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Paramedic praised for extra shifts to help with vaccination programme

A newly qualified paramedic has been praised for going 'over and above' to help the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lewis Samways-Head spent three years on a paramedic science degree course at the Medway campus of Canterbury Christ Church University, and qualified in April this year as the pandemic worsened.

Lewis Samways-Head working at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital
Lewis Samways-Head working at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital

But alongside working in his role for South East Coast Ambulance Service, Lewis has also started helping Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) with the vaccination programme, doing temporary or 'bank' shifts.

The 22-year-old said he wanted to do his bit in the fight against Coronavirus, and was keen to work with KCHFT, having done Bank shifts in 2017 at the trust’s Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, where he started off as a healthcare assistant and later became an associate practitioner on the therapy-led unit.

He did his first shift at a KCHFT-run hub for health and social care staff in Aylesham, last week, followed by a second shift at another site for health and social care colleagues.

He said: “After finishing my degree, I went straight into a full time job with the ambulance service. I’ve been treating patients who have COVID-19, so I’ve seen it first-hand.

“I believe vaccinating is our only way out of this and so I wanted to do my bit to help. The KCHFT Bank system offers two hour slots, so I can fit those in around my ambulance shift pattern.

“At Aylesham I did a lot of the consent work and looked after colleagues for the 15 minutes that they had to sit and wait afterwards. I am qualified to give the vaccine too. I’ll go wherever needed and do whatever is needed."

The paramedic’s proud mum Anna Head, who is a PA to the deputy chief operating officer at KCHFT, said: “He had a positive first experience with the trust, so was happy to return to help out once again."

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