Why does this GP surgery have a tent in its car park?

A green military-style tent is helping a suburban health centre with its life-saving Covid booster programme

A green military-style tent is helping a suburban health centre with its life-saving Covid booster programme - Credit: Archant

People passing a doctors surgery in a suburb of Norwich have been bewildered by a large tent which has popped up in its car park.

Hellesdon Medical Practice has recently become home to a large, green, military-style marquee.

One neighbour commented that the new temporary structure is "like something you'd see on a movie set".

Hellesdon Medical Practice. Photo: Google Maps

Hellesdon Medical Practice, pictured before the addition of its tent - Credit: Google Maps

But in reality, the tent has a far more important and worthwhile use - allowing the practice greater capacity to protect vulnerable people against Covid-19 ahead of the long winter.

The tent is being used to support the Covid booster sessions being held in the practice, which began in September.

A spokesman for the Norfolk and Waveney clinical commissioning group (CCG), which is responsible for the region's vaccine rollout, said: "The tent was put up on Monday afternoon (October 4, 2021) to provide Hellesdon Medical Practice with additional capacity to support their pop-up Covid booster clinics which have been under way across Norfolk and Waveney since September.

"The tent, which has generated positive feedback from the patients, provides the practice with additional waiting capacity and seating to support patients with their 15-minute observations after they have received their vaccination. 

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"It will be up until Hellesdon Medical Practice finishes its pop-up clinics scheduled for November or early December."

The booster jabs, 30million of which are scheduled to be given out over the winter, are being offered to anybody above the age of 50, along with those working in the care sector and frontline health workers.

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable and anyone aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk  group for Covid — who were in priority groups one to nine during the initial vaccine rollout — will also be eligible for a jab.

The booster rollout was announced by the government last month, with doses of Pfizer also being given as top-ups for people who received two jabs from other developers.

More recently, a programme for children aged between 12 and 15 has been rolled out.

Information on third jabs can be found at https://www.norfolkandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/covid/booster-third-dose-covid-vaccinations