Delight as King George Hospital vaccination hub opens

Lola Smith receives her vaccination

As we continue in our fight against Covid-19, we are delighted to announce the launch of our vaccination hub at King George Hospital.

Following the opening of our first hub at Queen’s Hospital in December, we now have two brilliant vaccination hubs where so far we have vaccinated more than 12,000 people.

Across both hubs, we will continue to jab local authority and NELFT colleagues working in care homes, home care workers and other frontline healthcare workers including London Ambulance Service, as well as our own staff.

The morning of the launch (Wednesday 27 January) was extremely exciting, and one person who felt “privileged” to receive the vaccine was Lola Smith.

Lola, 36, is a practice development nurse in our Children’s A&E department and she said: “As a BAME member of staff, it’s important that we nurses start getting our vaccines to protect our families and to encourage others in our community to get the jab.  

“It’s a privilege to get it, a real blessing, and I thank God for the opportunity.”   

Watch Lola talk about why having the vaccine is important to her.

Lola Smith received her vaccine at the King George Hospital vaccination hub.

Once the doors to the King George Hospital vaccination hub opened, first to be jabbed was Joe Flynn. Joe (pictured below), who works in our Outpatients Clinic Prep department, said: “I feel proud to be the first person to receive the vaccine at the King George vaccination hub. I’ve worked for the Trust for six years and having my jab today feels like the first step back to normality.”

“I wasn’t sure about it at first but after looking into it and speaking to people, I feel very safe receiving the vaccine.”

Joe Flynn received his vaccine at the King George Hospital vaccination hub.

Dr Anand Shirsalkar, who is one of our consultant paediatricians, said he felt “great” to be jabbed and was also full of praise for his “gentle” vaccinator! Speaking about the vaccine, he said: “This is our way to get back to normality. Also, my vaccinator, Sue, was great and very gentle!” 

Dr Anand received his vaccine at the King George Hospital vaccination hub.

Amanda Kaur works for Mitie and has been based at King George Hospital for 16 years. She said: “I feel happy and safe to receive the vaccine, especially knowing that I am protecting my children and vulnerable family members. 

“Knowing you can carry the infection without even realising or showing symptoms, it is so important to receive the jab.” 

Amanda Kaur received her vaccine at the King George Hospital vaccination hub.

Another member of our team who was delighted to be jabbed was Casrine Hudson-Williams, who is deputy matron for geriatrics at Queen’s Hospital.

Casrine explained: “I feel privileged to know I work in a system where the Covid-19 vaccine is accessible.

“Having the jab is so important to help us prevent illness and fatalities. I encourage and support the vaccine, especially for my BAME colleagues. We have to protect ourselves and loved ones.”

Casrine Hudson-Williams received her vaccine at the King George Hospital vaccination hub.

We cannot celebrate the opening of our second Covid-19 vaccine hub without a special thank you to the many unsung heroes involved in making sure the hub was ready for action. From clerical and non-clerical members of the team, nurses and vaccinators to finance colleagues, it has been a fantastic team effort.

One of our heroes is Stephen Singh-Khakhian, who came out of retirement in March to help on the front line and is a perfect example of amazing team work between our Trust and other system partners.  

Stephen, a clinical lead at NELFT, helped deliver PPE before returning to Medical Devices when the first wave ended. He then volunteered to be redeployed as a vaccinator and was ready to jab at the hub launch! Stephen said: “I’ve really enjoyed it, I feel like I’m making a real difference to people’s lives, taking them out of the way of Covid-19 and that gives me a lot of professional satisfaction. 

“If I’m here vaccinating, it means a nurse can be on a ward in intensive care and helping patients who need it. I’m glad to play my part in the effort against the virus.

“The team has been really easy to assimilate into. The partnership working between BHRUT and NELFT has been excellent, and we have lots of common values.”

Stephen Singh-Khakhian is one of our Covid-19 vaccinators.

One person that was full of praise for our second vaccination hub at was Mark Gilmour. Mark is Hospital Director for Practice Plus Group, which manage the Independent Sector Treatment Centre at King George Hospital.

Speaking about the vaccination hub, Mark said: “An exceptional job is being done. Right from the chap at the front being friendly, clear and welcoming all the way through. Some really great people delivering a really slick service. I was genuinely impressed with everyone I encountered. Thank you so much.”

In recent weeks we have shared fantastic vaccination hub stories with you, as we jabbed our 5,000th and 10,000th person. Keep an eye out on our website and social media channels for future updates!

Read more about our vaccine hubs:

No hesitation as dedicated nurse Margo comes out of retirement to become a Covid-19 vaccinator

‘The vaccine can give me back a bit of normality and get me back to the job I love’ – nurse Eileen on having the jab today

Finance manager Mark enjoys a break from being the ‘villain’ by helping to set up our vaccination hub

Playing our part in history – Sarla shares ‘interesting challenges’ in setting up our vaccination hub

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