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Returner vaccinator case study

Frank Shannon

RAF veteran and qualified nurse Frank Shannon came out of retirement in November 2020 to support the COVID-19 vaccination programme. He has been completing two or three shifts a week at the Norfolk and Norwich (N&N) University Hospital. The role has concentrated mainly on patient vaccination and data input, but has also involved preparing the Pfizer vaccine before administration.

Frank said: “The support has been excellent and well organised. We have been provided with all the training required through a combination of online modules and practical life support training in person, plus individual training on the system used to record vaccinations. The unit’s permanent staff have given their full support and have ensured we are fully integrated into the team.

“We are in unprecedented times requiring a national effort with all hands to the pump. I was delighted to have the opportunity to support wherever I could. It has been very rewarding to be part of the N&N’s team and hope to be so for some time yet.”

Frank qualified as a state registered nurse in 1978 and was a medical assistant with the Royal Naval Reserve before joining the RAF on a regular commission in 1981. He served in all RAF hospitals worldwide and was a senior theatre nursing officer for the Kuwait War. He left the RAF in 1996 to work as a theatre manager at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, but stayed on with the RAF as a reservist. After a deployment in Iraq, he left the NHS and was offered full time service again with the RAF as a nursing officer until his retirement in 2016.

Frank added: “All health care personnel have an inner drive and motivation to help people. I just wanted to do my bit, help out in any way, not let my clinical skills go to waste, and be part of a team again.”

Frank Shannon