Craig Hoy, a Conservative MSP for South Scotland, has raised his concerns about elderly and immunosuppressed people from East Lothian being sent to Edinburgh for their annual winter flu vaccine.
In a letter sent out to those eligible for the winter flu vaccine by NHS Scotland, people from East Lothian have been told to attend their flu jab appointment at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston, Edinburgh.
Some patients have been asked to make an early morning round-trip of over 80 miles.
NHS Lothian has set up two local vaccination centres to accommodate for those who wish to rebook their appointments locally, located at Musselburgh Primary Care Centre and East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington – but unfortunately these patients are required to reach out to NHS Lothian by themselves in order to rebook their appointment to a local venue.
You can rebook or change an existing flu vaccine appointment and move it to a local vaccination centre by going online at www.nhsinform.scot/flu-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/rearrange-your-flu-vaccine-appointment or by calling NHS Lothian’s helpline on 0300 790 6296.
Commenting on the situation, Craig said: “Unfortunately I am getting emails everyday from elderly and immunosuppressed people from East Lothian who are anxious and confused their winter flu vaccine appointments.
“Couples are being asked to attend their annual winter flu jab appointments on separate dates at the Royal Highland Centre, and some patients are being sent as far away as Livingston.
“I have raised this matter with NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government, which is allegedly the result of a computer glitch.
“This is a situation that could have been easily avoided, and unfortunately it makes many elderly and immunosuppressed people less likely to attend their winter flu jab appointments.
“I will continue to press NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government to pro-actively resolve this matter and reach out to those in need of the winter flu vaccine.”