11 March 2022

Vaccination delivery programme for Aberdeenshire

Across Scotland, responsibility for the delivery of vaccinations is moving away from Primary Care and over to Health & Social Care Partnerships.

In Aberdeenshire this means that the Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) will be responsible for delivering in the region of 207,000 vaccinations across our population, every year. This will cover all vaccinations, including all childhood immunisations and the seasonal ‘Flu vaccinations. In addition to our ‘standard’ set of immunisations there may also be future requirements for further COVID-19 vaccinations.

The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination across Aberdeenshire has been very successful with 82.9%* of all adults over the age 18 having received both doses of the vaccination and the booster shot. Part of that success has been the drive to ensure local delivery with the establishment of 7 vaccinations centres located in – Macduff, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Huntly, Inverurie, Stonehaven and Banchory.

Initially Vaccination Centres were established in temporary venues but as the roll-out continues the AHSCP has looked to establish longer-term centres to keep vaccine delivery as local as possible. Finding suitable buildings to establish as bases has been the work of a team from NHS Grampian, Aberdeenshire Council and the AHSCP. Working together, at pace, the teams have looked at buildings in each area to find suitable venues for use as longer-term vaccination centres which also require the least amount of work to be converted into clinical spaces. 

To ensure the continued delivery of vaccinations in Kincardine & Mearns the AHSCP made the operational decision to convert Invercarron Resource Centre into a longer-term vaccination clinic. To do this the Aberdeenshire IJB issued a direction to the Communities Committee to approve the required procurement of work to the centre.

Today Communities Committee held a special meeting at which the committee approved the procurement of the required work.

Chief Officer for the Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership, Pam Milliken, said: “We have learned so many valuable lessons from the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, key among them being the need to keep vaccination centres as local as possible. Today’s decision at Communities Committee will mean that we will be able to ensure continued vaccination delivery to the whole of the Kincardine & Mearns population.

“I would also like to address some of the concerns raised by the community in Stonehaven around the loss of the Invercarron Resource Centre. As a partnership usually we pride ourselves on engaging with our communities to work together to deliver great, local, person-centred services. We acknowledge we could have worked better with the community however our teams have had to respond quickly to change during the pandemic.

“We understand the importance of the role that community groups play in supporting individuals and it is my very sincere hope that we can start to work together to find a new home for all those groups that need one. To start that process, we have commissioned Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network to provide a community liaison worker to support and grow community groups in Stonehaven and to help any former users of the Invercarron Resource Centre find new places to meet”

Chair of the Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board, Rhona Atkinson, said: “Ensuring the health and wellbeing of our population through vaccinations is a vital tool in our medical kit bag! Keeping the delivery of those vaccinations as close to home as possible is a priority which I’m glad to see we will be able to achieve.”

Vice Chair of the IJB, Cllr Anne Stirling, said: “The implementation of the direction from IJB by the Communities Committee will mean that the AHSCP will be able to move forward and ensure a robust, community focused vaccination delivery programme for the future.

“The committee also approved two amendments the first of which requires Officers to review the governance route and processes which led to the identification of the vaccination centre site. And the second will see the establishment of a local focus group to work with Officers from the AHSCP to improve communications and support local community groups better.”