14th January 2021
Newcastle residents will be able to get their COVID vaccinations at a dedicated vaccine centre, which opened its doors at NSCG Newcastle College earlier today.
In response to the current COVID crisis, GP practices within the Newcastle Central Primary Care Network (PCN), which comprises six individual surgeries from the Borough have joined forces to maximise efficiencies and create a stand-alone vaccination centre which will operate until at least the end of March from the College’s Gordon Banks Sports Centre building.
Over the coming months, up to 44,000 patients from the GP practices, which include: Higherland Surgery, Lyme Valley Practice, Milehouse Medical Practice, Miller Street Surgery, The Village Surgery and Wolstanton Medical Centre will be invited in priority order, to receive their vaccine as part of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.
The vaccination centre, which will operate between 08:00-19:30 for a minimum of 3-4 days per week, will vaccinate patients in strict priority order, following the latest government guidance, which means residents in the over-80 age category will be amongst the first visitors invited through the doors of the newly opened centre. Vaccinations for care home residents and those who are housebound will take place in patient’s domestic/residential setting.
Vaccinations are offered strictly by appointment only and appointments will be issued in priority order. People are urged to wait until they are contacted directly by their surgery and are asked to refrain from calling either their GP surgery or NHS Direct to book a vaccination appointment.
The vaccination centre will be run by locally-based clinicians from the Newcastle Central PCN, and all vaccinations will be administered by fully trained nurses, doctors and pharmacists.
After receiving the first vaccination, patients will be invited to return within 12 weeks for their second (and final) injection.
Commenting on the vaccination centre, PCN Clinical Director, Dr. Omar Hussain said: "Once the COVID-19 vaccines received the necessary approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in December, we immediately began the search for dedicated premises that would allow us to carry out a significant daily volume of injections for our considerable patient base. It quickly became clear that a central location, with free, accessible parking would work best for everyone involved”.
He continued: "Just a few weeks on, and I’m incredibly proud to see weeks of intense planning and co-ordination come to fruition. I wish to extend my sincere thanks to my fellow PCN and NHS colleagues, staff from NSCG Newcastle College, Staffordshire-based RH Traffic Management who have generously donated their services to provide directional and social distancing signage and everyone else involved in the set-up of the centre for their contributions to date. Delivering the vaccine quickly and safely is now our number one priority and we are very much looking forward to welcoming thousands of patients through the doors of the centre in the coming weeks."
Local resident George Allsop (pictured), from Newcastle was the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the centre this morning.
With its location on the outskirts on Newcastle town centre, capacity for multiple people to receive injections at the same time and free parking, the College’s Gordon Banks Sports Centre is well suited to meeting the demands of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Principal and Chief Executive of NSCG Newcastle College, Karen Dobson said: “Since the first national lockdown, NSCG has been involved in a number of charitable and social responsibility projects to support our local community during these challenging times. So, when we were approached by the Newcastle Central PCN to become a vaccination centre and support the vitally important local rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, we were delighted to be able to assist.”