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Clinic move defended by NHS

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By Abbey Morton
Clinic move defended by NHS

CENTRALISATION of immunisation clinics has been defended by the local health board.

Thomas Lang of Moniaive this week expressed his disappointment and concern as he and his wife face a 40-mile round trip to receive their seasonal flu jag and Covid-19 booster at Mountainhall Treatment Centre.

But the plan to deliver immunisations from a small number of special clinics rather than at GP practices has been defended and explained by NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

Mr Lang and his wife are both in their 80s and suffer from health complications, including lung disease and diabetes.

They, and their friends and neighbours, face a three-bus journey to attend Mountainhall Treatment Centre in Dumfries if they use public transport.

And he claims some people are being put at a further disadvantage whereby they receive appointments on Sundays — when there is no public transport.

Mr Lang said: “We have never passed up a jag, never.

“If I get flu or covid, I would die.

“Previously we have only had to travel down the road to Dunscore, and that’s been fine. But they are not doing the jags this year.

“They told me that they wanted to, but they weren’t allowed. It all had to be in Dumfries.”

However, a spokesman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said that the pressures of the vaccine roll-out this year means that a streamlined model for delivery has been necessary.

He said: “An approach of utilising the Vaccination Treatment Centre at Mountainhall in Dumfries has previously been applied for people living in some rural locations such as that mentioned.

“And currently, the level of challenge in delivering vaccines in the biggest roll-out in the region’s history is at a far greater level than at any previous time, thanks to the need to simultaneously provide flu jags, covid boosters, first time covid doses and second doses after at least eight weeks to a variety of different cohorts.

“We appreciate people may be required to travel for an appointment, but transport support is available and information can be obtained by phoning the local helpline.”

Furthermore, he said that there are arrangements in place for some individuals, with district nursing teams providing vaccinations to those people who are housebound.

The helpline can be called on 01387 403090, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Alternatively, email [email protected] for help.

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