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Redeployed to Basingstoke Fire Station – Jacqueline’s story

Jacqueline Oates, Locality Nurse Manager
Jacqueline Oates, Locality Nurse Manager

COVID- 19 has continued to challenge the NHS, and this is no different here at Solent NHS Trust. To help fight this virus, Solent colleagues have stepped up and worked harder than ever to provide the best possible care for patients. For many Solent employees, this has involved taking on slightly different roles and responsibilities in different services.

For Jacqueline Oates, the desire to use her skills and to make a difference, encouraged her to volunteer for redeployment during the second wave.

Jacqueline, a Locality Nurse Manager for the Northeast Sexual Health team explained her role during non COVID times. She said: “Our team covers Aldershot, Basingstoke, Alton and Bordon.

“I am responsible for the safe running of the clinics, so, clinical standards, infection control, safe drug ordering and administration, as well as staffing management within the sexual health unit.

Jacqueline, who had planned to retire in February this year, said: “I was not redeployed in the first wave so when we got the call out for redeployment in early December, I volunteered to be redeployed to the Solent ran Vaccination Centre at Basingstoke Fire Station. Due to my plan to retire, I was the spare band seven nurse within sexual health. It made perfect sense; I only live 12 miles away and there aren’t many Solent services in Basingstoke.

“I was hugely excited about working at the fire station which has been converted into a vaccination site. I just had this overwhelming desire to vaccinate the world so we can get some normality back!

“It has definitely lived up to my expectations; I have really enjoyed being part of the vaccination programme. I work with a lovely team who are very supportive, and the service users are so grateful to be getting their vaccines”.

Jacqueline admitted: “In the first wave, I was responsible for telling members of my team that they were possibly going to be redeployed and it was not likely to be local to where they lived. That was difficult, but myself and my team could totally appreciate the situation”.

However, Jacqueline said “this time around redeployment felt ideal, vaccinating is something that sexual health nurses feel very comfortable doing.

“It has been a joy working with some of my colleagues as well as having the lovely surprise of working with colleagues from my earlier nursing days”.

Jacqueline also revealed: “Another amazing thing about my redeployment is witnessing first-hand the enormous multi-agency working at its best, and the sense of cooperation is wonderful. People are going well beyond what would normally be expected.

“Amazing people are offering to work seven days a week, increasingly long days and it makes you really feel like we are all in this together.

 “I think, moving forward, the NHS is going to look very different. And, nursing is going to look very different in a positive way which is really empowering and encouraging for future opportunities for nurses.”

Jacqueline encourages anyone who can, to get involved in the vaccination programme. Jacqueline said “It’s fantastic, a couple of my friends from my nurse training days in London have signed up for the bank. There is a brilliant atmosphere at the vaccination sites, so positive, it is so clear everyone wants to be here and do their bit to the best of their ability and fight this virus.”

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