Health board criticised over location of vaccine 'supercentres'

Ravenscraig Regional Sports FacilityRavenscraig Regional Sports Facility
Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility
NHS Lanarkshire has been criticised for its decision to force people to travel to Ravenscraig or East Kilbride if they wish to receive their Covid-19 vaccine at the earliest available opportunity.

On Monday the health board will open its two ‘supercentres’ – at the Regional Sports Facility and the Ally McCoist Complex – which will each be able to handle 50,000 vaccines a week.

However, many are unhappy that the Ravenscraig location has been chosen when the nearest bus stop is around a mile away in Flemington.

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NHS Lanarkshire stated those unable to attend at a supercentre will able to rebook more locally, most likely at the Sir Matt Busby Centre, but this will require them to wait.

Dr Mark Russell, lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Lanarkshire, said: “Initially, all appointments will be at the supercentres. People can choose to reschedule their appointment to one of the local centres, however there will be a wait for these.

“We would strongly encourage people who can attend their appointment at a supercentre, to do so. This will protect the local centres for those who cannot travel. Travelling to a supercentre will enable people to receive their vaccination sooner than they would otherwise."

NHS Lanarkshire received a wave of criticism on its social media platforms .

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Liz Moffat said: “Many people in the older age group have still to get their second dose. This has now become problematic due to the fact that Ravenscraig is not easily accessible to those without their own transport.

"I am enraged and disappointed that this move has taken place. This is not better for the general public, so I would love to know who does benefit from this.”

Motherwell and Wishaw MSP Clare Adamson wrote to the chief executive of NHS Lanarkshire to “highlight serious concerns regarding the lack of public transport access”.

She said: “To my knowledge, there are currently no buses operating through the Ravenscraig site. Journeys from both Wishaw and Motherwell terminate on the edge of the site resulting in a walk for approximately one mile from either direction to reach the sport centre. I fear this journey could prove too difficult for many in my constituency.