Rishi Sunak has praised the commitment and dedication of the team helping to deliver the successful coronavirus vaccination programme in North Yorkshire.
The Richmond MP called at the Tennants Auction Centre in Leyburn – one of two primary care network vaccinations hubs in his constituency – to talk to the NHS staff and volunteers.
He saw the smooth operation of the process from start to finish and was impressed by the calm efficiency of the hub.
The centre is manned by staff from GP practices in Richmondshire supplemented by about 30 former NHS staff who have come out of retirement to help. Crucial to the centre’s success is the work of around 70 volunteer marshalls who assist with parking, hand sanitising and ensuring people arriving for their vaccination are directed to the appropriate place.
Mr Sunak said: “It was very reassuring to see the centre in operation and working so well. It was so professional, calm and efficient. Everyone involved is doing an amazing job.
“I have heard from many constituents about their positive experience of the Tennants centre and I would like to thank the NHS staff and volunteers and the team at Tennants for making such a success of this critical element in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.”
The Tennants centre, and the vaccination centre at the Forum in Northallerton which Mr Sunak visited at the beginning of the vaccine roll-out, is run by the Heartbeat Alliance of GP practices in the Hambleton and Richmondshire districts.
Iain Murray, chief executive of Heartbeat Alliance, said: “It was great to receive a visit from Mr Sunak to the vaccination site at Tennants Auction House and very gratifying to hear that he was impressed with the smooth and efficient processes that we have in place.
“We are making great progress in vaccinating Richmondshire with in excess of 88% of our over 60s already vaccinated and we look forward to continuing to provide second doses as well as vaccinating further cohorts as supplies permit.”
Lynn Irwin, Director of Corporate Affairs for Heartbeat Alliance and Lead Manager for the Tennants Auction House vaccination site added: “The success of the service has been down to the hard work and dedication of practice staff, retired clinicians, volunteer clinicians and administrators, the small army of volunteer marshalls, not to mention the fantastic team at Tennants.
“It’s been a real pleasure to be part of such a great team. Everyone involved should be very proud of all that has been achieved so far.”