I am very excited to hear news that the vaccine has reached the Chippenham constituency!! It is being administered in Chippenham at Rowden Surgery and Melksham at Spencer Sports Club.
Some have questioned the choice of locations so to add some context, there has been a herculean effort from NHS England and health providers across the UK to rollout the vaccine with speed and efficiency , notwithstanding the fact this vaccine must be kept at temperatures of below -70 degrees Celsius.
The Melksham and Bradford on Avon Primary Care Network (PCN) did consider other venues as they have run successful Flu campaigns in the Rugby Club and St Margaret’s Hall but, the PCN had to choose only one site across the two towns – due to the nature of the Pfizer vaccine mixing.
They had only 10 days to identify a site that met a range of criteria which included: Parking, Disabled Access, sole site availability for many weeks. CQC registration to treat health care patients. Plenty of lockable storage for the considerable equipment, computers, fridge and vaccine and suitable security.
Having already successfully run a Leg Club each week (and the Blood Transfusion service use the site) with no complaints, the PCN knew in choosing Spencer’s Sports Club it could fit the majority of the criteria for site selection and that there could be reasonable mitigations for any issues with the site and to be clear this is short term, they are hopeful that once the Oxford vaccine is available they will be able to open up additional local sites as the vaccine is easier to administer.
The Melksham and Bradford on Avon Primary Care Network and Chippenham, Corsham and Box Primary Care networks have done an incredible job to manage traffic and parking challenges while providing a site that can complete the vaccines before Christmas.
This has been a strong effort from many stakeholders, in Melksham there are large signs going up on Monday morning with NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Centre banners. Wiltshire Council and Highways have organised no right turn and left turn only signs in and out of the site. The fantastic Emergency Volunteers from Bradford on Avon who are well versed in traffic management have also been engaged.
Multiple risk assessments have been completed. Volunteers will escort patients around the hall at the Melksham site, as well as also inviting all the local Care Home staff so that they can receive the vaccination, along with patient facing Doctors and Nurses. Appointments have been timed so that the older age group can attend after the initial busy traffic period and in day light hours. Booking other people into the early morning and evenings.
In an ideal world the Oxford vaccine would be offered from the GP Practice premises, but this is not available to us yet, and as such it is so important for the country as a whole to begin delivering the vaccine, we do have that is approved and ready for use.
The Primary Care Network have been working long days and weekends to be successful in this endeavour, without this amazing team effort no vaccine for the over 80s or healthcare staff would have been possible until January 2021 at the earliest.
Rowden Surgery have produced and excellent video which can be seen below explain what to expect at the Chippenham site. As ever if anyone has any further questions or needs my help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org