Saffron Walden vaccination site success

The Lord Butler Leisure Centre, a GP led COVID-19 vaccination site, has been praised as one of the best performing in the country.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has written to Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch congratulating the area on this and its contribution to the vaccination programme.

In the letter, Mr Hancock outlines the huge effort being put into the national programme, the largest of its kind to be put into action.

He adds the site works to “an extremely effective and sustainable model which can safely vaccinate large numbers of people in a short time span.”

Mr Hancock also singles out the “community spirit” shown across the country as a result of the pandemic and resulting vaccine programme.

Dr Richard Boyce, Clinical Director of North Uttlesford Primary Care Network which runs the Lord Butler site, said it had been a “massive team effort from all of the community.”

“This is a marathon not a sprint, but it continues to be a very rewarding process to be a part of.

“These past months are a testament to the commitment of the GP practices locally to the wellbeing and safety of people living in North Uttlesford.

“It simply would not be possible though without the incredible ‘whole community’ support we are blessed with.

“Nothing has been too much for our volunteers, whether it be cleaning chairs, welcoming patients, reassuring those who are nervous about needles or even supporting those most vulnerable by wheeling them through the hall and avoiding the need for them to queue.”

“Thanks must go to all of those partners supporting the programme. These include 1life who have been so generous with space and staff at the Lord Butler, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Health, for supporting our booking process so effectively, our West Essex CCG colleagues who have gone above and beyond to support the set up and then delivery of the programme, the Council for Voluntary Services for coordinating the volunteers and ensuring safety on site, and of course all of the volunteers themselves.

 Dr Rob Gerlis, Chairman of NHS West Essex CCG, said: “This is wonderful news and proof everything is going in the right direction.

“We would like to thank all the NHS staff and volunteers across west Essex for ensuring the rollout goes smoothly and whose hard and dedication has made this site such a success.

“It is vital everyone continues to have their vaccine when invited and continue to adhere to the rules of washing your hands, covering your face and keeping your distance where possible”

“You should also wait to be contacted, there is no need to call your GP direct until invited.”

Ms Badenoch said: “This is another fantastic achievement by our local community and health teams.

“Thank you to everyone at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre and their colleagues and volunteers across the constituency at other vaccination sites for all of your hard work.”


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