Key representatives supporting the new drive through flu vaccination service met on site this week at the Northern Echo Arena, as groundworks to make the existing car park layout suitable for the NHS service near completion.
The Mayor of Darlington and the Clinical Director of Darlington Primary Care Network – Councillor Chris McEwan and Dr Amanda Riley – visited the home of the new drive through service, which is part of efforts to try and reduce the risk of a flu outbreak and protect the NHS during the winter.
Esh Construction’s small works division has supported the development by providing voluntary groundworks – including labour, plant, and materials – to alter the existing car park layout and make it logistically efficient and safe for the drive through service to be delivered.
Tom O’Gara, Small Works Manager at Esh Construction, said: “As a local contractor, we are proud to have delivered voluntary works which will enable the Darlington Primary Care Network to set up this vital drive through flu vaccination centre. Our works undertaken include the construction of a new access route and white lining modifications which will ensure the service is safe and easy for users to navigate.”
The Darlington Primary Care Network – consisting of all 11 GP practices in Darlington – is working alongside Public Health, the local prescribing team and the NHSE Time For Care team to develop the service, which is scheduled to start on 28th September. The service will operate from Northern Echo Arena, which is home to Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Club.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created an additional need to supply more flu vaccinations than previous years while also maintaining social distancing and supporting those who are shielding, which can be achieved with the option of a drive through vaccination.
Dr Amanda Riley, Clinical Director of Darlington Primary Care Network, said: “This year a successful flu campaign is more important than ever to protect our patients and local health services.
“We are planning a drive through service with all the GP practices in Darlington so that we can do this in the safest way possible. These works will allow us to safely manage the flow of traffic through the site. The kind gesture of Esh means that we can direct the financial resource to other front-line health projects.”
Councillor Chris McEwan, Mayor of Darlington, added: “It’s great to see Esh providing their expertise to support the set-up of the new drive through flu vaccination centre. Clearly, there is a call for Darlington to do their bit for this important issue, and Esh have answered the call.“
Esh Construction is the main trading division of Esh Group – one of the region’s leading privately-owned construction businesses operating throughout the North East, the Tees Valley, Yorkshire and the Humber. The volunteering project is a result of the contractor’s ongoing work in the Darlington area via the Darlington Joint Venture, which has seen over 300 new homes developed in partnership with Darlington Borough Council.
The Joint Venture is being delivered by Homes by Esh – Esh’s private house building division – with latest developments including; Heighington Meadows in Heighington, West Park Garden Village in West Park, and Lancaster Park in Middleton St George.
As a local contractor, we are proud to have delivered voluntary works which will enable the Darlington Primary Care Network to set up this vital drive through flu vaccination centre. Our works undertaken include the construction of a new access route and whine lining modifications which will ensure the service is safe and easy for users to navigate.”