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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Staff Vaccination Stories 

"I had my vaccine. It's important to me as I'm suffering with long covid syndrome and I'm still trying to recover. I'm doing this to protect me, my loved one, my colleagues and friends". 

Len Clifford, Health Care Assistant at BSMHFT

"As colleagues continue to do remarkable work in extraordinary circumstances, a COVID-19 vaccine is essential in keeping ourselves, our patients and communities safe. I took the vaccine as it meant I could guarantee my safety and the safety of my loved ones". 

Rukaiya Bhanji, Senior Clinical Psychiatric Pharmacist at BSMHFT

"I am so proud I've had the COVID-19 vaccine. I know I'm helping to keep myself, my family and work colleagues safe". 

Marie Leadbitter, N.E.P.T Transport Supervisor at BSMHFT

"I firmly believe it's my duty to safeguard and protect my patients, their families, carers, my colleagues and the staff I work with. As a Muslim it is my duty to take all necessary steps in controlling a deadly disease and vaccines are an important part of this."

Dr Farooq Ahmed Khan, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at BSMHFT

"My husband is extremely vulnerable and has been shielding since March 2020. For me the vaccine was a route for providing extra safety for my husband. I am also a COVID-19 vaccinator as I feel educating risk groups with diabetes obesity high blood pressure is vital". 

Geetanjlee Griffin, Bank Clinical Pharmacist at BSMHFT

"I had my vaccination to protect myself, my family and my patients. Being BAME I'm more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. I would therefore urge everybody with Black or Asian origin to take the vaccine as soon as you can". 

Dr Mahmoud Saeed, Consultant Psychiatrist at BSMHFT

"I'm the father of six with eight grandchildren. Four of my children are NHS keyworkers and as a NHS governor I'm doing my bit to save lives. I encourage others to also get vaccinated when offered, continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines and playing your part in helping to keep families, colleagues and communities safe."

Mustaq Mirza, Governor at BSMHFT

"The reason I had my vaccine was for the close family members I lost to COVID-19 who did not have the opportunity. 

If we save one life it is worth it."

Sharon Germaine-Cox, Associate Director of Workforce and Organisational Capability at BSMHFT

"I wanted to take the vaccine as my mum is in early 70's and has severe COPD. I am her main carer. I would never forgive myself if I passed it onto her - she wouldn't survive. I feel like I've made a small contribution to the national effort and helped protect those who are more vulnerable than us". 

Emma Randle, Lead Freedom to Speak Up Guardian at BSMHFT

"Initially I was very reluctant to have the vaccine as I had lots of reservations on how the vaccine would affect me as a Black person. I weighed my options, protecting my family with the data available or putting myself and family at risk based on assumptions. The former was the best option as there is enough data to put my mind at ease. I would like to encourage everyone, especially those in Black and Asian communities, to have the vaccine". 

Grace Ukaegbu, Business Analyst at BSMHFT

"Having the vaccination was incredibly important to me. Working on the frontline has been challenging and my amazing colleagues, despite their own anxieties, have continued to show dedication and commitment. I believe the vaccine is the only way of us returning to some sense of normality and reducing the risk of further loss of life". 

Leona Tasab, Nurse Consultant for Physical Health at BSMHFT

"The reasons why I have taken the COVID-19 vaccine is to protect myself and my loved ones that I live with. We all need to take this seriously and do our bit to tackle this virus. I urge all to get vaccinated and protect yourself, protect everyone and protect the NHS". 

Shirazul Islam, IT Systems and Training Implementation Officer at BSMHFT

To me, having my COVID-19 vaccination means:

  • Enjoy jogging again
  • Getting closer to see my elderly family members again
  • The country is on route to getting back to some sort of normality
  • Not having to experience the worst symptoms of coronavirus 

Amerjit Kaur Nijjar, IT Systems and Training Implementation Officer at BSMHFT

"The question of having the vaccine was a no brainer for me. I felt it was important due to several different factors, I am of mixed race origin, I have elderly parents whom I care for, I work in a school and also in a mental health unit. By getting the vaccine I feel that I am protecting myself to the best of my ability especially working in the healthcare sector where I come into contact with COVID-19 frequently". 

Deborah Andrews, Domestic Assistant at BSMHFT

"After I received my COVID-19 vaccine, the nurse said to me this would be my passport to freedom!

I really didn't want it. I heard, and read, so many negative stories, especially about the effect it would have on me and my fellow BAMEs. Well it's not true. I have had it and I am feeling fine. It's my passport to freedom". 

Dennis Mayers, Bank Pharmacist at BSMHFT

"I believe that having my COVID-19 vaccination is important because it will help our country and community get back to a normal way of life. If I can help protect myself, friends, family and colleagues then it is a choice that doesn't take much thinking about". 

Mags Norman, Stores Assistant at BSMHFT

"Although I understand concerns about possible long-term effects some people have, I think the very definite negative impact of COVID on vulnerable people makes me feel I am doing my best to protect them. People like my mum who is in her seventies and lives with me". 

Salma Yaqoob, Engagement Lead at BSMHFT

"I believe that everybody should get their COVID-19 vaccine to prevent it spreading and to be able to keep the world safe so we can go back to normal life". 

Sarah Reisner, Chef at BSMHFT

"I have taken the COVID-19 vaccine to protect myself, my loved ones as well as the National Health Service. Please take the vaccine and let's bring some normality back to our lives and return to seeing our loved ones. We are living in a way not natural to anyone nor expected. Let's change this by accepting the vaccine". 

Zen Ishaque, Deputy Ward Manager at BSMHFT

Rukaiya Bhanji
Marie Leadbitter
Dr Farooq Ahmed Khan
Geetanjlee Griffin
Dr Mahmoud