MP visits SSP's COVID vaccination centre

MP visits SSP's COVID vaccination centre

AN MP has praised the work of staff and volunteers delivering COVID-19 injections during a visit to a Wigan vaccination centre.
Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue visited St Peter’s Pavilion, in Hindley, which has been turned into a vaccination centre by SSP Health in collaboration with Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group.
The centre, run by staff from SSP’s local practices as well as from surgeries across Hindley Primary Care Network, has delivered thousands of vaccinations in its four weeks of operation, including to Wigan and Leigh Hospice staff and other health and care workers. 
Currently, the patients being given the vaccine at Hindley are Cohort 6, those people aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk from COVID-19.
Yvonne toured the community centre, watched the process of organising and vaccinating people, and spoke with staff and volunteers who are were delivering the vaccine. She was met by Dr Shikha Pitalia, Director and GP at SSP Health; Dr Tim Dalton, Chair of Wigan Borough CCG and Dr Sanjay Wahie, Clinical Director of Hindley PCN. She also met SSP Practice Manager Claire Doherty, who was overseeing that day’s delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and SSP’s Head of HR Julie Cheetham, the centre’s lead manager during weekend clinics.
Yvonne said: “It was very uplifting to see such a well-organised operation, which is quite clearly delivering this vaccine to many people who really need it.
“I want to thank the staff and volunteers at the centre who are doing an important job in such a compassionate and cheerful manner. I met staff who are really pleased to be part of the rollout of this vaccine, which is probably the biggest project the NHS has ever undertaken.
“Hopefully, the delivery of this vaccine will eventually allow us all to resume our normal way of life and centres like St Peter’s Pavilion are very much part of that national effort.”
Dr Pitalia said: “We really appreciate Yvonne taking the time to visit the vaccination centre – I know it gave all our staff and volunteers a boost and made them appreciate that they are doing a very important job. I’d also like to thank all the patients who have written to us with thanks.
“This centre was established by SSP with the help of the CCG and PCN and illustrates how collaboration is key to the successful rollout of the vaccine and we hope we impressed on Yvonne how local partnerships in the NHS are so vital.”
 
Below, Yvonne Forvargue at a vaccination pod with, from left, Nurse Practitioner Debbie Watkinson, SSP Health receptionist Lauren Green and Dr Pitalia