Town centre vaccination service on the move
Bolton’s town centre vaccination service is on the move.
The service at Lever Chambers in Ashburner Street will relocate to the Market Place Shopping Centre from this weekend.
Pre-booked appointments will take place on Saturday, July 3 at the new ground floor premises, formerly the Index store (Unit 10a).
More clinics and walk-in services will be planned from next week (w/c July 5).
The move has been prompted by some pre-planned refurbishment work at Lever Chambers and the new premises will add extra capacity to the vaccination offer.
Vaccinations are currently carried out at Lever Chambers by Bolton GP Federation, which operates Primary Care Networks (groups of GP practices) for the Central, Rumworth and Farnworth and Kearsley areas.
In recent weeks, like many sites across the borough, the service has been operating walk-in clinics for people in Bolton.
The new location is larger than the vaccination area at Lever Chambers and it will mean they can vaccinate almost double the number of people at once.
There are several parking options nearby (£1 for two and a half hours in the Market Place itself, and two hours’ free at Topp Way NCP car park).
Patients who already have an appointment booked at Lever Chambers on Wednesday this week (June 30), should attend as normal. From now, patients will begin to receive text invitations from their GP practice to attend the new premises for clinics running from Saturday.
Dr Helen Wall, senior responsible officer for the vaccination programme in Bolton, said: “Lever Chambers was intended as a temporary, yet urgently needed, vaccination service when we started the programme back in December.
“There is some refurbishment work that has been planned for some time at Lever Chambers and due to the vaccination programme this has understandably been on hold. That work is due to start later in the summer and this provided Bolton GP Federation the ideal opportunity to try something new and different.
“It’s a first for us in Bolton – vaccinating in a shopping centre – but we hope that it will be an attractive offer for people, especially with the extra footfall and younger age groups that might visit the centre for shopping, entertainment or eating out.”
Michael Smith, chief officer of Bolton GP Federation, said: “Moving our vaccination service into the Market Place is a really exciting time for us. Having this dedicated site with more space means we can fit in more staff and vaccinate more people, faster.
“Experience with the Covid vaccine so far has taught us that it’s important to get the vaccine as close to the community as possible – what better way to do this than to vaccinate people in the heart of the town centre among shops and hospitality, whilst continuing to take the vaccination bus out into communities.
“We hope that people will feel the difference in our new centre and this will encourage more people to come for their vaccine.”
Rachel Townsend, general manager at Market Place, added: "It's great that the Bolton GP Federation has chosen to relocate their vaccination location to Market Place.
"In spite of the way the virus has affected Bolton, we have been really impressed by the way that local health care professionals have reacted quickly and worked tirelessly to help the community. The vaccination programme continues to play a vital role in helping the town get back on its feet and we are pleased that Market Place will be part of this recovery as the programme rolls out."
The full list of regular vaccination sites in Bolton:
- Tonge Moor Health Centre – including people from Turton PCN
- Market Place Shopping Centre – including people from Rumworth PCN, Central PCN and Farnworth and Kearsley PCN
- Breightmet Health Centre – including people from Breightmet and Little Lever PCN
- Peter House Surgery – including people from Westhoughton PCN
- Waters Meeting Health Centre – including people from Halliwell PCN, plus those registered at Bolton Community Practice in Horwich
- Avondale Health Centre – including people from Chorley Roads PCN
- Horwich RMI – including people from Kildonan House Surgery and Pike View Medical Centre. This location can also be booked via the national booking service.
- Hootons Pharmacy at the Bolton Wanderers, Horwich – including people who receive a letter to book through the national service