The vaccine site at Springfields.

Call for vaccine sites in Long Sutton area

A roving COVID-19 vaccine centre may be needed to ensure a site is within ten miles of the Long Sutton area.

District and county councillor Chris Brewis has been campaigning for a place so the likes of that town, Sutton Bridge and Crowland can access the jab closer to home.

It follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying the government was aiming for everyone in the country to have a vaccine site within ten miles of them.

Coun Brewis asked South Holland District Council leader Lord Gary Porter to put pressure on health authorities at last week’s Full Council meeting.

“We were promised that journeys would be less than ten miles and there’s an issue here that, in my division, a journey to Spalding is 20 miles and vulnerable people won’t want to use public transport,” he said. “It’s a minimum three- hour round trip to Boston and I’m perturbed by the number of people who really want the vaccination locally but they can’t take the risk of going that sort of distance.

“The present situation is not on and it seems to me the decision made by Whitehall makes no relevance to what’s happening on the ground in rural areas.”

Lord Porter responded: “We have raised with Lincolnshire Care Commissioning Group (CCG) the importance of vaccination centres around the district, not just the ones in Spalding.

“Bigger centres are better than smaller centres, but there is a need to accommodate everybody in the district and for those unable to travel to Spalding there does need to be provision.

“We have argued there should be a centre certainly in that part of the world.

“Those details are being fed into the CCG.

“There has been a roving service that operates inside the district and I think that’s how ultimately they’re going to capture the ten-mile radius. As you can imagine a roving service is going to jab tens of people a day compared with the 10,000 we need to do.”

Coun Brewis raised the same question at the county council’s Health Scrutiny meeting.

Deputy chief executive and director of nursing at the Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, Tracy Pilcher, responded: “The ambition is that people will live within a maximum ten miles of a hub or centre and we’re just looking across Lincolnshire now to see where we have hot spots as you describe and what’s our solution. All the while in the vaccination strategy has been roving centres to supplement the central hubs. Work is going on.”

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