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Cheshire West and Chester Council: Partnership working

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) have been providing ongoing support for the pre-planning of Primary Care Network (PCN) sites and the roll-out of all COVID-19 vaccination sites across the borough.

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This is part of a series of case-studies published on 24 February 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is part of the Cheshire West Integrated Care Partnership which is a collaboration of local NHS health and care organisations and the council who have the same shared goal to support people to live longer, healthier lives,improve people’s experience of care and to safeguard the future of the local health and care system.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) has been providing ongoing support for the pre-planning of Primary Care Network (PCN) sites and the roll-out of all COVID-19 vaccination sites across the borough.

This crucial support has involved initial site surveys to review the logistical element of the sites, taking into account preferred routes for vehicles, traffic management and directional signage.

The protection of highway routes from utility works performs part of this process to ensure non-essential road works are delayed, in order to maintain access for residents to these vaccination sites. 

During the extreme cold weather, the CWaC team have ensured routes and walkways to these sites have been gritted.Specific staff parking has been allocated at some sites to allow more accessible parking for patients receiving their vaccine. During the start-up of the sites, venue visits and contacts with site managers were carried out to consider any pending issues or off-site safety requirements linking to highway activity.

Neston vaccination site

During the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, the Neston and Willaston Primary Care Network (PCN) faced various challenges with potential sites, due to their accessibility, size, weather conditions and the potential frailty and sheer numbers involved in the first priority groups (over 80s and over 75s).

The PCN and Neston Community Youth Centre (NCYC) already have a strong working relationship and this was put into effect by utilising NCYC’s experience of managing events and volunteers, allowing the Primary Care staff to focus on the vaccination process.

At short notice, the PCN received notification about delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine on 5 January. NCYC used their established systems to organise volunteers and within 24 hours, 80 per cent of the volunteering positions were filled and all slots were filled by lunchtime the following day.  Over 200 volunteers signed up to support the vaccination roll-out within the community, working a total of 480 hours and enabling 2300 residents to be vaccinated in a safe environment. 

This programme worked effectively due to the ongoing collaboration between the PCN and NCYC. Key partners and residents of the close-knit community all came together to show their support and play their part in the fight against the virus.  

Ellesmere port vaccination site

The One Ellesmere Port PCN is a collaboration of the six GP Practices across the town with a 70,000 patient population. It is the second largest PCN within the borough.

In December, the PCN approached the Manager of the Civic Hall to discuss the potential of using the site as the PCN’s vaccination programme. Civic Hall is owned by Brio Leisure – a Council Company.

The site needed to have the potential to be open seven days a week, 8am – 8pm. 

The team working on this project had very short timescales to initiate the roll-out of the vaccination programme at the site and recruit volunteers to support the smooth running of the programme. Healthbox CIC played a crucial role in providing and advertising for enthusiastic volunteers to manage traffic, manage queues, regularly sanitise areas within the building and providing vaccination cards to each patient.  The whole community has come together to support the COVID-19 vaccination programme, with a growing number of volunteers showing their support, local shops providing food and drink and a local primary school providing artwork to display at the site.

Large scale vaccination site at Chester racecourse

Private sector organisation, Chester Racecourse has worked in partnership with the public sector in such an important response to the pandemic.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) worked with key health partners to find a suitable COVID-19 large scale vaccination site in the borough, with CWaC approaching Chester Racecourse to potentially offer this service.

The Racecourse were pleased to support the NHS with the largest vaccination programme in our history.  This new site launched mid-February and is staffed by clinicians, led by the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust and a range of qualified volunteers and racecourse staff.

The Council has supported the implementation of the site and provided advice to people travelling to the Racecourse, produced additional road signage on all access routes to the city and promoted alternative modes of transports to ease congestion on the roads.  COVID-safe bus services are available for essential travel alongside the Shopper Hopper which has been extended to provide regular pick-ups and drop-offs to and from Chester Racecourse.

This effective partnership working approach has enabled both public sector and private sector organisations to come together to successfully set up a mass COVID-19 vaccination site.  The site is open seven days a week and is vaccinating up to 2000 people per day, playing a major role in the fight against the virus.

Putting people at ease about vaccinations – Vivo Care Choices

Cheshire West and Chester Council company, Vivo Care Choices is supporting people who use their services during the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccinations, helping to reduce any anxieties they may have.

As part of the roll-out to priority groups, people with learning disabilities and autism are now starting to be booked in for their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Tim, who uses Vivo Care Choices’ supported living services in Northwich, became distressed and frightened about receiving his first vaccination, but staff worked with Leighton Hospital to rearrange Tim’s appointment, giving him more time to get prepared.

Alongside Tim’s brother, a Vivo staff member working closely with him went along to his appointment. Leighton Hospital was very understanding, making sure Tim was at ease throughout and had everything he needed.