Hackney MP Diane Abbott delight at award for NHS staff for pandemic work

Vaccine rollout was coordinated at London’s Olympic Stadium, Pic: Jack Torcello

Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney, has praised Hackney NHS staff after being celebrated in a special regional awards ceremony.

Hackney NHS staff were given special recognition for their “dedication and resilience” during the Covid-19 pandemic and were celebrated in regional awards ceremony for healthcare workers. Abbott said: “I am delighted that Hackney NHS have won this award for their work in the pandemic. I hope they get all the recognition they deserve on every front.”

East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) hosted the ceremony at Whitechapel’s Troxy on October 21. Abbott said, “All the praise and all the plaudits NHS staff receive is only a small part of what they are due.”

Paul Calaminus, Chief executive of ELFT, said: “We look back on what was a truly horrible year of suffering, but out of that, the level of care, dedication and resilience shown by our staff was incredible.”

The Star of the Future award was given to Saima Fiaz, an apprentice for City and Hackney’s Centre for Mental Health, who was praised for being ‘a dependable hard worker who can never turn down a challenge.’

NHS Staff from Hackney borough were part of the team, including Barking and Dagenham, City of London, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest that won a Special Commendation for their work with the mass vaccination roll out programme across the whole of northeast London, including organising and coordinating Covid-19 vaccinations at the Olympic Stadium.

The mass vaccination centre opened June 19 and invited anyone aged 18 years old or over to have their first Covid-19 jab. Dr Jagan John, Chair of NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Our teams have done an amazing job working quickly to get ready to meet the tough logistical challenges of delivering the vaccinations, and we are immensely grateful for the support we have received from our local partners in organising this event.

Dr Jagan John described the turnout as “fantastic”, saying that 10,000 vaccinations had been booked at the stadium for the day. “The coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective, and getting vaccinated is the best form of protection against Covid-19 so we would encourage anyone eligible in northeast London who has not yet had their first jab to come forward and book an appointment.

The latest figures from the week ending October 26, show that Hackney had a weekly incidence rate of 197 Covid cases per 100,000. That is up from the previous week of 190 per 100,000 with a total cases of 37,010 in City and Hackney. Hackney has an estimated population of 280,900 (2018), a total 172,249 vaccination for 12 years old and above have been taken as of September 30. 

Many migrants with unofficial or uncertain status within the U.K. are less likely to get vaccinated. There are an estimated 1.2 million unregisters migrants in the U.K. which massively effects the roll out of the vaccine.

In an interview with the World at One Diane Abbott said: “I’m afraid this is one of the consequences of a hostile environment and the government is belatedly recognising it. I think the hostile environment has partly contributed to people of colour and their scepticism about authority and their worry about making themselves known to authorities, even when it’s in their best interests to have the vaccine.”

According to East London NHS Foundation Trust, there are still more than 600,000 people aged over 16 years old in north east London who are at risk by not getting fully vaccinated. In the 55 days between September 1 and October 25 2021, 152 Covid-19 patients have been treated in intensive care beds in hospitals across north east London. 129 patients (85%) had not received both doses of the vaccine.

Dr John said: “Winter is always a challenging time for the NHS and we want to help our residents stay well by protecting themselves against COVID-19 as cases continue to rise. It is really important that people get their booster as soon as they become eligible. This can help prevent you from becoming seriously ill and requiring hospital treatment.

“COVID-19 has not gone away and the figures we are seeing from our local trusts, with large numbers of unvaccinated patients in intensive care, are a stark reminder of how important it is that everyone, and particularly our more vulnerable residents, comes forward for the vaccine. For those people who have still not yet had their first COVID-19 vaccine, now really is the time. Remaining unprotected against COVID-19 puts you and those around you at much greater risk.”

Leave a Reply