Chesterfield’s iconic Winding Wheel theatre will become Derbyshire’s latest COVID-19 vaccination site tomorrow (JANUARY 14), continuing the rapid rollout of the vaccination programme across the county.

The site will begin vaccinations on Thursday morning, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and it will be followed closely by a second Chesterfield vaccination site at Wheatbridge Surgery on Saturday.

The Chesterfield Borough Council-owned Winding Wheel becomes the tenth primary care vaccination site serving Derbyshire. It is the first of a new wave of openings, with six other sites also opening in the coming days.

The Winding Wheel is a Grade II listed building, built in 1923, and was previously the Picture House Cinema. It normally hosts a popular programme of arts and entertainments, but has been converted into a vaccination site through the hard work of teams from several organisations working together.

The Winding Wheel will initially only carry out vaccinations for healthcare workers, while patient vaccinations are carried out at the nearby Wheatbridge Surgery, ensuring Chesterfield is well provided. Some Chesterfield patients may also be offered appointments at Stubley Medical Practice in Dronfield, if that is more convenient for them.

This start of vaccinations at the Winding Wheel site marks the start of a new wave of openings, including the county’s most southerly vaccination site so far, in Swadlincote. The full list of this wave of openings is:

·       Winding Wheel Theatre, Chesterfield

·       Wheatbridge Surgery, Chesterfield

·       Littlewick Medical Centre

·       Springs Health Centre, Clowne

·       Buxton Medical Practice

·       Shirebrook Sports Sports Hall

·       Oaklands Village Commmunity Centre, Swadlincote

 

Vaccinations at the Winding Wheel are being carried out by Chesterfield & Dronfield Primary Care Network (PCN), representing 12 GP practices. Vaccinations are all by appointment only.

People should not contact their GP about a vaccination unless asked to do so, and should not attend any vaccination site without an appointment.

Derby & Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is managing the rollout of the vaccine across the county, and CCG medical director Dr Steve Lloyd said the opening of the Winding Wheel was another big step forward.

The Winding Wheel is such a treasured and historic part of Chesterfield and I’m delighted that it is playing an important in this major vaccination programme.

Carrying out vaccinations at the Winding Wheel means we can provide this vital vaccine to the people of Chesterfield and its surrounding areas in a location well known to most people.

Teams from the PCN, Chesterfield Council and Derbyshire Community Healthcare Services and the CCG have all worked incredibly hard to get this vaccination site up and running, and I’m really proud of their efforts.

The contrast with the modern surrounds of Derby Arena, which opened just last week, demonstrates how flexible, thorough and determined our teams are to identify and prepare the most appropriate venues to reach as many patients as possible.

I’m also particularly pleased that we are beginning vaccinations in Swadlincote, which is our most southerly site yet and provides a vaccination site for communities of South Derbyshire.”

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted that the Covid-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out in Chesterfield. The use of The Winding Wheel Theatre, which the council owns and operates, as a local vaccination site is a huge step forward in our fight against the virus.

“We’ve been working closely with NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners to support the roll out and ensure that The Winding Wheel Theatre is ready to receive health care workers for their vaccinations. At this time, Chesterfield residents will be invited to have their vaccination at another local venue, and I urge as many people as possible to come forward and get vaccinated.

“Although this is a huge step forward, we must all make sure we continue to follow the Government guidelines and protect our most vulnerable.”

Vaccinations will be rolled out to more sites over the coming days and weeks, as the vaccination programme continues to build momentum.

The first vaccinations in Derbyshire took place at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Royal Derby Hospital on December 8th, followed by the county’s first vaccinations at a primary care site on December 18th at Stubley Medical Centre.