Apology after long waits for coronavirus vaccine at clinic in Wigan

A health chief has issued a full apology to people who faced lengthy waits to receive the coronavirus vaccine at a clinic in Wigan.
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The Pfizer jab roll-out began last week in the borough, with the first doses given to health workers and the most vulnerable elderly people.

But there were several reports of long waits for the injection, with queues outside Robin Park Leisure Centre in pouring rain and some people being seen more than an hour after their appointment time.

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Prof Craig Harris, accountable officer for NHS Wigan Borough CCG, has now apologised for the delays and explained the changes made to address the problem.

Queues outside Robin Park Leisure CentreQueues outside Robin Park Leisure Centre
Queues outside Robin Park Leisure Centre

He said: “I would like to apologise to patients and their family, friends or carers who experienced queues at Wigan vaccine centre.

“With the local GP practices, we had put a lot of time in to the planning and organisation and what happened was unexpected and absolutely not the experience we wanted people to have.

“We worked as hard as we could to get people inside as quickly as possible and changed the venue layout to support this. Local nurses and GPs responded to an urgent call out so we were able to bring more vaccinators on site to help us to reduce the waiting times.

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“Everyone on the day was very supportive and understanding and the CCG and GP practices are very appreciative of that. Despite these teething problems, it is great to be vaccinating people in the borough.

Prof Craig HarrisProf Craig Harris
Prof Craig Harris

“We have significantly changed the set-up and design for future vaccination clinic, including changing where people enter the clinic, creating more seating areas and changing the way people are booked in and seen to speed up the whole process.

“It is really important that everyone comes for their second vaccination to make sure that they are protected from catching coronavirus, so I urge you not to let this experience stop you from coming to your next appointment.

“Please do not come early for your appointment, but stick to your time, and plan to be with us for 45 to 60 minutes to give us chance to ask you all the necessary questions, book you in, answer any questions you may have and observe you for 15 minutes after your appointment.

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“I hope that you find the new set up a significant improvement and welcome comments and feedbacks after your experience.

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