A Northumberland-based mobile vaccination unit is supporting the roll-out of mass vaccination and helping those in rural communities, thanks to support from Lloyds Bank.

The Village Surgery, based in Cramlington, recently secured a five-figure funding package from Lloyds Bank to buy and transform a transit van into a fully functional mobile vaccination and consultancy vehicle.

The vehicle was introduced when the business saw an opportunity to help those facing difficulty reaching vaccination centres. The new mobile clinic now travels to areas across the North East to help patients in more remote areas, often using local facilities like fire stations as its base.

As the vaccination roll-out continues, the surgery is now working with businesses across the region to vaccinate staff.

Recently, the mobile vaccination unit vaccinated 150 staff at the EGGER plant in Hexham, 100 Staff at RPC Containers at Haltwhistle and are regularly working alongside Northumbria Fire and Rescue to provide pop up clinics at Bellingham, Prudhoe, Ponteland and Haltwhistle using the Fire station facilities in conjunction with the RVU.

The business has completed approximately 4,000 vaccinations and is hoping to work with other businesses, including Nissan, in the coming months.

By mass-vaccinating staff at work, firms and their employees can minimise time lost and any unnecessary travel.

Demand for the roving vaccination service has increased over the past few weeks and The Village Surgery has brought in a number of new staff members – including five new apprentices – to support.

David Shannon, managing partner at The Village Surgery, said: “Our mobile vaccination unit has been helping people in remote areas of Northumberland and North Tyneside access vaccinations more easily.

“We have also helped with the recent Covid Delta surge in North Tyneside, by providing a pop-up clinic in several areas with high footfall and providing in excess of 2,000 vaccines in two days.

“We’ve also started helping businesses in the region protect their staff by offering mass, on-site vaccinations. We’ve worked with 4 businesses so far and are expecting to carry out further on-site clinics over the coming weeks and months ahead when booster doses need to be done.

“Thanks to Lloyds Bank, who we’ve had a long-standing relationship with, we’re able to provide this vital service that has benefited thousands of people and is set to help thousands more over the coming months.”

Stuart Harper, healthcare relationship director for the North East & Yorkshire, said: “Now more than ever it is vital to keep the momentum of the vaccination programme going across the North East.

“The Village Surgery is a prime example of a business that is making a huge difference to the regional vaccination effort.

“It’s fantastic being able to support the practice in its recent initiative to vaccinate businesses across the region – something which will play a massive role in safeguarding people against the virus.”