Concerns over long queues and wait times for Covid booster vaccines at Derbyshire GP surgery
Concerns have been raised after members of the public allegedly faced long queues and wait times for their Covid booster vaccines at a Derbyshire GP surgery.
At least 40 elderly or disabled people were seen queuing outside Church Farm Primary Care in Ripley on Saturday morning (October 23).
Eileen Fordsick, who was visiting the centre for her booster and witnessed the scene, claims nobody was wearing face masks or social distancing and said it seemed the appointment system “was just ignored.”
The 73-year-old added: “When I queried the queue was told at least a 40-minute wait and would have to wait 20 minutes before leaving! Every one sitting together inside.
"It was cold outside and then it began to rain. I asked why the delay and was told that I would have to wait outside in the queue. Decided to go home as I was feeling ill. No one was concerned no one cared. No wonder infections are increasing!”
NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for commissioning health services at Church Farm, has now responded to the concerns raised.
A group spokesperson said: “Unfortunately one of the vaccinators due to work on Saturday morning at Church Farm Primary Care Centre was unwell.
"This put additional pressure on the vaccinators working and reduced the ability to vaccinate patients as quickly as would normally be the case which in turn resulted in some queueing which is regrettable.
"This was further exacerbated by people attending earlier than their appointment time.
“Church Farm Primary Care Centre ensures everyone attending for a vaccination appointment follows social distancing and infection prevention control measures, providing hand sanitation facilities and offering a face mask to anyone who turns up without one.
"While they can ensure patients follow guidelines when in the building, it is harder to manage when patients are outside of the main centre.
“Despite the challenges faced on the day caused by one of the vaccinators being unwell, all efforts were made by Church Farm Primary Care Centre to get people through quickly and safely.
“The importance of the Covid-19 booster programme – along with the flu vaccination programme - cannot be underestimated as we approach winter. Patients aged over 50 or in an at risk group are eligible for a free Covid-19 booster and flu vaccine.”