PLENTY of free parking, trained staff, brilliant volunteers and a system that runs like clockwork – Knights Pharmacy have created a facility that can handle 5-6,000 Covid vaccinations a week at their Palmer Road HQ in Redditch.
However before everyone stampedes there, director Nitin Sodha says people must book on the NHS’s national Covid-19 system at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/.
“We’re not a walk-in centre,” he said.
“We’ve had people just turn up and we’ve had to say, ‘sorry, we just can’t help you’.”
For those struggling with the online form, or with no access to the internet at all, Knights can help, said superintendent pharmacist Mo Kolia.
“We have our own dedicated helpline,” he said.
This is run by Janet Herbert-Fowler, who has found herself showered in gifts – and offers of dinner – by grateful recipients of the jab.
“I don’t know of any other vaccination centre doing this,” said Mo.
“Janet is one of our many unsung heroes, she is there to help and support people who are having trouble filling in the online form, or who think they’ve booked themselves in and then discover they haven’t. She’s doing a fantastic job.”
The idea grew out of the wait some people were facing on the NHS Covid helpline at 119.
Now if people can get stuck they just need to ring Redditch 01527 502355 and choose option O to get through to Janet at Knights.
Their centre boasts a small army of volunteers, provided by Worcestershire County Council, as well as clinical staff.
“We’re basically in a huge warehouse here so we have plenty of social distancing,” said Mo.
Jab recipients are signposted from Alders Drive into Oxsleasow Road and from there into Palmers Road where there is plenty of parking.
There they are greeted by a volunteer and taken to where their details are confirmed and temperature taken.
They are then clinically assessed and checked before the vaccine is administered.
Once over they sit and waiting in a second seating area for 15 minutes or so before being given the all-clear to go.
“We’re part of the overall system of the clinical network, part of primary care,” said Mo.
“And as a community pharmacy we have clearly shown we can deliver and that we are an integral part of the solution.”