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BCAM encourages members to sign up as COVID-19 vaccinators

The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) has encouraged its members to sign up for the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme to help with the mass roll-out of the vaccines across the UK.

The College emailed members last week with a link to the NHS website and suggested they could also contact their local GP surgeries to offer assistance, as Primary Care Networks are organising at a local level with the Clinical Commissioning Group.

BCAM has around 400 members throughout the UK who are qualified doctors and dentists. Many are practising GPs who regularly give vaccinations while others are full-time aesthetic doctors who use injections daily, so they are well-placed to help with the Programme.

Some BCAM members have already signed up and have been involved in the initial roll-out of vaccines to the most vulnerable people in our communities, including the elderly in care homes.

Dr Liz McCulloch, whose clinic is in Hove, said: “I absolutely loved being part of the vaccination hub, it was a hectic six-hour non-stop shift but extremely rewarding as the elderly patients were really relieved and grateful to be given the COVID vaccination. The vaccination hub was well organised and we worked as a team. One 92-year-old couple told me they were meant to be skiing right now, hopefully they can go skiing again very soon!”

Dr Teri Johnson, who’s based in Cheshire, has been diluting and mixing the Pfizer vaccine for colleagues carrying out vaccinations. She said using botulinum toxin in her own clinic meant she was adept at diluting and mixing the vaccine, something many of the other practitioners didn’t have experience of.

She said: “Who would have thought that mixing Botox means we have this skill off to a fine art! Fortunately, I am still a GP and was able to do a session today at the local nursing home on my day off. The first of many!”

BCAM Trustee Dr Paul Myers, a retired GP, tried unsuccessfully to get back into general practice at the outbreak of the pandemic and is now signed up to be a vaccinator.

“When I heard about the COVID vaccination programme I applied and they offered a range of roles, but rather than get into administration and management I went straight for the vaccinator role. There has been a lot of publicity about the hoops you have to jump through in terms of training and submission of evidence, but I am hoping that it will be worthwhile and I'm looking forward to starting work as an NHS vaccinator next week," he said.

Dr John Quinn, who has his first shift at the Bristol vaccination centre this Saturday, said: “Like most of my BCAM colleagues, I have really wanted to lend a hand during the COVID-19 pandemic. If there is one thing that we are good at, as BCAM members, it is giving injections! I am truly delighted to finally be able help out and I truly hope that we are finally on our way to defeating this terrible illness.”

BCAM President Dr Uliana Gout, who has also applied to the Vaccination Programme, said: “Our members have a wealth of medical experience and expertise that is of great value during this unprecedented national emergency and we’re delighted how many members have promoted the vaccination campaign and have applied to be vaccinators. The ultimate aim is to achieve mass vaccination as quickly as possible. BCAM is committed to supporting the national effort and assisting the NHS in delivering the Programme.”

Other BCAM board members have also applied to assist with the Programme including Dr Bhavjit Kaur, Dr Agnieszka Zatonska, Dr Catherine Fairris and Dr Philip Dobson, who has his first vaccination session on Saturday. Dr John Elder, who works as an NHS GP, is vaccinating patients at his own surgery.

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