EARLIER last week I had the pleasure to see first-hand the amazing efforts of our local NHS, military, fire service, volunteers and the council when I visited the Askham Bar Mass Vaccination Centre.

Whilst I had read much of the positive feedback, as someone who has not quite yet been offered the vaccine, this was my first visit to what was an incredibly smooth-running operation, which has now delivered over 200,000 lifesaving jabs.

It was fantastic to hear from Prof Mike Holmes, chair of Nimubscare, and Phil Mettam from Vale of York CCG, more about the incredible efforts that have gone into making this such a success. The way the city has come together to make this happen is inspiring and I want to thank all the volunteers and staff involved, as well as those who are accessing the site to get their first and second doses.

During the pandemic we have seen the power and impact of collaboration - sharing expertise and services across the city has helped with the success of our vaccination programme. Now, the opportunity is there to build on this excellent work with the partners at the helm of our city’s vaccination success and develop healthcare in York around our residents, tailoring services in the city to local priorities.

Through the newly established York Health and Care Alliance, we can begin to formalise this work and build a system where we can easily work together to focus on the city’s health priorities.

The York Health and Care Alliance will strengthen relationships and with the direction and priorities of healthcare decided locally it will help address health issues that will make the biggest difference to residents’ lives.

Cllr Keith Aspden

Leader City of York Council