COVID-19 vacs: Collaborative working between pharmacy and local football stadium

Published on: 19th April 2021 | Updated on: 30th March 2022

Contractors who are considering applying to become part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme may be interested in the story of a pharmacy team in Bolton, who are leading a mass vaccination site at the University of Bolton Football Stadium.

Whilst only small numbers of community pharmacy-led vaccination sites have been able to open so far, of them we are hearing incredible stories about how local stakeholders have collaborated to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts, including that of Hootons Pharmacy and the Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

The vaccination site is one of several in Greater Manchester but is so far the only one in Bolton to be managed by a pharmacy. The site began offering vaccinations to eligible patients via the National Booking System at the end of January and has since administered over 5000 vaccines.

The site has proved popular among patients. For many, the football stadium is a well-known local landmark, and the location has formed a key part of the site’s success so far, as people know where to find it and it offers good access and parking.

The site is a testament to the many local stakeholders involved, including the team at Whittle Pharmacies Ltd, the Bolton Local Pharmaceutical Committee, the CCG and the football club, all of whom have been keen to play their part in efforts to support the national programme. The team has also been supported by many volunteers, including local councillors and members of the public, and have been assisted by a retired pharmacist who returned to the register to help during the pandemic.

The site and the support it has received were also featured in The Sun newspaper.

Louise Gatley, Chief Officer of Bolton Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said:

“Everyone has worked really hard to get this programme up and running. We’ve worked very closely with the CCG throughout the pandemic, but the collaboration on this programme has helped to develop relationships further.”

Asif Adam, superintendent pharmacist for Whittle Pharmacies Ltd, said:

“We are delighted to play such an active role in the COVID-19 vaccination programme. It has required a phenomenal amount of work and organisation to keep operations running smoothly, but it has been worth it to protect our local communities in Bolton.”

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