Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the “brilliant team” operating the Stoke Mandeville Stadium vaccination centre, where he and Aylesbury MP Rob Butler met staff and volunteers in action and stopped to chat to patients getting their COVID jabs.
The Secretary of State visited the site last Friday (12 February), when he also discussed how the vaccination rollout was progressing in Buckinghamshire with key members of the site’s project team.
Mr Hancock said: “The Stoke Mandeville Stadium vaccination hub is a fantastic operation. I was impressed by the extremely efficient flow of so many people getting their vaccinations.” He added: “It’s so uplifting to meet everyone coming through and the operation is so smooth.”
Mr Butler also spoke of how he was, “overawed by the dedication and commitment of everybody involved, from the clinical lead Dr Sajid Zaib and project manager Dean Elliott from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, to the volunteers doing everything from administering the jabs to marshalling the queues and stewarding the car park.”
The Stoke Mandeville vaccination centre is one of nine GP-led vaccination sites in Buckinghamshire, and covers patients registered at practices around the Aylesbury area.
The stadium – the birthplace of the Paralympics – is owned by national wheelchair sports charity Wheelpower, who offered it up for use as a vaccination centre site last November. With support from partner organisations, including Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue and Buckinghamshire Council, dedicated volunteers and the stadium team itself, the site was up and running by 15 January.
Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s great to see the hard work of our amazing team at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium vaccination centre get this recognition. Getting these sites up and running to deliver so many vaccinations in such a short space of time has been a huge undertaking by all involved.
“Like all our GP-led vaccination centres, Stoke Mandeville Stadium has been a tremendous example of collaborative working between partner organisations and the community, and goes to show what can be achieved in Bucks when we work together.
“I would also like to thank the staff, volunteers and partners at all our nine GP-led vaccination centres across Bucks. They have been doing a magnificent job and I hope they are all proud of the tremendous impact their efforts are having on the lives of so many of our patients.”