NHS Lanarkshire apologies after clerical error sees vaccination patients turned away

Health bosses have apologised after dozens of Covid booster jag appointment letters were sent in error.

NHS Lanarkshire sent letters offering appointments to people in the most vulnerable categories with dates and times to receive their next jab.

But when they arrived at vaccination centres staff had to turn people away.

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Letters had already been sent out when the error was noticed by staff and a number of those affected could not be contacted.

Bosses said an admin error led to people on the vulnerable list being wrongly offered booster appointments before the recommended time limits between jags had passed. NHS Lanarkshire has vowed to ensure all those affected by the error are offered a booster jab after the 24-week period has passed.

One woman turned up for her booster jab at Hamilton but was turned away because her appointment letter had been incorrectly sent.

She said: "I'm in the vulnerable category and was delighted when my letter arrived with the appointment to come and get the booster.

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"But when I arrived I was turned away at the door and told that because of an error I wouldn't be able to get my jab and would have to wait. It seemed to be happening to a fair few of us in the queue. I wasn't told there had been an error and it really should have been picked up sooner than it was."

Dr Jane Burns, medical director, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “We can confirm that due to an administrative error a number of patients on the vulnerable list who were offered a third dose then appeared on the general lists and were also sent out booster appointments.

“When this issue was identified staff made every attempt to contact this group of patients to advise of the error and that they would be re-allocated booster appointments 24 weeks after their third dose. Unfortunately, a number of people who we were unable to contact turned up for their booster vaccinations.

“We apologise to anyone who was inconvenienced by this error and reassure them that they will be offered rescheduled appointments after the 24 week gap.”

Waiting times are being slashed from six months to three months for boosters amid fears of the new Omicron variant.

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