Call for urgent action plan to boost vaccine rollout in Lewes District

Local Liberal Democrats have released a three point action plan to support the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in our area after it became clear that Lewes District has fewer vaccination centres than any other area of East Sussex.

They are calling for more action to boost rollout in Lewes District, particularly in Newhaven and Seaford where there are currently no local vaccination centres.

Their plan to improve confidence in the process and access to vaccines for residents calls for:

  1. Urgently opening a local vaccination centre in Seaford or Newhaven
  2. Making use of local pharmacies and, where possible, GP’s surgeries to administer the vaccines across our area
  3. Adding people undertaking caring responsibilities to the priority list

Newhaven councillor and Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Lewes, James MacCleary, says:

“People living in Lewes District have the most difficult access to Covid-19 vaccinations. We know that we have high numbers of elderly people in the district who are becoming increasingly anxious as they wait to be contacted.

“They have listened to government advice warning against travel and are understandably very concerned about being asked to travel to Brighton or Eastbourne, often at very short notice. In addition, the cost of travel by taxi is prohibitive for many and the only other option for those who cannot drive is to take two buses to the nearest vaccination centre. All exposing them to increased risk of infection. There are places like the former UTC building in Newhaven and the Downs Leisure Centre in Seaford standing unused that seem like ideal locations.

“Once again Lewes District, in particular Newhaven and Seaford, seem to be at the back of the queue. Residents are asking for help and all that Lewes MP, Maria Caulfield, seems able to do is to blame overworked and exhausted GPs. We want to work with our overstretched health authorities to support the roll out in our community.”

Councillor Carolyn Lambert, Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Seaford South adds:

“I have been ringing round as many of my residents as possible and have spoken to people in their nineties who cannot understand why they can’t have the jab in Seaford. 

“I have also spoken to a number of people who are taking a huge pressure off the NHS and Adult Social Care by looking after older or clinically vulnerable relatives in their own homes.  These people should be treated in the same way as those working in care homes and given the Covid vaccination as a priority, preferably at the same time as those for whom they are caring. It’s a question of common sense”.