A 92-YEAR-OLD has spoken of his shock after mistakenly being told to travel 64 miles to travel for his Covid vaccination.

Disabled Gerald Palmer, from Bevendean, said he was appalled after being told on the phone he was expected to make a two-hour round trip to Ticehurst as there was no parking at the Brighton Centre.

He said he became “even more incensed” after being also told he could not use the Brighton Racecourse vaccination centre, which he can see from his home.

Mr Palmer carries an oxygen cylinder everywhere he goes to assist his breathing and relies on a wheelchair for mobility.

"I had a telephone call offering me my Covid vaccination and was first told that I had to go to the Brighton Centre, but I would need my kind neighbour to help me get there and there's absolutely no parking I was advised," said Mr Palmer.

"I asked about going the short journey, up the hill to the Racecourse because it's not only so much closer but there's plenty of parking.

“They said that was not possible."

An hour later, having spoken with his neighbour, Mr Palmer said he rang back but this time he was told the only option was Ticehurst.

The Argus: Ticehurst is a 64-mile round trip from Brighton Ticehurst is a 64-mile round trip from Brighton

He said: "It's just madness.

"I am disabled and have to rely on others to get about, but those organising the vaccination programme don't seem to take any notice of that."

Only patients from certain GPs - including the one where Mr Palmer is registered - can attend Brighton Racecourse.

While the Brighton Centre opened as a vaccination centre to healthcare professionals yesterday and the general public today.

When contacted by The Argus, the NHS confirmed there is parking available at the Brighton Centre.

A spokesperson for the Sussex Covid-19 vaccination programme said: “We are committed to vaccinating all those in the four priority groups for the Covid-19 vaccine by mid February and are working hard to ensure all those eligible receive their vaccination as quickly as possible.

“Mr Palmer would have the opportunity to receive his vaccination from his local vaccination service, the service being supported by his GP practice, from the Brighton Centre or from a pharmacy service such as Ticehurst.

“We can confirm that his local vaccination service is at Brighton Racecourse and there is both parking and disabled access should Mr Palmer wish to have his vaccination here.

“The team are working hard to contact all those in the eligible groups and offer appointments as soon as they are available, and we expect Mr Palmer to be contacted in the next two weeks if he hasn’t been already.

“Further to this Mr Palmer is also likely to soon receive a letter from the national booking team offering him the opportunity to book an appointment at the Brighton Centre. There is also free parking available for this service for anyone attending for their vaccination.

“Both of these options will be closer to home for Mr Palmer and we hope will be more suitable.”

Here's how to get free parking at the Brighton Centre: 

  • Park in the orange car park (Churchill 1), which is located in Regency Road East, BN1 2RU. The vehicle height restriction is 2.13 meters
  • Enter the car park via lane 1 (left hand lane)
  • On arrival take a ticket from the car park barrier
  • Explain to the Churchill Square Security Officer that you are attending the Brighton Centre for a COVID-19 vaccination. You will need to provide proof of vaccination appointment for that day (showing the confirmation you have received on your phone is fine).
  • The security officer will then validate your ticket.