NHS chief apologises to the residents in East Dunbartonshire caught up in the recent covid vaccination delays

An NHS boss has apologised to a local MSP over lengthy queues at Kirkintilloch town hall for Covid and flu vaccinations.
SNP MSP Rona Mackay outside the vaccination centre in Kirkintilloch.SNP MSP Rona Mackay outside the vaccination centre in Kirkintilloch.
SNP MSP Rona Mackay outside the vaccination centre in Kirkintilloch.

Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay raised concerns with the NHS after being inundated with complaints from constituents, many of them elderly, who waited for up to two and a half hours to receive their booster jags at the end of September.

The SNP MSP said: “I was contacted by an extremely high number of constituents, many elderly people waiting in long queues outside. Some were unable to wait as they were too frail.”

The Kirkintilloch Herald also received complaints from elderly local people forced to queue at the town hall.

In a letter to Ms Mackay, Professor Angela Wallace, Director for Nursing at NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, apologised for the worry caused to people who had to wait. She put it down to a lack of vaccinators and people turning up to the town hall without an appointment.

She added: “The concerns you have raised have been investigated. I am very sorry that your constituents had such a poor experience at the vaccination clinic in Kirkintilloch.

“By way of explanation, we have had challenges in securing the necessary staffing for the clinics and are currently seeking to recruit and train more.

“On some occasions, the situation has been made more difficult by people attending without an appointment or by attending many hours before their scheduled appointment. Rather than turn people away and ask them to make another journey, we have endeavoured to see everyone.”

Professor Wallace wrote: “Please be assured that more staff are starting. We had anticipated they would have been in place by now and had booked appointments in advance on that basis.

“On some occasions we had to ask citizens to leave and make another appointment in order to avoid having a lengthy wait and then not being seen. This is to allow the centres to close as planned.

“Staff worked with their local authority colleagues to see as many people as possible, to keep the centres open for longer and provided chairs for people.

“Once again, I am very sorry for the worry this caused.”