BROMSGROVE’S Artrix is set to open on Monday, January 25, as Hereford and Worcestershire’s first Covid-19 vaccination centre.
Reports had suggested the venue would be used for people to get the jab and this evening health bosses confirmed when it would open.
The centre will initially concentrate on vaccinating frontline health and social care workers from the virus, allowing them to stay at work to help protect patients.
The most vulnerable patient groups will also start to be invited for vaccinations from next week.
Health bosses say it is a major new development in the growing vaccination programme across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
The site will be run by SW Healthcare, a federation of GP practices in Worcestershire, and has been established in partnership with a range of organisations across the health and care system.
Dr Gemma Moore, SW Healthcare’s lead director, said: “The aim of this vaccination centre is to increase local capacity for Covid-19 vaccines.
“To begin with the site will concentrate on vaccinating frontline staff who work in health and social care in community settings as well as members of the public based upon the Government’s priority list which targets the most vulnerable first.
“Patients will also continue to receive an invite from their GP and can choose to be vaccinated more locally to them if they wish at a local vaccination site.
“These are GP-led and have been instrumental across Herefordshire and Worcestershire as we have successfully introduced the vaccine locally over the past couple of weeks.”
Simon Trickett, Chief Executive of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, said: “This site represents a major step forward in what is already a very impressive network of facilities locally that are providing vaccinations that will help defeat Covid-19.
“The development of this community vaccination centre has been another great example of partnership working between the NHS, local authorities and other partners.
“Together we have efficiently implemented a facility which will play a significant role in supporting local residents to protect themselves against coronavirus.
“Over the past few months, we’ve seen the very best of the local health and care system, with everyone working together as a single team and everyone playing their part.”
Margaret Sherrey, Chair of the Artrix Holding Trust, said: “We are delighted to lend our support to the NHS and Public Health England in the fight against the pandemic.
“How fitting that the space which once housed our theatre be used to help beat the very virus that’s keeping theatres everywhere closed.”
Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid welcomed the news and said it was ‘fantastic’ Artrix had being chosen for the two counties’ first vaccination centre.
“The rollout of this vaccine locally is a momentous occasion that provides fresh hope we can beat this pandemic, reclaim our lives and get our economy moving again.
“The start of this vaccination programme is a positive one, but we must all continue to play our part and abide by the local restrictions to suppress the virus and support the NHS as they carry out this vital work.”
We went behind the scenes at the new vaccination centre at Bromsgrove’s Artrix. Click here for our picture and video special.
More sites will soon be going live
More live sites are being planned for the coming weeks, which will further increase the availability of the Covid-19 vaccine.
These will be announced in due course.
Other sites in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Covid-19 vaccination network include:
GP-led vaccination services– these 17 sites across the two counties are led by Primary Care Networks of local GP surgeries working together. They have initially concentrated on patients aged over 80 and some are now inviting patients aged over 70,
GP-led teams working to protect care homes residents vaccinating inside the homes, as well as visiting housebound patients hospital vaccination centres – protecting hospital staff, care home staff and some hospital patients
Community pharmacies – one has now opened in Redditch with more planning to open in the coming weeks.
Yesterday, figures published by NHS England showed that more than 77,000 people across the two counties had already received their Covid-19 vaccination, including nearly 80 per cent of all residents aged over 80 years old.