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Janet Heath


Although Janet retired six years ago after working for the NHS for 33 years, she jumped at the chance to use her skills to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. 

“When the pandemic first came about, I really wanted to help out as I felt the nation required every nurse to support those frontline staff who are working so tirelessly in these unprecedented times,” says the 61-year-old, who lives in Hove. 

Janet initially replied to a ‘bring back staff’ email and had trained for the national Test and Trace programme earlier in the year. But when in November she received an email request to come back as a vaccinator, she instantly offered to help in any way she could. 

Janet’s role is pivotal. As a nurse manager, she oversees clinical queries, standards and staff competence, manages the safe storage and administration of the vaccine, ensures vaccinators receive a constant flow of patients, and troubleshoots problems or queries.  

“My first shift as a vaccinator working at a GP centre was so inspiring,” she says. “Vaccinating the over 80's, who were overjoyed to be offered the jab, and hearing some of their stories about the difference this would make to them, was very emotional. 

“Moving on to the Brighton vaccination centre, these personal stories continue to move me, while seeing how all the staff - from the volunteers, cabin crew, nurses and other managers - are all pulling together to deliver a challenging and sometimes exhausting vaccination service, is seeing the NHS work at its best.” 

Janet hopes this teamwork will help the country get back on its feet. 

“I sincerely hope the mass vaccination programme will be successful in tackling the spread of COVID-19 and enable all of us to get back to some semblance of the life and freedoms we have been used to in the past,” she says.