Signage set to come down after closure of Kirkcaldy COVID vaccine centre
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It comes after NHS Fife switched appointments from what was the biggest vaccination centre in Fife to the new community immunisation hub in the town’s Templehall area. It stopped using the M&S venue in summer with problems heating the vast empty premises a factor in the decision.
The retailer gave the building to the NHS for free in 2021 as part of a network of major COVID vaccine centres. NHS Fife had spent months looking at suitable venues across the Kingdom capable of delivering larger numbers of COVID-19 vaccinations - this involved considering the accessibility of the potential venues, clinical waste disposal and whether safe physical distancing requirements could be met
By the time the doors opened, first jags had been given to over 190,000 Fifers, but the super hubs meant the health authority could ramp up i6s programme.
It was the first time the prominent building had been used since the doors closed in 2019, ending an 80-year association with Kirkcaldy town centre. M&S was seen as ideal given its size and accessibility - and it could also operate safely with social distancing measures in place at the time.
Lisa Cooper, head of primary and preventative care for the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Since July, those in Kirkcaldy and the surrounding area have been offered appointments at our new community immunisation hub within Templehall Church.
“The site was chosen due to good public transport links and available parking, and has seen more than 7,000 vaccinations carried out to protect against COVID-19, flu, shingles and pneumococcal infections.
“The comfort of staff and visitors to our clinics is understandably important to us. While the previous clinic in the old M&S on Kirkcaldy High Street served us well, the facility is no longer suitable due to difficulties sufficiently heating the site, and the significant maintenance required to the building, particularly as we move towards winter. We are hugely grateful to M&S, however, for allowing us to use the facility for more than two years, during which time more than 100,000 vaccinations have been carried out for local people in Fife.”