Hospital to look at jab centre relocation

Louise Hamilton Centre at the James Paget University Hospital.Picture: James Bass

Louise Hamilton Centre at the James Paget University Hospital.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A hospital is looking to move its Covid jab operations away from a building that had been used to provide patient support.

The James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston converted the Louise Hamilton Centre into a vaccination site with only some previous services remaining.

Since 2013 the Louise Hamilton Centre has provided a myriad of support and services to people across the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area.

They included a lymphoedema service, bereavement support, cancer and welfare advice and specialist palliative care nurses.

Some people who used the centre had voiced concerns it would not return to its full original use.

Ana Borges, who is 22 weeks pregnant, receives her Covid vaccination from Kirsty Cater, head of midw

A Covid jab is administered at the Louise Hamilton Centre - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The hospital has now said it is looking to relocate its jab facilities in the long term.

One of those concerned about the use of the centre is a Gorleston woman in her 80s who cares for her husband who has COPD and dementia.

They attended a dementia support group, received support from palliative care nurses and enjoyed sessions by the Healing Melodies Choir Group.

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She said: "I definitely miss being able to attend the Louise Hamilton Centre and the help and support it provided for me.

"It means I have lost a lot of my support network, which has definitely had a negative impact on my mental health and I now I feel so much more isolated and alone.

"I can also see the negative effect it's had on my husband.

"Obviously and understandably at the start of the pandemic all the services were stopped and the centre has been used as a vaccination centre, which had been acceptable.

"However it appears there are no plans for it be returned to its original use and this is causing a lot of upset."

A hospital spokesman said: "The Louise Hamilton Centre is temporarily being used as a vaccination centre to deliver vaccines as part of the nationwide drive to protect local communities from Covid-19.

"To maximise use of the centre, some services continue to operate from the centre, where they can safely continue to function alongside the vaccination function, and, where appropriate, service users are being signposted to appropriate support in the community.

"Longer term, the trust is exploring options to relocate its vaccination service elsewhere on the JPUH site."

Last month counselling services for people with progressive long-term diseases or illnesses  at the Louise Hamilton Centre ended.