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Vaccination centres 'a priority' for gritters

Blaydon centre

We have been putting in extra resources to ensure residents can get to Covid-19 vaccination centres despite the bad winter weather. 

Met Office forecasts of snowfall led to some concern that elderly residents might not be able to safely access the vaccination centres and would miss their vaccination appointments. The council therefore decided to prioritise vaccination centres and make extra efforts to ensure the access was maintained. 

We have five Covid-19 vaccination centres - in Blaydon, Felling, Birtley, Old Fold and Bensham. 

Philip Hindmarsh, service director for Environment and Fleet Management, says: 

"Fortunately, all of our vaccination centres are on routes that are already gritted as a matter of priority, but we needed to ensure the centres themselves were a priority so we didn't leave it at that." 

"We made sure that every vaccination centre was supplied with a grit pile so staff there could ensure safe pedestrian for people attending appointments. 

Vaccination centre parking
"We also added the car parks to our normal gritting regime. Obviously, this is much more difficult during the daytime because our vehicles are large and would have access problems due to the presence of parked cars. However, we got round that by deploying small transit-sized vehicles with a small gritter attached. 

"Gateshead's five Covid-19 test sites are also a priority and we've been looking closely at those too. 

"Obviously we can't grit every single street and every path in Gateshead, but hopefully by making these centres a priority for our gritting crews we can make more of the journey from home to the centre a little more bearable.  

"The weather forecast has now improved slightly so we are not expecting too many problems over the next few days, but we'll be watching the weather very closely and continuing to make access to our vaccination centres a priority." 

Councillor Bernadette Oliphant, Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, says: 

"It is really important that people don't miss their Covid-19 vaccinations, so while some areas have been advising people not to travel to appointments it's good to see that our council has gone that extra mile to make sure the weather isn't a barrier to people getting their jabs. 

"It will take some time to vaccinate everyone so the last thing we need is for everything to be delayed and for vulnerable people to be holed up at home unable to get their vaccination due to the weather. I'm glad we are doing more to ensure people can keep their appointments and can get their safely."  

Blaydon centre
15 January 2021

We have been putting in extra resources to ensure residents can get to Covid-19 vaccination centres despite the bad winter weather. 

Met Office forecasts of snowfall led to some concern that elderly residents might not be able to safely access the vaccination centres and would miss their vaccination appointments. The council therefore decided to prioritise vaccination centres and make extra efforts to ensure the access was maintained. 

We have five Covid-19 vaccination centres - in Blaydon, Felling, Birtley, Old Fold and Bensham. 

Philip Hindmarsh, service director for Environment and Fleet Management, says: 

"Fortunately, all of our vaccination centres are on routes that are already gritted as a matter of priority, but we needed to ensure the centres themselves were a priority so we didn't leave it at that." 

"We made sure that every vaccination centre was supplied with a grit pile so staff there could ensure safe pedestrian for people attending appointments. 

Vaccination centre parking
"We also added the car parks to our normal gritting regime. Obviously, this is much more difficult during the daytime because our vehicles are large and would have access problems due to the presence of parked cars. However, we got round that by deploying small transit-sized vehicles with a small gritter attached. 

"Gateshead's five Covid-19 test sites are also a priority and we've been looking closely at those too. 

"Obviously we can't grit every single street and every path in Gateshead, but hopefully by making these centres a priority for our gritting crews we can make more of the journey from home to the centre a little more bearable.  

"The weather forecast has now improved slightly so we are not expecting too many problems over the next few days, but we'll be watching the weather very closely and continuing to make access to our vaccination centres a priority." 

Councillor Bernadette Oliphant, Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, says: 

"It is really important that people don't miss their Covid-19 vaccinations, so while some areas have been advising people not to travel to appointments it's good to see that our council has gone that extra mile to make sure the weather isn't a barrier to people getting their jabs. 

"It will take some time to vaccinate everyone so the last thing we need is for everything to be delayed and for vulnerable people to be holed up at home unable to get their vaccination due to the weather. I'm glad we are doing more to ensure people can keep their appointments and can get their safely."  

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