A Stoke-on-Trent hotel manager is offering her newly-renovated ballroom as a space for vaccinations against Covid-19.
Clare Furnell-King, general manager at The Doubletree by Hilton Stoke-on-Trent – formerly The Moat House – is asking for GPs and pharmacies to come forward if they’d like to use the space in the battle against coronavirus.
The hotel has recently undergone a £6.5 million refurbishment, and has been used by a small number of key workers and NHS staff during the pandemic.
Clare is hoping that part of the 147 room hotel, which has been closed since March, can be put to good use as a vaccination centre.
She said: “We want to help in any way we can, rather than twiddling our thumbs, we need to do something to help the cause. We have a hotel venue that is practically empty and will be for the next few months in terms of events.
“The ballroom has been completed and it’s just sitting as an empty space at the moment, and it would make sense for it to be used for GPs and pharmacies to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Our electric, lights and heating are on anyway as we have a small team working shifts anyway, so it wouldn’t incur us any additional costs, so someone is free to use that space to help.”
The Covid-secure hotel has been phoning around GP surgeries and pharmacies in Staffordshire to see if they’d like to use the space.
Clare, from Eccleshall, added: “If we want things back to normal as soon as possible, then we want to offer the venue out to anyone carrying out a vaccination programme.
“We’re Covid-secure in our risk assessment and those administering the vaccine will just be in the one room, which will be cleaned down for the next day.
“We want to support the local community and help tackle the virus.”
The hotel currently has a planned opening date for April, which will depend of government guidelines as to whether they will be able to welcome guests.
The multi-million pound refurbishment is almost complete, including the new bar and restaurant.
Clare added: “It’s been frustrating as you can’t plan ahead for an opening, or you have to plan for every eventuality, which is exhausting.
“Our new bar and restaurant and ballroom are done, so we just need to finish the leisure room and a few more bedrooms.
“It’s all pretty much ready to go, but it all depends on how things are in terms of Covid-19. We have a beautiful product that we can’t do anything with at the moment.
“We’d rather it be put to good use with the vaccines, so that if everyone follows the guidelines we can get back to normal as soon as possible.”