Month: January 2021

Covid Watch: Ludlow Racecourse Vaccination Centre to open at beginning of February as National Health England condemned for secrecy

This was unexpected. Shropshire Council’s portfolio holder for health, Dean Carroll  announced this morning that the Ludlow Racecourse Vaccination Centre will open at the beginning of February. National Health England (NHE) had been refusing to release this information and Dean stuck his neck out to make the announcement this morning. It was not due to the end of next week. I take my hat off to him. NHE and the Shropshire CCG believe that the best way of keeping everyone informed is to tell them as little as possible as late as possible. And blame everything onto the complexity of delivery, not their own mismanagement. They have no understanding of the uncertainty and distress they have been causing to people anxious to protect themselves through vaccination. It needs to step up and tell people what is happening as it is.

Covid Watch: Over 80s in south west Shropshire will initially be asked to go to Church Stretton for vaccination

It was the NHS’s worst kept secret. Shropshire is way behind many other areas in vaccinating it’s over 80s. Just 49 per cent of over 80s, including those in care homes, have been vaccinated. Just across the border in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, 73 per cent have been vaccinated. Only seven of 42 areas in England are doing worse than us. The Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group blames this on the complexity of the vaccine and logistics. It has not explained why this is suddenly becomes more complex when the vaccine crosses the border into our historic county. All the over 80s in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin will be vaccinated by 31 January the CCG says. The message from GP leaders is less certain. They are asking people from across south west Shropshire to go to Church Stretton for their jab until vaccination is available at local surgeries.

Covid Watch: Church Stretton, Dunne question and our struggles to get vaccinated

When do we want vax? Now! But everyone is getting frustrated that in south west Shropshire “now” is slipping away into the future. Philip Dunne asked a question of the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock today about the problems of vaccination in south west Shropshire. He got a promise of an answer and we await that. The complexity of the NHS has not helped vaccine rollout. We have top down vaccination centres and local GP delivery. If only it was as simple as that. Frankly, it is a mess. The urgent health priorities are becoming overwhelmed by the bureaucracy of the NHS. What worries me most is that consensus on how to go forward and how to provide information is breaking down. Nationally and locally.

Covid Watch: Vaccination centre to open at Ludlow Racecourse next month

Most of you will have heard a vaccination centre is to open at Ludlow Racecourse. This will be in early February and we hope to announce the date next weekend. The centre will serve a wide area. We understand that transport will be provided from Ludlow but we don’t have details yet. This will be run by Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Local GPs will not be involved.  Many of those registered with GPs in Ludlow will be able to be vaccinated at the surgeries. Those housebound will received home visits.

There has been some confusion about the opening of a testing centre in Ludlow. This article sets the record straight. The testing site will open on Smithfield Car Park at 8am on Thursday 21 January. It will not be a walk in centre. Walk through. You need to qualify for a test. That means Covid symptoms or symptoms that cause concern. The test will be PCR, the most accurate test. You must book the test in advance. Parking might be an issue as parking at Smithfield will be reduced. If you can walk, walk. Otherwise, park in the Galdeford car park.

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