New vaccination site to open at Westgate Centre in Chichester city centre

Local NHS leaders said they had listened to the concerns of residents as they announced that a new vaccination centre was expected to open in Chichester city centre this month.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 9:21 am
Updated Friday, 12th February 2021, 3:15 pm
Westgate Leisure Centre, Chichester. Pic Steve Robards
Westgate Leisure Centre, Chichester. Pic Steve Robards

The new site will be located at Westgate leisure Centre in Via Ravenna, and will operate in addition to other sites in the area – including at the Selsey Centre and at Tangmere Village Hall.

For weeks, residents in Chichester have been calling for a vaccination site to be opened in the city centre, which they said would be more easily accessible to many people.

But local NHS leaders said that, while a number of venues in the city centre had been considered, none were suitable.

Last week, they confirmed a city centre site was being looked at once again – and this has now been confirmed as the Westgate Centre.

A spokesperson for the Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme said: “We have listened to local people over recent weeks and we are working to finalise the operational detail of a city centre site which will enable us to vaccinate more people more quickly as we move down the priority groups.”

Local representatives praised the NHS for listening to the concerns raised.

Councillor Eileen Lintill, Leader of Chichester District Council, said: “We are really grateful to our NHS colleagues for listening to our local residents and providing a city centre vaccination site.

“Since the start of the year, we have been working very closely with the NHS to make sure that our residents are well informed about their work and progress.

“We have seen first-hand how hard they have been working to rollout this incredible vaccination programme and how they have been willing to adapt in order to respond to local needs.

“The fact that they have chosen the council’s Westgate Centre as a vaccination site is wonderful.

“We are really proud that it is being used for this vital purpose, which will literally save lives and help us to take the first steps back to normality.

“I would like to thank all of those involved in the vaccination programme, from our doctors and nurses through to the fantastic volunteers – we will be forever grateful to you.”

Councillor Richard Plowman, Mayor of Chichester, said: “The people of Chichester will be very pleased to have a central vaccination centre and I would like to thank the NHS for listening to their concerns.

“I have received very favourable comments about the efficiency and friendliness of the vaccination centres and the relief residents feel having had the vaccination.

“It will be a great help for all those requiring their second vaccination and not having to travel so far.”

Gillian Keegan MP, Member of Parliament for Chichester said: “The vaccine roll-out has been a massive logistical effort on a scale never attempted before in the UK.

“I’ve been working closely with our local NHS leaders as we’ve progressed, especially to develop a Chichester City centre vaccine hub.

“I am very grateful to the whole team who have worked tirelessly to find an appropriate site to fulfil this need and all the frontline staff who are doing an incredible job vaccinating the most vulnerable in our society, and eventually everybody, against this virus.”

The NHS is on course to have offered the vaccination to everyone in the top four priority cohorts in the Chichester district by mid-February, in line with the national target.

“The size and speed of the roll-out of vaccination programme has been a phenomenal achievement so far and it is fantastic that we are now close to have vaccinated everyone in the first eligible priority groups across the Chichester district,” the Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme spokesman said.

Residents are being asked to take up the offer of a vaccine as soon as they are offered one.