26 April 2021

Guest Blogger, Tamsin Mauri

Tamsin Mauri is an Advanced Clinical Practitioner at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC)

Tamsin Mauri is an Advanced Clinical Practitioner at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC).

At the start of the pandemic she was working with cancer patients on the Covid-19 assessment unit, and now she is administering the Covid-19 vaccine.

She said, “Having cancer during the pandemic has made our patients understandably frightened of the Covid-19 virus. The consequences of having both cancer and Covid-19 can be very serious. 

I think having a separate Covid-19 unit makes a positive difference to the patients who are attending the hospital for assessment with symptoms. It’s a way to keep our patients as safe as possible during the pandemic.

The virus was so unknown at the beginning; no one could predict how the Covid-19 service would evolve.

Working with an invisible and unknown virus was initially quite daunting but we did settle into running the service fairly quickly because we were keen to put our patients at ease and wanted them to feel safe in the department.

Now I’m working at the Covid-19 vaccination service, which is a huge privilege, we have an incredible team! The team all work really well together with such a friendly atmosphere, it’s great to feel we’re making a positive impact during the global pandemic. The leadership team are inspirational in their pragmatic approach to ensuring the vaccines are administered safely and in line with national guidelines. The vaccination team are a mixture of substantive staff who are giving their time to support the service, bank staff, volunteers and consultants who have returned from retirement to help during the pandemic. We’ve worked closely with the incredible pharmacy and admin teams to run the service smoothly. Those attending for the vaccinations are grateful to receive the vaccine and the general vibe is happy and positive in the hubs.

Bristol UHBW Covid Vaccination Centre

At the UHBW covid vaccination service we have been administering vaccines to staff as they are in the early phase national group for vaccination. It’s important that UHBW staff receive the vaccination to protect both themselves and their patients. One member of staff was very high risk for anaphylaxis. Therefore, In order to administer the vaccine safely, we worked with the emergency department team and administered the vaccine there as a place of safety. The staff member did not suffer any adverse effects from the vaccine and it was good to be prepared!

During the vaccination programme we found that some hospital inpatients required the vaccine prior to being discharged from hospital. We set up mobile clinics to administer covid vaccines in South Bristol Community Hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Weston General Hospital, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre for patients due to commence a new course of immunotherapy. These were small groups of patients; however they were clinically extremely vulnerable, meaning they were a high priority to receive the vaccine.  Being mobile with the vaccine meant we were able to reach these patients to help protect them from Covid-19.

Many staff and patients have been shielding since the global pandemic started in March 2020. For some people attending to receive the vaccine, this was the first time they’d left their home for many months and it was a hugely emotional time for them. This also impacted emotionally on some staff members that were supported and offered the UHBW wellbeing services. Following the vaccine administration there is a requirement to wait for fifteen minutes prior to leaving. We liaised with the psychology team and used leaflets and posters for staff to read to promote staff wellbeing during their waiting time.

Overall it has been a hugely enjoyable time working at the UHBW Covid vaccination service; I’ve loved meeting colleagues old and new as they attend for their vaccinations and working with such a wonderful team!"

You can read more stories like Tamsin's here...