Error which sent 4,000 residents to wrong vaccine centre resolved

Health bosses say an unexplained “blip” in Covid booster bookings that sent 4,000 elderly Aberdeenshire residents to the wrong vaccine centre has been resolved.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 7:18 am
Alexander Burnett at Aboyne Community Hospital
Alexander Burnett at Aboyne Community Hospital

NHS Grampian confirmed approximately 4,000 people aged 75 and over had been given the wrong details for the fourth “Spring booster”.

Alexander Burnett, Aberdeenshire West MSP, contacted the health board after hearing residents from rural areas around Aboyne were sent 30 miles to Inverurie for their jabs.

Regular clinics at Aboyne Academy are at most five miles away from Tarland and Birse.

The chief executive’s office said staff are calling recipients of the letters to rebook local appointments, and others can call the national helpline on 0800 030 8013 to rearrange.

Scottish Conservative Mr Burnett said: “I appreciate this is a blip in what has been a well-marshalled booster programme by NHS Grampian, and they are doing their best to iron this out quickly.

“Asking thousands of elderly and perhaps vulnerable residents to make a round trip of 60-plus miles won’t help booster uptake.

“In case some people have decided not to go, I would ask anyone to call the national booking system to get a fresh appointment closer to home.”

As soon as the healthboard became aware of the issue, the vaccination team have been working hard to understand the scale of the problem.

A spokesman for NHS Grampian said: “We estimate approximately 4,000 people have been given appointments at clinics other than their local centre. We have already started phoning people directly to rebook their appointments.

"If anyone has received an appointment at a clinic that is not closest to where they stay or is not convenient to get to, they do not need to wait for us to get in touch; they can call the national helpline on 0800 030 8013 and rearrange. Letters are being sent to apologise and explain what they should do next. Individuals are not obliged to reschedule; if the appointment they have been given suits them, they are welcome to keep it.

“There is no evidence of similar issues in Moray or Aberdeen City; we are working closely with the national appointing team to understand why this happened and how it can be avoided in future.”