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06 December 2022

More than 200 King's students involved in award-winning Covid vaccine service

Volunteers from King’s collected the award with Morris House Group Practice for their Covid service that vaccinated up to 7,000 patients per day, as well as providing home vaccines and pop-up services.

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Morris House Group Practice has been named the winner of the Covid Vaccination Programme Award category at this year’s Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards, for a programme which was supported by more than 200 staff & student volunteers from King’s College London.

The vaccine service was highlighted for its successful and innovative programme that began in December 2020 by opening a vaccine centre in Haringey, against the backdrop of low vaccine uptake.

In addition to vaccinating up to 1,000 patients a day at the practice, the service delivered hundreds of home vaccines and led popups at churches, mosques, food banks, schools, community centres and even the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where on some occasions the service vaccinated over 7,000 patients.

Morris House Group Practice has a long association with King’s and is part of the King’s Undergraduate Medical Education in the Community (KUMEC) network of General Practices that delivers thousands of King’s medical students placements each year. 

Through their hard work, we have vaccinated almost 175,000 patients through popups, outreach and GP practice-based services across North London. By working with students from King’s College London we were able to deliver impactful interventions such as our 10,000-patient popups at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and the UKs first 24-hour Jabathon.

Dr Russell Hearn, Clinical Reader in Medical Education

Alongside students from King’s and other universities, the services were supported by hundreds of volunteers from the local community. Some volunteers returned from retirement to support the vaccine roll out. School students also volunteered through work experience placements to promote careers in healthcare.

This unique and close collaboration was key to delivering community interventions across London. The programme’s innovative use of technology and video to enhance patient experience were also highlighted. As a result of its impact and innovations, the site hosted visits from the Prime Minister, Mayor of London, and HRH Camilla, the Queen Consort.

The vaccine service was previously featured on national media as it hosted the UK’s first and only 24-hour vaccine clinic in December 2021, enabling thousands of patients to be vaccinated and improving access for shift and night workers.

This national recognition from the esteemed judges at the HSJ Awards for our Covid Vaccination service means a huge amount to everyone involved in this project. Our team of volunteers, medical students, vaccinators and clinicians worked tirelessly with a focus on improving health equity and I cannot praise them enough.

Dr Russell Hearn, Clinical Reader in Medical Education

A word Annette Yeboah (MBBS Final Year Medical Student) who represented KCL students at the award ceremony:

"A lot of medicine is about communicating with patients and talking to them in an easy-to-understand manner. This is especially important with the misinformation about the vaccine. Taking part as a vaccinator throughout the past two years has boosted my confidence in talking to patients and bettered my knowledge and understanding of medicine resistance and misinformation that plagues communities."

What do you think students learnt being part of the vaccination programme?

"I think we all appreciated the invaluable patient exposure we had alongside attending hospital placement. Being able to gain confidence in conducting consultations, building vaccine confidence among patients and practicing our clinical skills has benefited us and will continue to do so in our careers. We also became a part of the Morris House team, working with a large group of co-ordinators, doctors, nurses, students and volunteers. Opportunities to work with such continuity as a student are seldom, and it prepared us for working as part of a wider multi-disciplinary team in the future."

What was it like attending the HSJ awards?

"It was lovely to attend with my colleagues and experience this moment with them. To represent the medical students and volunteers who contributed to our vaccination programme was a great privilege, and one I will not forget. Additionally, seeing so many different trusts across the country in one venue served as a reminder to me that we all share a similar goal in bettering patient safety. It was a magical evening that inspired me for my medical career that lies ahead."

What does winning the award mean to you personally?

"Winning was such an amazing experience. To be recognised for all our hard work, considering we were up against some big nominees, was extremely fulfilling. We did a lot of outreach into our local community including our 24 hour Jabathon, walk-in weekends at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium and mobile clinics in local places of worship. It’s been a huge effort from everyone to protect our community and to have this recognised at the HSJ awards is immensely gratifying."

In this story

Russell  Hearn

Reader in Medical Education & Deputy Director of Community Education