No prospect of vaccination centre in Matlock as lack of facilities puts focus on GPs and hospitals
While Derbyshire Dales’ third vaccination centre is now up and running, Matlock residents have been left to question why many are being forced to travel out of town for their jabs.
Hathersage Pharmacy has joined hospital sites in Bakewell and Ashbourne in offering appointments – but there is still no sign of the district’s largest population centre getting its own centre.
A spokesman for the Derbyshire Dales Primary Care Network said: “We are incredibly proud of the work we have done to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme to the people it serves, including those living in and around Matlock.
“Newholme and St Oswald’s hospitals have vaccinated thousands of patients between them, and have also carried out extensive work vaccinating people in their homes, in care homes and in local GP practices.”
He added: “The hospitals have had equal and remarkable success in reaching patients for first dose delivery, and are expected to complete the first nine priority cohorts across the whole of the Derbyshire Dales, including Matlock, by the end of March.
NHS England set out the requirements for the location of vaccination sites, including the need to provide appropriate geographic and population coverage, and the right facilities to ensure the safe and effective delivery.
The early stages of the roll-out used the Pfizer vaccine, which is more complex in terms of safe storage and patient waiting times, but other formulations allow more flexibility.
Last week, High Peak MP Robert Largan boasted of successfully lobbying for a second vaccination centre in Buxton but Dales counterpart Sarah Dines will not be following suit.
She said: “At the commencement of the vaccination programme I was pushing for a vaccination centre in Matlock and other venues within the constituency.
“Having spoken to ministers and Dr Ben Milton, who is running the programme in Derbyshire Dales, the main issue in Matlock was finding an appropriate venue with the correct ventilation and access for disabled residents.
“I was also one of the voices pushing for GP practices to be able to deliver the vaccine and I am so pleased that this is happening.”
She added: “I want to thank all the NHS staff, volunteers and my constituents who are making this programme possible.
“I would like to urge everyone who is eligible for a vaccine to have one, as I know some GP practices in the constituency are finding that they have vaccines left over because people are not turning up for their appointments or are not communicating that they are refusing the vaccine.”
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