Thanet large scale vaccination hub to open next week at ‘for sale’ Saga building

The Saga ccentre in Ramsgate Image Sibley Pares

A large-scale covid vaccination centre is due to open on Monday (February 22) at the Ramsgate Saga building which is currently up for sale.

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust is  the leading provider and co-ordinator for Kent and Medway’s COVID-19 large-scale vaccination centres.

The trust currently runs large-scale centres at the Folca building (the old Debenhams store) in Folkestone, The Woodville in Gravesend and the Angel Centre in Tonbridge.

Thanet will be the fourth centre, running alongside the vaccination programmes at GP hubs for Ramsgate, Margate/Mocketts and Minster where thousands of people have already received Pfizer or AstraZeneca jabs. It is understood it will open to patients from noon on Monday.

The Saga site was revealed as the expected location for the hub last weekend although confirmation was still being sought

KCHFT Chief Executive Paul Bentley (above) said: “We’re really excited to be able to announce the location of our fourth vaccination centre for Kent and Medway in the heart of one our most deprived communities.

“We’ll be working closely with local GPs who have been doing a brilliant job already to protect the most vulnerable people in Thanet, as all of us in the NHS continue to ramp up our efforts to beat COVID-19.

“When I consider we were only asked to fulfil this role at the very end of last year and in the space of less than two months have taken something that was an idea and we’ve recruited, trained and inducted more than 2,000 members of staff and opened four centres  – it really is incredible.

“But what strikes me is that many members of staff have day jobs, so it’s not just that they are vaccinating people, they are also working a shift in a community hospital, or working as a health visitor or as reception staff. I’m extremely proud and this is a tremendous testament to the values and the way in which our NHS team respond.

“We also couldn’t do this without the support of our partners. I’d like to thank Craig Mackinlay MP who identified the Saga site for us and has worked so supportively to make this a reality.”

Vaccination

The Thanet centre will be open to people aged 65 and over. Invitations to people in priority cohort five (over 65s) have been sent this week.  You can make an appointment by phoning 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination. Anyone who is in a higher priority cohort (over 70, clinically extremely vulnerable or health and social care staff), can also book at any site.

Craig Mackinlay

­­MP for South Thanet Craig Mackinlay said: “Vaccinations are key to saving lives and getting back to normality. That’s why I’m delighted to have located and, with the agreement and co-operation of the owner and the NHS, secured the Saga Centre at Eurokent Business Park in Ramsgate as a super vaccination centre.

“The Saga Centre is a superb site that has a huge administering capacity of thousands of jabs per day and is fantastic news for residents in Thanet and east Kent, and another milestone on the road to beating Covid.”

The large-scale vaccine centres are capable of delivering thousands of vaccinations each week, scaling their operations up and down according to vaccine supply.

People who book will have a pre-vaccination assessment before they receive their vaccine. Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues. Anyone having the vaccine will need to wait for 15 minutes before driving.

If anyone has already been vaccinated since the letter was sent out or would prefer to wait to be invited to attend a hospital or GP service, they can simply ignore it. People such as care home residents, who are unable to travel to vaccination centres, hospitals or GP-led sites, are already being vaccinated at home. If people have already been given an appointment by their GP service, they should attend that. Patients in cohort six (people with underlying health conditions under 65) will be contacted by their GP.

The Saga site has been marketed with agents Sibley Pares as freehold with vacant possession.. The price is revealed ‘on application’ and the property listed as ‘potential for redevelopment.’

The building is at the rear of Westwood Cross, close to Toby Carvery, off New Haine Road.

Inside the Saga building before vaccination preparations Image Sibley Pares

NHS England has started offering vaccines to people aged 65 and over and people with underlying health conditions which mean they are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19

The government aims to offer a vaccine to all priority cohorts 1 to 9 by May and all adults by September.

Photo Craig Mackinlay

The current covid positive rate for Thanet stands at 86 per 100,000 as of February 11. This is a vast reduction on rates on December 20 which stood at 639 per 100,000.

The national rate is currently 142 per 100,000. The Estimated R number for the UK is now between 0.7 to 0.9 . The R rate is the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average. If the R value is higher than one, then the number of cases increases.

But if the R number is lower the disease will eventually stop spreading, because not enough new people are being infected to sustain the outbreak.

Priority groups 1-9

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

Booking

Booking for those  aged 65 and above or clinically vulnerable

The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service which can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.

The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them.

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

If a suitable and convenient slot is not available people can also call their GP practice.

Clinically vulnerable people as those with: 

  • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma
  • chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease including epilepsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe and profound learning disability
  • diabetes
  • solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers
  • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
  • asplenia and splenic dysfunction
  • morbid obesity
  • severe mental illness

For a full list of other sites already up and running, visit www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/covid19vaccine

27 Comments

  1. I had to go to Folkstone and stand out in the cold wind and rain for over an hour, then 40 plus min inside plus a wait of 15min after. And not a toilet available for any customer. No2 will be closer to home.

    • I went to the Folkstone hub a couple of weeks ago. Brilliant experience. Straight in, plenty of cheerful, helpful stewards, ultra sanitizing, whole process clearly explained.
      In and out (both me and the needle) in no time at all.
      A steward did confide in me there had been problems early on, with many very confused elderly people, carers, wheel chairs, Zimmer frames etc.
      But my experience was very positive

  2. I note that on the Government website for the virus that Westbrook and Garlinge area is officially suppressed from Covid. The easiest way to access the site is to go to Thanet D.c. website where there is a link to the Government website. If you click on the map you can zoom into any area in England.

  3. Very apt title for the building for this endeavour. Astra Zeneca’s ChAdOx1-S (recombinant) is something many would avoid after doing their own research for these experimental rushed-to-the market jabs. Plus noting the Norwegian Health Authority’s withdraw of the jab for the vulnerable elderly, and the recent results in
    AGAPLESION Bethanien Havelgarten retirement home in Berlin-Spandau. Let alone the uncensored UK Column’s care worker reports. Informed choice is always a good thing. Uninformed didn’t work out too well for the SARs vaccine damaged people who had to go to the court of appeal for redress.

  4. Hey Democrat i see you are still having a go at vaccines. 15 million & rising are vaccinated & are in a much better position. You need to see reality.

    • A considerable amount refusing it as well across the world – including health and care workers, and about a third of the US military. That’s the reality of informed choice. It’s a great thing to have.

  5. Would you post references to your sources?
    What does “considerable amount” mean, exactly?
    Or do you expect us (as is so often the case) to do our own research?
    All the more reason for vacination passports. It’s your right not to be vaccinated; it’s my right not to be obliged to share a train, plane, restaurant, bar with you.

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