Posted: Mon 13th Apr 2020

Schools in North Wales transformed into clinics to ensure childhood vaccinations can continue

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 13th, 2020

Schools in two North Wales counties have been transformed into clinics to ensure vaccinations for children against diseases such as measles can continue.

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been working with Gwynedd Council and Anglesey Council to ensure youngsters are still being immunised during the outbreak.

All secondary schools and some primary schools in both counties now have the vaccination programme up and running within their communities.

Clinical Lead Nurse for Primary Care in the west area of the region, Catrin Macey, started one of her clinics at Jessie Hughes Community Centre in Holyhead this week.

She said: “It is extremely important during this pandemic that children are still receiving their immunisations.

“Having these clinics set up in council owned buildings within the community not only reduces pressure on our GP surgeries, but also provides a safer environment for our children.”

The health board has also been working with the local authorities to establish other sites across the counties, which could be used for health services during the response to COVID-19.

Ffion Johnstone, Area Director, said: “During this outbreak of COVID-19 it is crucial that we continue to work together with our partners to ensure we can provide the services our community needs.

“As well as the setting up the immunisation clinics, there has been a lot of work ongoing to identify local assessment centres in Anglesey, Arfon, Dwyfor and Meirionnydd and to identify possible venues when our health buildings were not available.

“The Byw’n Iach Centre in Pwllheli and Arfon Tennis Centre were also identified as possible locations for the centres, and Gwynedd Council were extremely supportive in securing these locations as an option.

“Although we have now established Ysbyty Bryn Beryl as the assessment centre for this area, work is still ongoing with the local authority to ensure that the leisure centre can be used as an assessment hub if we see a demand for this.

“We have also worked closely with Bangor City Council and Bangor Football Club in securing a venue for the Arfon local assessment hub and work is progressing to get the hub open in the next few weeks, and we are very grateful for everyone’s support in getting this site ready.”

Leisure centres on Anglesey will also be used for clinical purposes and the community midwifery teams will be located at Llangefni Leisure Centre to ensure services can continue.

Anglesey council leader, Llinos Medi Huws, said: “These are unprecedented times; and as such partnership working between all organisations across the region is vital.

“We’re pleased to be able to support colleagues at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board by providing alternative locations for key services.

“It is important that health services like these continue on behalf of local communities and residents.”

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