Vaccination bus hopes to drive up jab rates in Peacehaven

A vaccination bus welcomed people from Peacehaven and the wider area aboard at the Meridian Centre today.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 5:29 pm
The vaccination bus in Peacehaven
The vaccination bus in Peacehaven

The mobile vaccination bus, which is the first of its kind in the area, is designed to make it easier to get the vaccine to hard-to-reach and vulnerable communities.

It came about thanks to a partnership between Brighton & Hove Buses, Here – a not-for-profit healthcare social enterprise providing NHS services – and Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group.

The bus offers a mix of walk-in vaccinations – subject to NHS eligibility criteria, such as age – and appointments booked with GPs.

A patient gets their jab aboard the bus

Dr Helen Curr, the chief executive officer of Here, said: “Over the past few months Here and general practice has established a fantastic partnership to deliver over 50,000 vaccinations for people across Brighton, Hove and the Havens at the Brighton Racecourse.

“We are thrilled to be expanding this partnership to create a new innovation with Brighton & Hove Buses to enable ever more innovative ways of delivering vaccines to where they are needed most.

“We are so grateful for the extraordinary efforts made on all sides to make this work and look forward to seeing the buses out in action very soon.”

Brighton & Hove and Metrobus’ Managing Director Martin Harris said he was pleased to see the first mobile vaccination bus in the Brighton area up and running.

The bus joins those already operating in Crawley and Merstham, which the bus company runs in partnership with the Alliance For Better Care.

Martin said: “We are very proud to be part of the NHS’ Coronavirus vaccination program.

“It is also a privilege to work alongside Here, which does excellent work putting patients first by integrating their healthcare.

“The bus is ideal because it has a built-in one-way system and it’s easy to ensure good ventilation.

“Some people, like those who have been shielding, may prefer not to go to hospital for their jab and get on a bus instead.

“There has been a lot of enthusiasm among our drivers to drive the vaccination buses.

“They’ve been keen to drive them because they want to be part of the national effort to reach everybody and to help get people protected.”

A Metrobus bus became the UK’s first mobile Covid-19 vaccination unit when it opened its doors in Crawley in February 2021.

Since then, Martin said the bus company had received a number of enquiries from hospitals, GPs, and bus companies about setting up similar projects in other parts of the country.