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York General Manager Julie Lund describes how baking has been her salvation this past year

24th March 2021 - 5:07 AM

Here she describes how her team has worked through the past year, setting up the first vaccination clinic in York and how baking has helped her get through the pandemic.

Where do I start!? – In all my years as a practice manager, the volume of guidelines and protocols coming from Government has been unprecedented and our teams have been amazing at reacting to and implementing new guidance almost on a daily basis.  It has been challenging for general practice, but I believe that we have stood up and been counted as part of the overall fight against COVID19.    

Everybody has worked so hard to make sure that our staff and patients are safe; our working conditions are as safe and secure as they can be and that we act quickly when new guidance is issued to maintain that protection. 

I recall how fantastic it was when the news broke about vaccines becoming available and our teams wanted to be part of the fight against Covid. So Haxby Group put its name forward to become a Wave 1 vaccination site in York.  We carefully checked all the requirements to make sure we were compliant and received visits from the CCG, the lead Pharmacist and even the Police to ensure everything was in place to ensure the precious vaccine was stored and secured correctly.  

We realised that we would need extra vaccinators to deliver the number of vaccines required and a new team of clinical staff was recruited to help.  We reviewed the surgery layout and considered how best to move patients around within the building to maximise the space and give us the 15 -minute post-vaccination waiting time that was required.  

From an administrative viewpoint, we also needed people to help us marshal patients, check them in, direct them both in the car park and in the building.   In short, we needed an additional non-clinical workforce.  I contacted York Council Volunteer Service and they sent me a list of people who had signed up to volunteer during the COVID19 crisis.   Having contacted them and organised them into a rota, we delivered our first clinics in mid-December 2020.  Our band of volunteers have become part of our team.  They are dedicated and caring individuals who are giving up their time to help the practice deliver the vaccination programme.   This is happening all over the country and these people need massive praise and thanks for all they doing.  We could not deliver our part of the service without their support.  

Baking has been my salvation

On a more personal note, people who know me know that I like to bake.  This has been my salvation over the last 12 months and while I am baking I can forget everything else.  It is the only creative thing I am any good at!    Baking has helped me throughout the pandemic and it has been great to be able to provide the staff at the COVID vaccination clinics with some treats to thank everyone who has turned up to help in whatever way.     
Here is my recipe for Special Scones (thanks to Mary Berry).  
                        1lb                   Self raising flour
                        2 tspns             Baking powder
                        4oz                   Unsalted butter (has to be butter)
                        2oz                   Caster sugar
                        2                      Large eggs
Instructions – preheat the oven to 220 deg C/200 fan oven/Gas 7.   Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Measure the flour and baking powder into a bowl, add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar. 
Crack the eggs into a measuring jug and make up to ½ pt with the milk.  Whisk together.
Stir the egg and milk mixture into the dry mix to make a soft dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface.   Bring together but don’t knead all the air out of the mixture.
Roll out to ½ inch thickness.  Cut into rounds with a cutter.  Place on the baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until a golden brown colour.
Whilst the scones are cooking run two clean tea-towels under cold water and then wring out.  Place one onto your cooling rack.   When the scones are cooked place immediately onto the damp tea-towel and cover with the other tea-towel.   Let the scones steam in their own heat for 5 minutes or until cooled down.   This makes the scones soft both top and bottom.    Enjoy!

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