Gransnet forums


Long journey for vaccine

(70 Posts)
TyneAngel Mon 25-Jan-21 10:04:31

I had a letter from the NHS inviting me to book a vaccination slot on line. When I got to the actual booking, the nearest centre was a 90 mile round trip. (I live in a very large town but my surgery is not vaccinating.) I took it, as I was anxious to have it done, at almost 80, but now snow and ice have made driving hazardous (the appointment is on Wednesday) I'm not sure what to do. Has anyone else had the experience of being sent to a distant centre? Did you turn it down and was a nearer centre offered?

Kate54 Mon 25-Jan-21 10:16:39

I woild ring GP for advice. There may/should be the option to attend at a much closer vaccination hub, without having to wait too much longer. And then make the decision. I know people who had this experience and then had a look online later on only to find something closer. I think this two-option system is very confusing for people.

Casdon Mon 25-Jan-21 10:20:21

My 92 year old mum travelled a similar distance, I think she would have gone further if necessary, as she just wanted the vaccination as soon as possible.
As the weather forecast is now improving and there shouldn’t be a frost on Tuesday night I’d be inclined to leave your appointment as it is. You may well have to wait longer otherwise, and still possibly not be offered an alternative venue, depending on your area arrangements. If it does turn out to be really bad weather and you have to cancel on the morning I’m sure the vaccination centre will be understanding.

Grammaretto Mon 25-Jan-21 10:21:49

I don't think that is acceptable TyneAngel. Contact your GP
I had my appointment letter today and although I live in the largest town in the county, I am having to travel to the other side of the county for the vaccine.
At least it is in mid Feb so the snow may have melted by then.
Good luck.

Grammaretto Mon 25-Jan-21 10:24:53

How did your DM get there though Casdon?
Travelling is so hazardous where we live, in Scotland.
My MiL had hers at her nearby surgery but had to be driven by her DS who is in a bubble with her, thankfully. She's almost 96.

Casdon Mon 25-Jan-21 10:59:28

My brother in law drove her there, she has never been a driver. I think it’s a very difficult balance, because mass vaccination centre are the most efficient from a vaccine delivery perspective, more people can be vaccinated quickly which is the ultimate aim. I think for anybody who can get to them, even if it’s a bit difficult, they should do so. If everybody takes the stance of ringing their GP it causes a big administrative burden for the practice, and they have no additional resources to deliver this vaccine. In the OPs case she said her GP practice aren’t delivering the vaccine anyway, so they most likely wouldn’t be able to rearrange for her anyway?
I think accessing vaccines very locally should be reserved at the moment for people who have no option (eg housebound, or in a care home) unless your appointment letter gives you a local option. If you genuinely have no means of getting there, your first port of call should be to see if voluntary arranged transport is available, and if not then ring the vaccination centre and see if they can offer a local alternative.

Tangerine Mon 25-Jan-21 11:03:14

When you book, you are asked if you want transport. Perhaps try to ring the phone number provided and see if this is possible. You could, as others have suggested, ring your GP and see if things can be arranged better. The worst is they say "no".

I hope you sort something out.

silverlining48 Mon 25-Jan-21 11:05:12

A bird in the hand and all that ?
We are on our 70s and still waiting

silverlining48 Mon 25-Jan-21 11:05:38

In not on

Rosalyn69 Mon 25-Jan-21 11:26:35

I’m still waiting. I wouldn’t want to travel 90 odd miles but would if required to do so.

EllanVannin Mon 25-Jan-21 11:26:36

My appointment was out of town and I was having difficulty in arrangeing a lift from my D who works and also looks after her GC, after turning down 4 appointments, the centre rang my D to see if she was free on Saturday gone, so that was that.

Many I now know only had to go into our nearest village so why I was sent further I don't know. Those who weren't well enough had the vaccinations at home in their own homes.

Spidergran3 Mon 25-Jan-21 14:20:11

I dont think you have to accept an appointment at a distant centre. Your own GP will be in touch eventually.

MissAdventure Mon 25-Jan-21 14:47:56

I'm trying to book up.
6am in Ipswich is the only option so far.
(I'm in Essex)

TyneAngel Mon 25-Jan-21 15:18:42

Dear ladies, thank you for all your kind responses. I have taken the faraway slot, for fear of waiting longer. Just pray the snow and ice have gone by Wednesday. Re contacting my GP, there is a message on the practice website in capital letters instructing patients not to call the surgery re vaccination as they cannot help, and the {overworked, I'm sure) receptionists are decidedly irritable. Good luck, keep safe.

JaneJudge Mon 25-Jan-21 15:23:23

It does all seem a bit random. My husbands Aunt and Mum live in the same village, my MIL was called to a local hotel (!!) and the GP surgery rang before to make sure she could get there and they gave it her whilst she sat in the car (she isn't really mobile anymore) but the Aunt in her 90s was called to a city centre facility and she can't drive and has no children to take her there, it just seemed a bit ridiculous, she had to cancel

MissAdventure Mon 25-Jan-21 15:23:23

At least it'll be done and out of the way, TyneAngel.
Hope the weather is mild for you.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 25-Jan-21 16:20:03


I'm trying to book up.
6am in Ipswich is the only option so far.
(I'm in Essex)

There is a vaccination centre down the road from me MissA have you tried that (it's the clinic on the left)

MissAdventure Mon 25-Jan-21 16:25:58

It's not an option on the link work have sent me, grannygravy, which is what I have to use to book it.
I have a drop down box with a choice of oxford (the place, not the vaccine) or Ipswich.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 25-Jan-21 16:45:43

MissAdventure that's ridiculous!!

There are at least three vaccination centres in our immediate area, why on earth are they sending younso far away?

MissAdventure Mon 25-Jan-21 16:49:32

They're the sites that are left.
The hospitals are doing the vaccine, but I expect everyone is booking those as fast as they crop up.

I'm hoping that maybe in a day or two (or ten) I'll be able to find something more local.

westendgirl Mon 25-Jan-21 16:54:49

When I got back from having my vaccine, which was arranged by phone call with a G.P. there was a letter from the NHS inviting me to go on line to get an appointment to have the vaccine.

MawBe Mon 25-Jan-21 17:30:20


I'm trying to book up.
6am in Ipswich is the only option so far.
(I'm in Essex)

That is dreadful. My “fellow Grandpa “is in Woodford (Redbridge) and he had his at a civilised hour on Saturday.
There is clearly a huge disparity in areas and practices.
I drove 2 miles yesterday morning to my GP practice and was home in just over half an hour.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 25-Jan-21 17:41:44

DH has just rang GP and he is having his vaccination Wednesday morning in the clinic 5 minute walk along our road.

MissA I have pm’d you

paperbackbutterfly Tue 26-Jan-21 09:56:43

My mum was offered a vaccine at a big center about 70 miles away. She rang her gp and he said not to go because he would have slots in the next fortnight. Ring your gp and ask for something closer to home. New centre's are coming online now and soon pharmacists will be offering it too.

cc Tue 26-Jan-21 10:05:29

Fortunately we've had our vaccinations at a surgery only a couple of miles from home, though we could not have got there without driving. I wouldn't have driven myself there in the snow, particularly as there might not have been parking available at the surgery.
My BIL decided to turn down his first offer as it was many miles from home. Its difficult to weigh the risk of catching Covid whilst you wait for a vaccination against the difficulty of getting to the offered appointment.