Sheffield medical centre criticised by patients and relatives over slow vaccine rollout

A Sheffield GP surgery has been criticised after many of its elderly and vulnerable patients had to wait for their vaccinations due to a delay in the rollout.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 12:30 pm

Far Lane Medical Practice in Hillsborough only began vaccinating its over 80s this week, several weeks after most other surgeries in the city started the programme.

This has left patients in vulnerable groups waiting several weeks for their jabs, with one 100-year-old patient even opting to travel to Sheffield Arena rather than wait for an appointment.

The cause is reported to be the surgery’s failure to join in with its primary care network’s vaccine rollout, whereby several surgeries in one area join forces to administer the jabs.

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Patients at Far Lane Medical Centre in Hillsborough have complained about the surgery's slow vaccine rollout (photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire).

This is now believed to have been rectified, however, meaning Far Lane patients in at risk groups have begun getting vaccines this week, but some patients and relatives are angry it has taken so long.

Ruth Mitchell, who attends the nearby Fairlawns Medical Centre in Middlewood, said she knew of several elderly and vulnerable patients at Far Lane who had yet to be vaccinated while much younger and healthier people at other practices within its network got theirs weeks ago.

And she added that dozens of people had also been venting their frustration online about the delays, with many saying the way the vaccine was being delivered to Far Lane patients was unfair and ‘lacked common sense’.

She said: “Vulnerable people and the over 80s have either not been contacted or have been asked to go to the Arena rather than a local centre. It is ridiculous.

“Also, the Arena is also only giving out single appointments so two people of similar age, one of whom is vulnerable, cannot book an appointment together but must go separately or one must go twice.

“However, today I have been contacted by my GP practice and am having my vaccination at Fairlawns next Monday yet I have only been 70 for 2 months! I feel very guilty accepting it because of what I have heard from others.”

Far Lane Medical Practice did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Their website says patients should ‘await a call from either Far Lane Medical Centre, a vaccination centre or a letter from NHS England’.

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