18th January 2021
Note on Testing and Vaccination from the Chief Executive of TWBC
The testing site at Knights Park is (finally) up and running. It was in operation last weekend and is next scheduled to be in operation on 22 and 23 January. No further future dates have been provided. The site is for anyone who has Covid symptoms.
The Assembly Hall Theatre opened last week for asymptomatic testing to identify people who are Covid positive but not displaying symptoms to break the chain of transmission. It has received very positive feedback. Further centres are due to open at The Vestry Hall in Cranbrook and then at The Hopfarm near Paddock Wood.
I sent the attached briefing note in last week’s bulletin which sets out the approach to vaccination. Information is being updated on the CCG website here: www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/your-health/coronavirus/covid19vaccine
The Borough is split into three ‘PCN’ (Primary Care Network) areas – Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and The Weald.
The vaccination programme has been up and running for some time in Tunbridge Wells and has now started (this week) in both Tonbridge and The Weald. We are talking to all PCNs about possible additional venues that would reduce the journey time for residents.
Because the programme for The Weald is being undertaken by a neighbouring PCN (‘The Ridge’) patients will, in the first instance be asked to travel to either Headcorn or Ticehurst. We are working closely with the Clinical Director of The Ridge to identify sites in the East of the Borough that will reduce travel times and distance. We are also helping them book patients in for their vaccine. We are also talking to the CCG about further ‘mass vaccination sites’ in the West of the county. The first to come on stream will be Darent House (in Sevenoaks) with a capacity to take 1,000 patients a day. We are acutely aware that residents are very keen to be vaccinated but it is important that they don’t ring their surgery (placing additional pressure on the system) but, rather, wait to be contacted.
At the member briefing, I was asked about the use of the Masonic Hall in Tunbridge Wells and I can confirm that the Tunbridge Wells PCN have relocated their operations from Abbey Court to the Masonic Hall.
NOTE: Brenchley Memorial Hall and Matfield Village Hall have been offered as local vaccination centres.