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Hundreds of people trained by MDX health academics to deliver COVID-19 vaccines

Staff have been showing healthcare professionals and vaccinators from the public how to administer the Oxford-Astra Zeneca and Pfizer vaccines.

Inspirational staff from Middlesex University have trained more than 600 people in less than a month to carry out COVID-19 vaccinations.

Middlesex University’s Clinical Skills team and Nursing and Midwifery Department have led the major vaccination training programme for the North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (NCL CCG).

The project began on December 9th and MDX staff have been working in a strict COVID-19 secure environment on our main Hendon campus.

“It’s been completed with real enthusiasm and typical team MDX spirit, the attitude has always been nothing is too much trouble," Fiona Suthers, Head of Clinical Skills at Middlesex University.

Staff have been teaching qualified healthcare professionals and new vaccinators recruited from the general public how to administer both the government-approved Oxford-Astra Zeneca and Pfizer vaccines.

After completing the training, the vaccinators will be ready to work at the planned large new vaccination hubs in North Central London.

Fiona Suthers, Head of the Clinical Skills Department at Middlesex University, said: “We’re helping to get vaccinations out to the local community which is an enormous positive for everyone.

“The team is teaching the participants not only how to understand the vaccine but also how to deal with someone who is perhaps anxious.

“We’re doing all we can to make the vaccinators feel as confident as possible.

“Many of the team leading this training are also working in COVID wards in their spare time.

“It would have been easy to say ‘we’re not free’ as it was coming up to Christmas, but the university was kept open longer until the 23rd with a skeleton staff to enable the team to carry out this training.

“People wanted to make this effort because it’s so important.

“All of us are going above and beyond to support the national effort when it would have been much easier to stay at home and wait for COVID to go away.”

Fiona has praised the help of senior staff from Nursing and Midwifery and various different departments of Middlesex University who have come together to make this inspiring community effort possible.

She said: “The team is bringing these participants onto the campus while maintaining infection control and very high levels of health and safety.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the security team, the estates and Mel Parker and his team who have been running the lateral flow testing at Middlesex have been very supportive.

“Without this teamwork  it would have been very difficult to run this programme.

“It’s been completed with real enthusiasm and typical team MDX spirit, the attitude has always been nothing is too much trouble.

“Despite everything that is happening around us, there is a lovely atmosphere at Middlesex.”

In the coming months Clinical Skills and Nursing and Midwifery staff will also be helping to train people on-site at the new vaccination hubs in North London.

Sarah Needham, the NCL Integrated Care System Clinical Programme  Lead for the COVID vaccination programme, said: “We have been working in partnership with Middlesex University, who have been doing an amazing job in training our workforce.

“Our teams will be administering 2.4 million vaccinations to our community population across North Central London.

“This is the largest national vaccination programme of our time, and one of our main drivers is to recruit and train people from our local communities.

“The large majority of vaccinators for our programme have never worked in the NHS and/or social care before.

“We will also be  supporting them to gain permanent jobs in the NHS and/ or social care across London.

“Our local vaccinators will be champions for promoting the importance of getting vaccinated in their local communities.”

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