COVID vaccination lead nominated for national award for outstanding team effort

A key figure in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent’s hugely successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been shortlisted for a coveted national award.

Dr Paddy Hannigan is Clinical Lead for the campaign. He also held that position for the flu vaccination campaign that preceded it.

He has been shortlisted in the Clinical Leader of the Year category in the annual awards of specialist healthcare magazine HSJ (Health Service Journal).

Dr Hannigan has been a GP in Stafford for 32 years. He has been Chair of Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group since 2013.

He said: “I’m very humbled at being nominated, but I need to make it really clear that this recognition is for a team effort.

“Delivering two doses of the COVID vaccine and a flu campaign has involved leadership by literally hundreds of people, but I don’t think there was room for all of them on the nomination form.

“Every single one has played a huge part in saving lives, and all need to be thanked. We also need to thank everyone on the front line, many who were volunteers or brought themselves out of retirement.”

The nomination reads: “Paddy’s personal energy and enthusiasm have driven forward the vaccination programme locally, achieving impressive collaboration from primary care and clinical communities. This has led to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent achieving some of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country, and is regularly among the top (sometimes the top) performing systems for vaccination delivery.”

Paddy has also become the voice of the campaign, having a weekly radio slot on BBC Radio Stoke where he has answered questions submitted directly from listeners.

“What we need to remember is that this is a work in progress,” said Paddy. “We are still committed to get first and second COVID doses to every single person who is eligible. We are also well advanced in planning our campaign to deliver this autumn’s flu campaign and COVID booster jabs – we’ll be talking more about this soon.”

Prem Singh, Chair Designate of Together We’re Better – the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent health and care partnership, said: “The leadership of the vaccination programme has been a truly collaborative effort and Paddy has shown great clinical leadership in leading from the front,  engaging with his fellow clinicians, keeping the media, stakeholders and public informed, whilst also delivering vaccines himself.

“It has been a remarkable achievement by all partners to get every single one of our GP-led Primary Care Networks mobilised by early January 2021, alongside three community vaccination centres and hospital and pharmacy sites, with every citizen in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent being within 10 miles of a site. My sincere and massive thanks to Paddy and everyone involved”