An NHS trust has launched a pop-up pilot mobile vaccination scheme.

A Ford Transit van has been specially modified with the aim of safely transporting jabs to the most rural parts of Northumberland, starting today at Bellingham Fire Station.

The 100 people who have booked to receive their injection there add to a total of more than 200,000 Northumberland residents who have already had at least one dose of the vaccine.

The Roving Vaccination Service, which has been set up by NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Cramlington Seaton Valley Primary Care Network, aims to make sure that hard to reach groups and remote communities are not left behind in the vaccination programme.

Paula Jamieson, senior practice nurse from the Village Surgery in Cramlington, who is administering doses of the vaccine, said: “This new service provides people who live out in our most rural communities in Northumberland, who may find it difficult to travel to a large vaccination centre or their more local vaccination site, more choice as to where they can get vaccinated.

She continued: "Northumberland has a really unique geography with a diverse and disparate population and we've worked in collaboration with lots of different organisations to find the best and most practicable solutions to roll out COVID-19 vaccines. Piloting our pop-up vaccination service demonstrates this and also shows our commitment to ensuring as many people in Northumberland as possible are protected from COVID-19."

Richard Hay, head of planning and operations at the CCG, said: “We understand the uniqueness of Northumberland and we’ve had to overcome some big challenges with this roll-out.

He continued: “The introduction of the Roving Vaccination Service will make sure no-one is left behind. It’s a fantastic example of our local GPs working in collaboration across the county to delivery innovative services for the benefit of residents.”

The Roving Vaccination Service is still in its early stages of development and the vaccination team are continuing to plan for upcoming pop-up clinics.