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Guildford Vaccination Centre Operating Efficiently But Below Capacity

Published on: 5 Oct, 2021
Updated on: 7 Oct, 2021

Guildford residents, most of them elderly, are being steadily processed and given their booster jabs at the Artington Covid vaccination centre.

The operation was moved to the out of town, park and ride site after six months first at G Live and then George Abbot School.

A Guildford Dragon NEWS reader had claimed that problems with the invitation process had resulted in very low attendee numbers, staff left “twiddling their thumbs” and even the disposal of unused vaccine but today (October 5) a continuous trickle of patients was arriving and being dealt with promptly.

No queues at the Artington Covid vaccination centre.

Philip Kemp, associate director for Covid-19 response at Procare, the umbrella GP body responsible for operating the vaccination service in the Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area, did not address our question about unused vaccine being thrown away but said: Attendees to the Artington park and ride site are slightly lower than we would hope, although figures are in line with national statistics.

“We are currently vaccinating four cohorts out of Artington, which is located between Guildford and Godalming, with invitations from GPs and the national booking service system being the predominant method of bringing eligible cohorts to the clinic.”

Although not mentioned on the CCG website, the centre is offering booster vaccinations to those who had their second Covid jab at least six months ago on a “walk-in” basis as well as to those who require their first and second injections.

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Responses to Guildford Vaccination Centre Operating Efficiently But Below Capacity

  1. Norman Smith Reply

    October 5, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Been booked for Madrid Road pharmacy on October 18 but a friend has been to Artington before that.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    October 5, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    That will be fun for the modal shift non-car driving brigade trying to get there from the other side of Guildford.

  3. Maurice Barham Reply

    October 5, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    The online search and booking system for boosters needs to be reviewed. My Shalford post code would have taken me to Madrid Road as the nearest centre and then much further afield. There was no mention of Artington anywhere and that would be my obvious choice.

    We will be going there “unannounced”.

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      October 7, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      I phoned my GP practice and was given the phone number of Procare. I phoned them up and got an appointment quite quickly to attend the Artington Vaccine Centre. I live in Farncombe, so it was very convenient. I needed the booster jab as my six months old 2nd jab was no good for travel abroad. The 15-minute after vaccination waiting room was about a quarter full.

      A few days later I got an invitation by email to apply for an appointment but I already had my booster jab by then.

  4. D O'Sullivan Reply

    October 6, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    I and some friends have attended as walk-ins at the Artington site. We are all under 45 but could attend as the site is open to anyone who has had their second jab more than six months ago. It is also possible to telephone Procare to book an appointment if you’re eligible- you don’t need to wait to be called.

    I completely concur with The Dragon that it is extremely well organized on-site with plenty of courteous staff members. I was in and out in less than 25 minutes, including the mandatory 15-minute wait after the vaccination.

  5. Peggy and Frank Watson Reply

    October 8, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    My husband and I were initially reluctant to use Artington as we do not have transport and my husband is severely disabled. However one of the grandchildren offered to drive over from Hayward’s Heath and take us.

    The whole experience was really pleasurable.

    Telephoning to get an appointment was easy. There were plenty of signs on route to the vaccination centre. Parking was a doddle. Everyone at the centre was so kind and friendly. A wheelchair was provided from car to registration immediately. The whole procedure ran like clockwork.

    We would definitely recommend the centre.

  6. Robert Hills Reply

    October 10, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    I too have had similar booking problems as described by other contributors.

    Residing at Farncombe, my elder sister and I were looking to book our booster vaccinations at Artington (just over 2 miles away) but when phoning the NHS 119 dedicated number, the call handler was not even aware that there was a vaccination centre at Artington.

    Woking was offered as the nearest based on our post code which is a nonsense when Artington is nearer and so close to home.

    Separately, I was then advised to phone PROCARE (01483-362522) which I did and booked appointments at Artington for both of us at 3.30pm. on Saturday 9th October without any problem. The process on the day was excellent and I would describe the centre as busy while we were there.

    There is clearly no coordination or liaison between the NHS and PROCARE and that disappointing situation needs to be addressed now to ensure that other people living in the Guildford/Godalming/Farncombe area are directed to Artington and not to a location much further away which is, at present, being applied in practice. That will also avoid people using more petrol than they need to at a time of uncertainty with regular Fuel supplies.

    I would describe the Artington site as busy but I understand that from Monday 11th October, opening hours and days are being reduced to Tuesday to Saturday (not Monday) and from 10am to 6pm only, instead of 8am to 8pm. I believe that new arrangement can, however, be altered at short notice if the changing circumstances support that revised approach.

    Clearly, a considerable sum of money has been invested in the facility at Artington which should be used productively on a Monday to Saturday basis, by booking patients to full capacity who do not need to be sent elsewhere with much longer journeys.

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