Bellshill patients must go to Ravenscraig for booster and flu jabs from September onwards

The Sir Matt Busby sports complexThe Sir Matt Busby sports complex
The Sir Matt Busby sports complex
Bellshill has been overlooked after NHS Lanarkshire said it would be relying on Ravenscraig again as arrangements were finalised for the distribution of crucial Covid-19 booster jabs from September.

NHS Lanarkshire has announced that it will deliver the booster vaccine, -along with the flu jab -at the superhub, meaning that the Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex will be stood down for this purpose.

And that's just not good enough according to Central Scotland List MSP Mark Griffin.

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The Labour man believe that the new set-up will replicate the problems encountered with the initial rollout of the vaccine – especially for the elderly and those without access to a car.

Now Mr Griffin has written to the Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire, urging them to get a “community based model” in place.

Mr Griffin said:“The COVID-19 booster will be essential to keeping on top of the virus and the potential variants that may continue to arise. It is vital that NHS Lanarkshire make it as easy as possible for people to receive the booster vaccine and ensure that there are no capacity challenges when distributing the flu jab.

“Many experienced transport, accessibility and communication difficulties when the COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out.

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"These challenges forced many to use public transportation when they were not comfortable doing so, pay high costs to get taxis, and put a number off getting the vaccine at all. It is important that these problems are not replicated.”

Dr Mark Russell, Lead for the covid-19 vaccination programme in Lanarkshire, said: "We had to balance the venues being returned to their normal use with the number of other criteria used to identify potential sites. This criteria included adequate size to deal with the anticipated amount of people, central location, good transport links and car parking, ground floor to ensure accessibility and a one-way flow.

“We will be working with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to ensure the venues have adequate public transport links. There is a balance between vaccinating as many people as quickly as possible and providing local venues. We believe the current number of sites and locations gives us that balance.”

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