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Returner vaccinator case study

Lynda “Binnie” Barnes

Lynda Barnes – known to her friends as Binnie – has worked in a number of roles since qualifying in the 1980s, but has always found her nursing background to be relevant and valuable. She last worked for the NHS four years ago, and holds a part-time role in further education.

“Although I had left the NHS, I kept up my registration with The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) through tutoring and assessing care apprentices at City College Peterborough,” said Binnie.

“When the coronavirus pandemic hit, I put my name down to support in any way that I could. But it wasn’t until October that I got a call from Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership asking for support with their Bring Back Staff project, initially the vaccination programme. I liked the small commitment required – just a minimum 20 shifts per year contract, which would go a long way towards my NMC registration hours, and I could easily fit a couple of shifts a month around my college role. Of course, I can do more if there is a need and it fits around work and life for me.”

After a few months of training and induction – mostly online, she joined vaccination teams at Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn and other West Norfolk Primary Care sites.

She said: “There’s a real family feel in the team, and I have had all the training and support I need. Despite my career break, it all came back to me very quickly. It feels like we’re at the cutting edge, and it’s a real privilege to be involved. In just a five-minute interaction, you need to make every single person coming for vaccination feel special, informed and reassured. It’s exhausting, but fun!”

Binnie plans to continue supporting throughout the vaccination programme and hopes that this experience will help her return to a permanent NHS role in the future.

Over all sites in Norfolk and Waveney, 87 whole time equivalent staff have been provided through nurse reservists.