New Fund To Help People Get To Vaccine Hubs In North Cumbria

A new fund to support small organisations helping people travel to vaccine hubs is now available in north Cumbria.

NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group has provided £10,000 for small grants of up to £500, to enable grassroots organisations to help people travel to receive their covid vaccine.

The money is held by Cumbria Community Foundation and is intended to support costs, including mileage for volunteer drivers, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for those volunteers.

Peter Rooney, chief operating officer for the CCG, said: “Because of the logistical and clinical issues around handling the vaccine and the need to vaccinate many people quickly our GPs have been working together in groups called Primary Care Networks largely operating out of hubs.

“This can make it difficult for some people to travel to these hubs and we absolutely don’t want people to be disadvantaged because of that.

“In Cumbria there is a strong history of groups meeting transport needs in our communities and we want to support them to be effective at this very challenging time.”

Dr Jenny Benson, Director of Programmes & Partnerships at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “These small grants can make a real difference to these organisations who we know are best placed to help their own community.

“It means they can buy PPE to support their drivers and ensure costs are covered when there are strict rules about the numbers of people travelling because of covid restrictions.”

Charitable organisations in Allerdale, Copeland, Carlisle and Eden can apply to support drivers who are voluntarily supporting the vaccination rollout by transporting patients to their nearest vaccination hub.

Many people in West Cumbria have complained about the distance needed travel in order to reach their nearest mass vaccination hub.

For those in Copeland this, on the NHS website, is situated in Ulverston which, although is only 30 plus miles away on average, takes over an hour to get to by car.

For more information and to apply, visit:
https://www.cumbriafoundation.org/fund/nhs-patient-transport-fund/