Flu jab: Glasgow’s health board issues apology over flu vaccination failures

Scotland’s largest health board has issued an apology for any “distress and anxiety” caused by failures in its seasonal flu vaccination programme.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), who admitted they have handled the roll out of the vaccine programme badly, is trying to deal with a backlog of pensioners who have yet to receive their jab – including some who were notified about their appointment after it had taken place.

The health board said all remaining letters to the over-65 age group will be sent this week and their vaccinations will be scheduled before the end of November.

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Jane Grant, chief executive of NHSGGC, said: “On behalf of the health board, I would like to sincerely apologise to all those people who have experienced issues with their flu vaccination appointments.

Scotland's largest health board has apologised for any "distress and anxiety" caused over failures with its flu vaccination programme.
Scotland's largest health board has apologised for any "distress and anxiety" caused over failures with its flu vaccination programme.

“We are very sorry for any distress and anxiety this has caused, especially among the more vulnerable members of our local communities.

“There have been a number of challenges with the delivery of the flu vaccination programme and we have taken action to ensure this situation never happens again.”

She added: “For those who received their letter after their appointment date, we will ensure that you get an alternative appointment.

“We understand that many people have struggled to get through to our appointment line and we are very sorry for that.”

The health board said it has taken on 20 call handlers to help with the number of people contacting them over the vaccination.

Senior members have also met local politicians to discuss the concerns raised.

Last week, NHS Lanarkshire apologised over letters received after patients’ appointment dates.

It also took on extra staff as it became the health board area with the highest rate of coronavirus infection across Scotland.

Ms Grant added: The flu vaccination programme has been especially challenging this year due to the increased number of eligible people and because it is vitally important that we adhere to physical distancing guidelines when administering vaccinations.

“However, we will make sure that we learn the lessons from what has happened this year and put measures in place to avoid these issues being repeated.”

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