Worksop man ‘furious’ as grandmother struck down days before vaccine

A Worksop man has told of his anger after his grandmother was struck down with Covid-19 just five days before she was due to be vaccinated.

By Ben McVay
Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 12:30 pm

Nicholas Willis’ gran Ann Newton was scheduled to receive the vaccine on Wednesday last week - along with other residents and staff at Ashley Care Centre.

Grandmother-of-two Ann tested positive for coronavirus two days before she was due to receive the jab - on Monday.

He told how on Friday Ann, 82, was ‘blue-lighted’ to Bassetlaw Hospital - where she has now been placed on end-of-life care.

Nicholas Willis with grandmother Ann Newton

Admin worker Nicholas, who understands a number of other residents at the care home have also been infected, said he was ‘furious’ that Ann had not been vaccinated earlier.

Worksop’s Larwood Surgery - which has responsibility for Ashley Care Centre residents - began vaccinating the local community on December 21.

In-line with the Government’s advice frontline healthcare workers and care home residents were highlighted as the first who should receive immunisation.

However Nicholas, 28, said he was ‘bewildered’ that over three weeks later residents at the home had not received the vaccine.

Ann Newton in Tenerife, 2012

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He said: “The Ashley were told a fortnight ago they were going to get the vaccine - my gran was at the front of the queue.

“I spoke to the home and they were pestering for it - knowing how vulnerable the residents are.

“They’ve kept Covid under control since March and it looks like this vaccine gives a good level of protection against the virus.

“But unfortunately it now looks like it’s too late for my gran and probably for other residents at the Ashley.”

Nicholas said his grandmother - who had survived dementia for 11 years - had been ‘cheated’ at the last moment by the vaccine delay.

He said Ann, who was ‘surprisingly’ lucid despite suffering with vascular dementia, was now ‘in and out of consciousness’ with his mother by her side.

The 28-year-old, who told how Ann was the first person to hold him as a baby and how he spent ‘every weekend’ with her, said: “I’m very cross about how the vaccine has been handled.

“I’m probably being bit unfair but I just can’t understand why they haven’t started vaccinating earlier at local care homes.”

However shattered grandson Nicholas said Ashley Care Centre had ‘done everything they could’.

He said: “The manager is devastated about what’s happened - they’ve been pushing for the vaccine since it was announced.”

Amit Patil, manager at Ashley Care Centre said the home, told how Larwood Surgery vaccinated ‘all eligible’ residents on Wednesday last week.

He added that the home believed staff at Larwood Health Partnership had been ‘doing all they could to get the vaccine to residents whilst having to follow national government guidelines and protocols’.

Amit said: “We had of course like others hoped to receive the vaccine as early as possible for our residents – we felt we were at the final hurdle when this outbreak occurred.

"It’s therefore incredibly saddening for everyone involved that we have finally fallen to the effects of this terrible virus.

"We can absolutely understand the pain the whole family must be feeling right now due to the devastating effects caused by Covid 19 and we are all desperately hoping the on-going treatment goes as well as is possible.

"I would also like to convey our well wishes to the families of our residents who have been affected – they have all been incredibly understanding throughout and we would like to thank them for all their heartfelt support.”

Dr Steve Kell, a GP at Larwood, said: ‘Although I can’t comment on individual patients we have been very keen to vaccinate people as soon as possible and we were the first community site in Nottinghamshire to give vaccines.

"We have delivered over 3,400 vaccines so far in total and although the mobile AstraZeneca vaccines weren’t delivered until January 8 and the national target was the end of the month we had vaccinated all of our care home residents by the 13th - including the majority of the care home staff.

"Unfortunately we are unable to vaccinate those who had Covid at the time but we will be making sure they receive a vaccine as soon as possible.

"We will be contacting people as soon as we have vaccines for each group and I’d encourage people to have one if offered.”

And a spokesperson from Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group said: "The vaccination programme continues to gather pace in Bassetlaw.

"Since the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine came on stream at the start of the month, hardworking NHS teams have vaccinated the vast majority of care home residents and those who have not yet received the jab are expected to have an appointment by the end of the month - in-line with the rest of the country.”

In December elderly care home residents and their carers were named as the top priority followed by all over-80s and frontline health and social care workers by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

NHS England has set a deadline of January 24 for GP’s to complete the first round of vaccinations.

The deadline came amid concerns about rising Covid outbreaks in care homes across the country.

In the week to January 10 there were 692 Covid incidents in care homes in England – this is almost treble the 236 in the week to December 20.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.