The floating vaccine centre giving boaters their jabs

The Litania boat has been provided by the Canal Ministries to be used as a vaccination centre. Credit: Local Democracy Reporting Service

A floating vaccine centre has been set up to give hundreds of boaters their Covid-19 jabs.

Almost 300 people living on boats in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire have been given their coronavirus vaccines thanks to the floating vaccine centre.

The project enables live-aboard boaters – who often face healthcare barriers – to get a Covid-19 vaccine and a drop-in clinic space.

Fanny Gorman, a live-aboard boater, said: “As a key worker, I can’t say how much I appreciated the vaccine boat as I’ve had to work throughout the pandemic.

“I know boaters can have real issues registering with a GP and, personally, if I get a letter from mine, it’s normally delayed getting to me because I have to use the GP surgery address.

“The boater clinic was so well organised and I’m really grateful to everyone involved.”

The scheme involves teams from Bath and North East Somerset Council, Wiltshire Council, local GP practices, housing charity Julian House and Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

It has ensured local boaters have been able to receive vaccines in an easily accessible, safe and timely way.

The innovative project delivered vaccinations across the area over the Easter period, including the Dundas Basin, Bradford on Avon, Devizes Wharf and Pewsey Wharf.

Credit: Matthew McLaughlin, Local Democracy Reporter