By Lucy Ashton

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has written to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to raise concerns that the Concord Centre in Dumbarton will only be offering flu vaccinations once a week.

This is despite the fact that, during the initial COVID-19 vaccination programme, it was open every day.

Jackie Baillie, pictured right, cited the fact that there is increased eligibility for flu vaccines this year and that the winter flu season is fast approaching. She has seen first hand the large queues that have formed at local vaccination centres, like Alexandria Leisure Centre.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde bosses responded to the letter, stating that: “Our venues were agreed with local authority colleagues based on their local knowledge and also on competing demands for community venues.”

[“Local authority colleagues not a good choice to ask for advice. They ran the Alexandria Centre on Saturday for Dumbarton folk until well after dark when the Renton Road was closed and there was little or no public transport available. See MIscellany for further details. Editor]

The health board added: “As a result, Concord as a venue had to be returned back to the Council after our summer programme as it was needed for other vital programmes. Unfortunately it is only available for vaccination one day a week.

Following Jackie’s intervention, the health board will now be siting a mobile vaccination centre behind the Masonic Hall in Dumbarton to provide additional capacity.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “Anyone with an ounce of local knowledge would know just how vital the use of the Concord is for the roll out of any vaccination programme. I am disappointed that the Council was not able to offer any more than one day a week.

“Local people are being forced to travel long distances, many using expensive public transport, to get the vaccines that they need. This is simply not good enough.

“I am pleased that the health board have responded to my urgent request for additional capacity in Dumbarton and that there will be a mobile vaccination centre in the car park behind the Masonic Hall later this month.”

West Dunbartonshire Council’s representative on the Health Board is none other than SNP group leader Jonathan McColl who has said in the past that it is more important for him to deal with constituency correspondence than to attend their meetings, a job for which he is paid around £8,000 a year in addition to his council salary and other emoluments.

Top picture: Masonic Hall in Church Street, Dumbarton.

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