Following several weeks of hard work by Dorset HealthCare and its partners, the county’s large vaccination centre at the Bournemouth International Centre will be opening its doors from 18 January.
The community and mental health trust will be running the new service, which will be vaccinating hundreds of local people every day, focussing first on groups of people who are most at risk.
Working with health and care partners including Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and BCP Council, Dorset HealthCare has transformed the BIC’s Purbeck Hall – normally used for seasonal ice skating and other large events – into a large clinic to deliver vaccinations.
A dedicated team of staff, supported by volunteers from local communities, will now run the centre 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to roll out vaccinations as quickly as possible.
The opening of the centre is just the latest phase in the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme across Dorset, with vaccinations now being delivered in hospitals, GP-led community sites, and in care homes.
Vaccinations are being offered in line with national guidance to the most vulnerable first. The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.
Dawn Dawson, Dorset HealthCare’s Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality, said: “This has been an enormous undertaking and we are incredibly proud and excited to be providing this important new service. We’re really experienced in providing vaccination services, including flu jabs and school immunisations, and we will use that skill to give our patients a positive, safe and efficient experience at the vaccination centre.”
Karen Kirkham, GP, Clinical lead for the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme, and Assistant Clinical Director of Dorset CCG, and said: “The Dorset health and care system has been working closely together for some time and that has set us up really well to deliver the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history to the people of Dorset. All partners in Dorset are playing an important part in making this happen and I’m delighted that we are able to step up the programme further with the opening of the large centre.”
Councillor Nicola Green, Portfolio Holder for COVID Resilience and Public Health at BCP Council, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting this vaccination programme and will continue to work closely with our NHS colleagues to support the health and wellbeing of local residents over the coming months.”
Chris Symons, Chief Executive for BH Live, the social enterprise which operates Bournemouth International Centre said: “We’re incredibly proud that Bournemouth International Centre has been chosen to play such an important role in helping to deliver vaccinations to local communities. It’s a well-known and accessible venue with the space and facilities needed for this important service and we’ve been working closely with the NHS and partners to set it up.”
The centre will take bookings through a national system and people will receive a written invitation to book when it’s their turn, according to the national prioritisation by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
The large vaccination centre is one of several places people can get their jab – if you already have an appointment through your GP, or at a local hospital hub, please attend that appointment. This will prevent wasted appointments that the NHS cannot fill at short notice.
Watch a film charting the set-up of the centre.