This FAQ document, which attempts to answer the most asked questions from the public around the hope to use the Invercarron Resource Centre as a long-term Vaccination Centre/Clinic, was prepared by Shona Strachan, Partnership Manager – South Aberdeenshire.
Invercarron Vaccination Centre FAQ
Why do we need a longer-term Vaccination Centre in Kincardine & Mearns?
All vaccinations that are, or were previously delivered by GPs, will now be delivered by Health & Social Care Partnerships.
In Kincardine & Mearns this means that our Vaccination Teams will need to deliver somewhere in the region of 22,000 immunizations every year (not including any future Covid Vaccinations) To do this well we need a long-term base to store doses, plan and deliver some of those vaccinations. During peak vaccination periods, such as when we deliver the seasonal flu immunization, we will also be running ‘outreach’ clinics, where we can, across K&M which will require a base of operations.
Why have you chosen Invercarron Resource Centre?
It is not so much that we have ‘chosen’ Invercarron but more that it is the best option that we have available to us. The roll-out and delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, which for K&M has been delivered from a base in Stonehaven, has been a real success.
Stonehaven is our preferred base due to its location and the fact that it has good transport links.
We cannot remain in the Town Hall indefinitely and we are very keen to ensure that we maintain a Vaccination Centre in Stonehaven. Having looked at all the available Council and NHS Grampian properties in the town, Invercarron is our best option given that we do not have a limitless budget or time.
What other buildings have you considered?
Property teams from both NHS Grampian and Aberdeenshire have looked at a number of sites in Stonehaven. There is a very strict set of clinical criteria that needs to be met for vaccination centre and limited time and budget to accomplish the works needed.
Forest View – Forest View has been considered however with plans already in place to site the Public Dental Service at the centre there is a lack of available space. It is worth noting that the space required for the Public Dental Service is 1/3 of that required for the Vaccination centre.
We did look at whether we might extend Forest View, but we simply do not have the time or money, nor indeed, the space to extend the building.
Carlton House – We have also looked at whether there might be an option to use some of the former council offices at Carlton House, however there are advanced plans in place to use the site for social housing. Secondary to that is also the fact that the space available would not be easily converted to our needs.
Stonehaven Community Centre – there are a number of reasons why this building is not suitable chief amongst them being the space is inadequate, does not support patient flow and the building is listed which brings with it a number of challenges especially given the timeframe we are working to and our available budget.
16-22 Allardyce Street (former Housing Office) – this building was discounted due to the unsuitability of the layout – especially as the space is spread over more than one floor.
Kincardine Community Hospital – There is simply no capacity to site a permanent vaccination Centre here as there are a number of clinics which run from the site (Renal, Outpatients, Secondary Care Blood Service etc.) and much of the available space is already taken.
Town Hall & Leisure Centre – Each of these facilities offer unique services to the people of Stonehaven which we would not be able to provide from elsewhere.
Industrial Units (Spurryhillock etc.) – teams from both the council and NHS Grampian looked at all of the available industrial units but unfortunately all those that are available are either too small or would require significant amounts of work to bring up to clinical standards.
New Build – Building a brand-new vaccination centre would take a significant amount of time and money. As most residents of Stonehaven know there is a further constraint in available space to build on within the town.
Temporary Building – This suggestion has been considered, but a temporary building would require a suitable site, have to be a considerable size to meet the requirements of a centre and would need to meet clinical standards. There is also a lack of space in which we could site such a structure.
Why the rush?
We have time limited amount of money which we can use to establish this ‘base of operations.’ As a result, we need to have the works at Invercarron completed by the end of March 2022.
What about parking?
Please see attached Parking Study which was undertaken.
What about the people that used the Invercarron Resources Centre before COVID?
Invercarron Resource Centre (IRC) is owned by Aberdeenshire Council but operationally managed by Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP). Pre-Covid the venue was a base for AHSCP staff, and we ran a 2-day per week, in-house day service as well as contracting an Alzheimer day care service one day per week. There were several organisations that ran independent groups and/or held meetings at the venue. The Invercarron Resource Centre Committee ran several activities from the site, such as tea and coffee mornings, craft groups and board games. These were independently run groups and not services provided by the AHSCP.
We, the AHSCP, no longer require the use of the building for our services. This was the situation pre-Covid. This is due to staff moving to the refurbished Viewmount offices and due to a reduction in demand for older people’s day-care. Alzheimer Scotland has also withdrawn from providing the dementia day service. The AHSCP will continue to provide a service to the existing 5 service users of day-care, but on a more individualised basis. An alternative service is being sought for the service previously provided by Alzheimer Scotland. All of our service users and their carers have been contacted by our South Care Management Team to review their needs and ensure that we deliver individualised, person-centred care plans and services to them.
There was initial engagement in March 2020 with the IRC Committee about the changes to the services that we provided and how the changes might impact on our use of Invercarron. The Committee was invited to participate in a review to determine how the groups and activities not provided by the AHSCP, might be impacted. This review did not fully get underway due to Covid-19 but was re-started in June 2021. However, the situation changed within in a matter of weeks when it became clear that we would need a long-term base for vaccination delivery in Stonehaven.
We have also made contact with each of the independent organisations and have written to them to offer support in identifying alternative venues. We have also allocated a community link worker to further support the organisations. Five organisations requested support and 10 alternative venue choices were offered. No further feedback was received from any of the group organisers. One organisation requested support with sourcing funding and was referred to Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.
As things have progressed, we have remained in dialogue with the Invercarron Committee and there has been email correspondence with the IRC Committee and AHSCP Officers have also met with committee members to discuss how we can continue to support the groups and activities that they previously organised and ran from Invercarron.
To further support the work of the IRC Committee we are currently finalising a contract to provide a grant to a local third sector organisation to provide a development worker to support the re-establishment of the groups previously run by the IRC Committee and to develop older people’s activities in Stonehaven.