Mansfield pensioner's warning after queuing in cold for coronavirus vaccine in Kirkby

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A Mansfield pensioner has warned elderly and vulnerable people going for the coronavirus jab to ‘wrap up warm’ after experiencing a cold wait in a Kirkby queue.

Mansfield couple 82-year-old Denis Ball and his 93-year-old wife Betty, had their Covid 19 vaccination on Wednesday.

The couple, both retired Mansfield Chad employees, queued outside for their lunchtime appointment at the Kirkby Community Primary Care Centre.

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Denis said: “You don’t expect the red carpet but the people are over 80, some in their 90s, some in wheelchairs, some on walking frames, it wasn’t good to have to wait outside in the cold like that. There were no chairs.

Kirkby Community Primary Care Centre - located at the Ashfield Health VillageKirkby Community Primary Care Centre - located at the Ashfield Health Village
Kirkby Community Primary Care Centre - located at the Ashfield Health Village

"We were glad we were in warm clothes. We got there before 1pm, our appointment was 1.10pm, and we got inside by about 1.35pm.

“You were guided through railings, gazebos near the door, then moved to a room for another wait, allocated a nurse, and filled in forms. You were so cold, you couldn’t write your name before you even got to the jab.

"Our friend who uses a walking frame went with a relative for an evening appointment. They were waiting for about two hours and were frozen to death. They had to warm up in the car afterwards.

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“I don’t blame the NHS. I think it’s the firm running the appointments. They are squeezing people in. I’d warn people if you are going for the jab, be prepared, wrap up warm, a woolly hat, scarf and gloves and take a flask!”

Denis added: “They said it might hurt a bit afterwards, it does feel like you have bumped into a door, but it’s not terrible. I’d say to anyone going the worst thing is the long wait and the freezing cold, so wrap up warm!”

Ashfield and Eastwood MP Lee Anderson who visited the site said: “It is unacceptable for elderly and vulnerable people to wait outside with no chairs, in the cold.

"I’ve raised it with the Health Secretary this morning. The CCG and NHS assure me it’s teething problems.

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"They are putting measures to make the traffic flow quicker and arranging for waiting inside, some are told to stay in cars. They also urging people not to come too early. It’s not the staff inside’s fault, they’re doing a fantastic job.”