A PHARMACY in Christchurch is to begin carrying out coronavirus vaccinations later this week.

The Grove Pharmacy at Christchurch Hospital, who have been granted status as a Pharmacy Led Mass Covid Vaccination Super Clinic, are due to receive Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday January 21, with their vaccination programme to start the following day.

The independently owned pharmacy are also looking for community volunteers to provide vital assistance in guiding and directing patients upon arrival, as well as vaccinator volunteers to help with jabs.

Owner Mitesh Patel said: “We are really excited; the team are buzzing.

“We will be holding two to three clinics a day and we are also looking for volunteers to help with ushering patients through the queuing process, provide assistance when needed and to actually conduct the jabs and vaccinations.

“People can book through the NHS online portal now and appointments can be made online.”

Having been selected as a Vaccination Super Clinic Saturday January 9, staff at the pharmacy have had to work around the clock to ensure that the facilities meet the current NHS standard.

“This has been done at a rapid pace and it has required a lot for work from staff at the pharmacy,” said Mr Patel. “Some staff have had to work Saturdays and Sundays and work until 8pm in the evenings to get these plans sorted.”

“There have been regular webinar sessions where they have outlined the information and process that our staff and volunteers need to follow, when the fridges will be delivered and how the vaccines will be handled.

“The staff here have worked so hard to get to where we are and we are nearly there now, we just need to do the last bit and find volunteers who can help us carry out our operations at the pharmacy and make sure that patients have a smooth journey through the whole process.”

Those willing to help out can sign up to volunteers through the national booking system, although they will need to get in touch with their GP to confirm they are eligible to help, with training provided.

Those with medical qualifications are asked to contact the pharmacy directly.

Vaccinations will begin with people ages over 80 and health care workers, however residents have been asked not to call the pharmacy about receiving vaccinations.

Mr Patel added: “We are looking for eight to 10 volunteers each day to work a 9am to 6pm. We hope to run the clinics seven days a week including Saturdays and Sundays so we will need quite a few willing volunteers to help us.

“Volunteers need to be IT literate and just need to bring a big smile with them to help put those coming to receive their vaccinations at ease because patients will be nervous

“People will be contacted and invited to come along so we ask for residents to not contact the pharmacy regarding vaccinations as we need to keep phonelines open for people who have pharmaceutical concerns or may have issues with their prescriptions.

“You will be notified by us when you are eligible for a vaccination.”

Community volunteers can sign up by visiting https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/i-want-to-volunteer, whilst those from a medical background are asked to email admin@medicineclinicltd.co.uk.