Lister hospital responds to accessibility criticism from older patients receiving COVID-19 jab

The East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs Lister Hospital, saw the number of beds occupied by Covid-19 patients rise...

Stevenage's Lister Hospital has responded to patients' accessibility concerns for the new vaccine hub. - Credit: Archant

Stevenage's Lister Hospital has apologised to patients, after accessibility concerns were raised by elderly patients who are receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The ramp, pictured below, is used to transport patients safely to receive their COVID-19 jab at the hospital's vaccine hub - which was rapidly set up in the wake of the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine.

But concerns have been raised about potential accessibility issues for those who use walking aids or a wheelchair - with one person comparing it to an assault course.

Another woman warned of the difficulty that wheelchair or walking frame users would have with the ramp, and several people shared similar experiences online.

Now, Lister have responded to these mounting complaints, and apologised for those who have struggled with the ramp already.

The following message was sent to a concerned relative by the complaints team at Lister hospital:

"We have listened to the feedback we have received from yourself and other visitors, and are already putting measures in place to improve access to the building – including a new surface on the ramps you have mentioned.

"We are also ensuring additional volunteers are available to assist anyone who is attending in a wheelchair and those who may require help.

Most Read

"These measures will continue to be reviewed, to ensure the best possible experience to everyone who attends our vaccination hub.

"We hope this reassures you ahead of your mother's follow-up vaccination appointment."

wheelchair ramp safety tape

This ramp at Stevenage's Lister Hospital has been causing accessibility concerns for some elderly patients and their relatives. - Credit: Archant

Rachael Corser, chief nurse at East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs Lister, commented: “We recognise there have been problems with getting to our vaccine hub, and wish to apologise to anyone who experienced difficulties during their visit.

“I have written a letter to patients to address the concerns raised, and wish to thank those who have provided feedback.

“We have listened to this feedback and are already putting measures in place to improve access to the building, as well as ensuring additional volunteers are available to assist anyone who may require help.

“To date we have vaccinated more than 1,000 people aged 80 and over, and we are so proud of our team who have set up this hub in such a short period of time.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter