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 have been confusing reports about the vaccination centre at Ludlow Racecourse online and in local media.
Tracey and I met with the Director of Public Health for Shropshire yesterday. We are not a great deal wiser on the details, except we are clearer on what we don’t know and what we can’t say.
GPs in Ludlow and across Shropshire are beginning to vaccinate patients in the first cohorts but with the prime minister having promised that the first four cohorts will be vaccinated by mid-February there is need for additional facilities.
We have long been expecting that the Racecourse will be used as the centre. It makes sense as it has the space and the car parking. It is out of town but the vaccination centre is expected to serve much of Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. A town centre site could lead to congestion.
It is expected that the vaccination centre will open in early February but the CCG has not announced a date.
We understand that Shropshire Council’s bus team is in discussions with the Director of Public Health on providing transport.
We don’t know who will get letters asking them to attend at the Racecourse or to visit their GP.
Many of the most vulnerable will receive their appointments at Ludlow GPs this week but please be patient as a patient.
Shropshire Council media release
Coronavirus: Further vaccination centres coming to Shrewsbury and Ludlow
Tens of thousands of Shropshire residents will receive their vaccination against COVID-19 at new centres due to open in Shrewsbury and Ludlow.
Since mid-December 2020 thousands of people across Shropshire have people have received their vaccinations.
In early February, two further locations in Shropshire will begin the delivery of the vaccines, alongside the already operational centres which include the hospital hubs at Royal Shrewsbury and Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt in Gobowen.
A further centre, planned to be located in north Shropshire, is set to open later in February. Details regarding the exact location of each centre will be announced in due course Additionally, more of our GP surgeries are working together to roll out local vaccinations services to their patients over the next few weeks.
This is a huge undertaking and is one of the biggest NHS operations in Shropshire’s history.
Vaccinations are also being carried out separately at care homes in Shropshire, with the aim of getting all care home residents and staff vaccinated by the end of January.
Vaccinating all those in the priority groups will take some time and with a new, more infectious strain of the virus in circulation, the NHS is asking everyone to assist the vaccination programme by:
- waiting to be contacted by your GP to book an appointment rather than contacting your GP – you will be invited when it is your turn. Remember the NHS will never ask you to pay for a COVID-19 vaccination
- attending both appointments
- continuing to follow all the ”stay at home” and other guidance to protect the NHS and save lives.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, said:
“I know this news will be welcomed by people across Shropshire. This is by far the most ambitious public health initiative the county has ever seen, and we will be able to confirm the exact locations of these sites soon.
“As a council, we have been supporting our NHS colleagues over the last months with the infrastructure and planning to deliver the vaccine in our hospital hubs, local GP-led services and care homes, at the same time as providing care in the community to those people who have received their vaccination.
“Every single person involved in the vaccination process, from the clinicians giving it, to the volunteers who will keep vaccination sites safe, has a hugely significant role to play.
“After a challenging year, the vaccine is offering all of us hope. However, we must keep doing all the things designed to keep us and others safe – Stay at Home, wash your hands and wear face coverings.”
In a joint statement local Shropshire Councillors Andy Boddington, Tracey Huffer, Richard Huffer and Vivienne Parry said:
“We are very pleased that Ludlow has been chosen for one of Shropshire’s vaccination centres.
“A lot of planning is going into this and everyone is working tirelessly to set up a safe and well-run vaccination site. We know many local residents will be keen to get their jab and we look forward to seeing the first eligible patients through the doors in the coming weeks.
“Local GP practices will also be proving vaccinations at their surgeries and through home visits to those who are housebound.”
For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating or shielding), call Shropshire Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0345 678 9028 (lines open on the weekend on Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday 9am-12pm) or visit our website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.