NHS Forth Valley Vaccine Pharmacy Team Hailed Unsung Heroes

Almost 300,000 doses of vaccine have been distributed by NHS Forth Valley’s pharmacy vaccine team since they moved to a new centre within Falkirk Community Hospital in November 2021.

The new vaccine centre has provided vital space for the pharmacy vaccine team who managed the move over a weekend with no impact to the service during the largest public health vaccination programme in NHS history.

The cold room provides capacity for storing more than triple the number of vaccines that were held at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and is fitted with a state-of-the-art double condenser. This provides contingency in the event of any fridge failures and is vital due to the scale of the vaccine programmes being provided by the Health Board. More than 500,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine (first, second and booster doses) have been administered in total across Forth Valley since the start of the vaccination programme.

The new location within Falkirk Community Hospital has also allowed the pharmacy vaccine team to become better integrated with the immunisation team who are also based there.

NHS Forth Valley Lead Pharmacist Community Pharmacy, Public Health and Integrated Services, Kirstin Cassells said: “Medicines are the most common healthcare intervention and never has this been more important than during the pandemic. The vaccine pharmacy team have worked tirelessly throughout, to ensure NHS Forth Valley has adequate supplies of vaccines. They are unsung heroes and have helped achieve outstanding vaccination rates across our local area.”

NHS Forth Valley’s vaccine pharmacy team provide vaccine supplies to the main community vaccination hubs in Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire as well as hospital wards, other acute settings, care homes and prison medical centres.

Kirstin Cassells added: “The team has grown from a team of two to a team of seven with new job roles being created to provide a better vaccine service for NHS Forth Valley. We are now able to offer more help and support to the expanding immunisation team while continuing to efficiently supply vaccines, manage the cold chain for all areas as well as maintain the many other services we provide.”