Two-hour waits at vaccine centre after booking 'malfunction'

Patients waited for Covid jabs for more than two hours at Connaught Hall, Attleborough, following a "malfunction" with the...

Patients waited for Covid jabs for more than two hours at Connaught Hall, Attleborough, following a "malfunction" with the online booking system - Credit: Archant/Bryan Meeks

Patients waited outside a vaccine centre for two hours after reports that a "malfunction" saw the booking system accept too many appointments. 

Those arriving at Connaught Hall, Attleborough, for jabs on Friday were greeted by a congested car park and a long and winding queue.

People queue for entry into the Vaccine Centre at Connaught Hall, Attleborough. Picture: DENISE BRAD

Patients waited for Covid jabs for more than two hours at Connaught Hall, Attleborough, following a "malfunction" with the online booking system - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Some said there was a gap of two-and-a-half hours between arriving at the site and leaving. 

People concerned by the lengthy delay were told by staff there had been a "malfunction" with the online booking system, meaning slots had been significantly overbooked. 

Connaught Hall in Attleborough where a new mass vaccination centre has opened. Picture: Danielle Boo

Patients waited for Covid jabs for more than two hours at Connaught Hall, Attleborough, following a "malfunction" with the online booking system - Credit: Danielle Booden

Among those in the queue was Bryan Meeks, who had driven 20 miles from East Tuddenham, near Dereham, to get to Attleborough. 

The 67-year-old said he was "really surprised" at what he encountered having arrived for his appointment. 

Bryan Meeks, from East Tuddenham, waited for more than two hours for his coronavirus vaccine at Connaught Hall in...

Bryan Meeks, from East Tuddenham, waited for more than two hours for his coronavirus vaccine at Connaught Hall in Attleborough - Credit: Bryan Meeks

"The car park was completely full and the queue of people was wound round the car park and back again," he said. "I simply had no choice but to join the line.

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"Everyone was in the same position and very surprised. There were people coming out the exit and the general consensus was that we'd be waiting for two hours. 

"A lot of people were asking what was happening. A marshal at the door said the system had malfunctioned and overbooked, and people inside said the same thing."

Mr Meeks, who is retired, did not reach the building until 3.20pm - almost one-and-a-half hours after his original appointment time. 

The new coronavirus vaccination centre at Connaught Hall in Attleborough

Pictured is a scene from the vaccination centre at Connaught Hall, Attleborough, earlier in February - Credit: Archant

He did not end up leaving the community centre until around 4pm.

Connaught Hall is one of four large-scale vaccination sites in Norfolk, alongside others in King's Lynn, Norwich and North Walsham. 

Alan Muse, from Diss, receiving his COVID-19 vaccination at the new mass vaccination centre at Conna

A Covid vaccine is administered at Connaught Hall in Attleborough earlier in February - Credit: Danielle Booden

Last week, it was reported patients were being offered jabs as far away as Brighton, prompting concerns over local supply

Reflecting on his experience, Mr Meeks added: "I don't blame any of the staff. They were working their socks off all day. 

Connaught Hall in Attleborough where a new mass vaccination centre has opened. Picture: Danielle Boo

Pictured is a scene from the vaccination centre at Connaught Hall, Attleborough, earlier in February - Credit: Danielle Booden

"The problem seems to be the administration process or the supply of vaccines. That needs to be addressed."

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which runs Norfolk's large-scale centres, has been contacted for comment. 

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