Pewsey patients claim they are being treated as ‘second class ‘ after they had to travel to Marlborough for flu jabs.

Hundreds of patients got flu vaccines in Marlborough in a military-style speed jabbing operation on Saturday.

Dozens of marshals, a huge marquee and a line-up of nurses primed with needles saw priority patients whisked in to the grounds of Marlborough College, get jabbed, and whisked straight out again.

The sessions, being run over two Saturdays, are organised by the Kennet and Avon Medical partnership, which has two centres – one in Marlborough and one in Pewsey.

But the service was not offered seven miles away in Pewsey, meaning elderly and vulnerable patients had to find their way to the college grounds.

Many praised the efficiency of the big tent event, for preventing queues building up with timed slots sent out in advance by letter.

But others, like 72-year-old Sandra Sargeant from Haines Crescent in Pewsey are furious. “How can this be keeping us safe?” she said. “We have been told to shield and isolate by the government, but then to have to travel to get this jab, which is also supposed to keep me safe, seems absurd.

“I have not travelled anywhere for three years, as I have celiac disease and type 2 diabetes. I am one of the lucky ones – I got a lift with the Link charity driver, but others didn’t. We are like second classs patients here in Pewsey.”

Lynda Lester another Pewsey resident said: “It seems to be well run, but that isn’t the point. The issue is about the people are unable to get there.

“We have an elderly population in Pewsey- many don’t have a car. Some are saying they can’t walk that far from the bus stop and can’t go. If they did go, then how would they get back as the buses aren’t that great either.”

The practice has two centres. One in Marlborough and one in Pewsey. They merged in 2017.

The practice said all priority patients at both centres had been written to, inviting them for the jab and defended it’s decision to move everything to Marlborough this year.

“The changes we have implemented with our flu vaccination programme this year have nothing to do with merging, but with the current global pandemic and trying to vaccinate many of the most vulnerable as safely as possible,” said practice manager Amy Lacey.

“We would not have made such fundamental changes to the way we work had it not been necessary to do so as a result of these unique times that we find ourselves in.

“We have set up the clinics the way we have as we feel this is the only way that we can minimise the risks to all involved. “

In previous years, each staff member has given approximately 200 injections per session, in a small room with minimal airflow.