With the creation of Scotland’s vaccine ‘super-centres’, the majority of COVID-19 vaccination appointments are taking place at the centralised hubs as opposed to in local communities.
James Kelly has raised concerns that the transferring of appointments from local hubs such as Whitehill Community Centre and Fernhill Community Centre to the new venues at the Alistair McCoist Sports Complex in East Kilbride and Motherwell’s Ravenscraig Sports Centre has made the vaccine inaccessible for people.
People who drive are able to access the super-centres with ease but many are being left to spend considerable sums on taxis or use public transport. For many, two buses are required to access either of the two new vaccination centres that are serving Lanarkshire.
“The centres that had been operating at venues like Whitehill and Fernhill Community Centres were both effective and convenient for local residents which is why many are confused that a decision has been made to change locations.
“Sending patients to one of the new super centres is going to be inaccessible for many and the impact of this is being felt primarily by elderly people who cannot drive and are putting themselves at risk by relying on public transport.
“It is vitally important that concerns are taken on board now and solutions are found to ensure that no one is having to get multiple buses to their vaccination site.
“I hope consideration will be given to bringing Whitehill Community Centre and Fernhill Community Centre back into use as a vaccination centre full time, so that my constituents across Rutherglen can access their vaccinations locally.”