Vaccinations minister Nadim Zahawi has said a Leicestershire hospital is being ‘actively considered’ as a coronavirus vaccination centre.
Mr Zahawi told MPs the Feilding Palmer Hospital in Lutterworth was a potential location of one of thousands of such hubs the Government is looking to set up across the country in an effort to immunise millions of people by Spring.
The hospital is currently open for out-patient appointments but in May it temporarily closed to in-patients over concerns it did not comply with new requirements for infection control and social distancing.
South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa raised the issue in the House of Commons after his constituents raised concerns about access to the vaccine.
He also asked the minister if other parts of the South Leicestershire would have access to jabs
Mr Zahawi said: “Across the United Kingdom we have more than 2,700 vaccination sites up and running, with seven vaccination centres opening this week and more to come next week and the week after.
“Regarding the question about Feilding Palmer hospital, I can confirm that this site is now being actively considered as a vaccination hub.
“All his constituents will be no more than 10 miles away from a vaccination centre, and I am pleased that the Sturdee Road health and wellbeing centre (in Eyres Monsell), which is a little over 10 miles away from Lutterworth, is administering vaccines now.”
Mr Costa said: “I thank the Minister and his team for the help that they gave me and my team in cajoling, pushing and encouraging the clinical commissioning group to reopen the Feilding Palmer Hospital in Lutterworth as a vaccination centre; that is excellent news for the people of Lutterworth and the surrounding villages.”
The MP told LeicestershireLive: “This is the largest vaccination programme in British history, and as such, this is a mammoth task for our brilliant NHS and Government to undertake and therefore, maintaining easy access for as many people as possible is the key factor here.”
He added: “We have already made tremendous progress with over 2.5 million in the UK having now received the vaccine, and I look forward to continue making the case for more local vaccination centres, such as Feilding Palmer, in the coming weeks to ensure my constituents and others can receive the vaccine without needing to travel too far”.
The Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust says while it was looking to make alterations to the hospital so it could re-open to in-patients it is not ready to re-admit them yet.