The roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will now benefit from the introduction of two large-scale NHS Vaccination Centres, one of them Bath Racecourse at Lansdown.
The other is Salisbury City Hall, The two venues, which open to patients from next week, will be able to provide the life-saving vaccine on a mass scale.
All people currently eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, and living within a 45-minute drive of each venue, will be written to in the coming days with details of how to book an appointment.
Any person who receives a letter will then be able to choose whether to have the vaccine there or to wait to be invited to a GP-led vaccination clinic, which could be at a GP practice or other community venue.
These new large-scale centres, which will be open seven days a week, have been designed to offer people who are able to travel an alternative, potentially faster, route to receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
Gill May, Director of Nursing & Quality, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “I’m delighted to announce the opening of these two large-scale vaccination centres, which are the first of their kind in our region.
“Getting these two venues up and running with the help of our community and voluntary sector partners, such as St John Ambulance and 3SG, will allow us to provide even more opportunities for people to get vaccinated in addition to what is already being offered at our GP-led sites.
“We know that many people in line for the vaccine are still very much mobile, and also incredibly eager to be vaccinated, and we hope these new venues will help us to carry out more vaccinations and ultimately protect more families from the heartbreak that is so often associated with coronavirus.”
Details of how to book an appointment at the large-scale venues are included in the letters that are being addressed to people in the region over the age of 80.
Those over the age of 70, along with frontline health and care workers, should also receive an invitation to either venue in the coming weeks.
People are asked not to turn up at the venues without an appointment as the vaccination staff will be unable to give the jab to any person without a pre-arranged vaccine slot.
Liam Johnson, executive director of Bath Racecourse, said: “We are really pleased to work with Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group to assist them in using our facilities to deliver vaccinations.
“We hope that this will be of benefit to many people around the community.”
For more information about the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, visit www.bswccg.nhs.uk
Dedicated bus service
First West of England says it will provide a dedicated service taking customers to and from Bath Racecourse.
Service 32 from Bath Bus Station Stand 15 will run daily from Monday every 20 minutes from 7am to 8pm. The journey will take approximately 15 minutes each way with the last service returning from the Racecourse at 8.20pm.
The company has been working closely with the CCG, West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and B&NES to implement the direct service and help customers get to and from the venue quickly and easily.
Fares are normal First fares in the Bath Zone. Concessions will be extended to be valid on all journeys. First Bath tickets are available through the First app and customers are encouraged to buy tickets in advance or pay contactless to make boarding as safe and easy as possible.
First’s operations manager for Bath Rob Sanderson said: “Whilst there is a reasonable amount of parking at the Racecourse, there are of course many people who will have to rely on public transport to get to and from the site, which is why we felt it was so important to put on a dedicated service throughout the day that serviced the same hours as it will be operating.”
The service will be running as a socially distanced operation, as are all of First’s buses currently throughout the region. Customers are reminded that the wearing of a face covering whilst on board is mandatory unless you are exempted under Government guidelines.
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