, security and wellbeing procedures will likely need to be introduced to support the vaccine program. Have regular check-ins with your members of staff as often as you can to ensure procedures are accurately and quickly communicated.

2.     Clear governance and chain of command is essential

Having a clear set of governance and chain of command policies is vital for a time like this when a lot of decisions need to be made and communicated quickly. This is essential for security procedures as well as those around the actual delivery of the vaccine. Ensure that each member of staff clearly understands how issues should be escalated up the chain of command and set specific escalation paths for different common problems.

3.     Have quick response plans in place

Having put response plans in place before any major issues crop up is an invaluable way to ensure that your practice runs as smoothly as possible. Utilise technology like software-based panic alarms to raise alarms quickly and effectively, so you and your staff can respond quickly to de-escalate any issues before they become bigger problems.

How Little Green Button can help

Little Green Button is already used in around 500 NHS sites across the country. We assist them in day-to-day uncomfortable situations and incidents that can occur when large amounts of members of the public come through staffed locations.

While we believe that the vaccine rollout from January is a huge moment for the country, there will also be those who are anxious about being in a GP surgery around doctors and nurses. This could potentially lead to an increase in incidents with aggravated patients, resistance to staff, aggression or fainting. All of these are incidents that our current clients use the Little Green Button software or hardware panic alarms to deal with.

We understand that many organisations will require some assistance over this period, so as a way of helping we’re offering our full panic alarm software product for a generous free period. We hope this will ensure that those staff working over the vaccine rollout can feel safe and secure whilst at work. There’s no contract and no pressure or expectation for you to continue using Little Green Button after this trial period has ended.

To get access to your free trial of Little Green Button, simply get in touch with a member of our sales staff.

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