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"Lengthy wait for vulnerable elderly at vaccination centre"

About: NHS Lothian / Covid 19 Vaccination Programme

(as a carer),

My mum - in her 80’s- had to have her appointment for Covid booster and flu jab rescheduled from her Health Centre due to illness. No appointments available in any health centre in Livingston so I took her to the Vaccination centre Pyramids Business park today.

Thanks to the Porter who provided us with a wheelchair when I asked as she was unable to stand for the 1 hour 20 mins she had to wait beyond her appointment time. The majority of others attending were similiarly vulnerable elderly and for example on crutches, with mobility aids or struggling  with continued standing as there were no chairs in the long winding queue for at least the first hour.

The gentleman next to us in the queue was immune compromised whilst nearby elderly lady very worried at leaving her relative who needs care at home on their own for such an unexpectedly long time. Meantime drop in’s - younger age group attending for first or second jabs- were being fast tracked through and although fit enough to be able to queue were going straight to the front, jabbed and out. We queued for over an hour before we heard that drop ins were to be stopped. 

I fully appreciate the drive and need to get folks immunised for Covid including younger age groups and the challenges inherent to managing groups of people but vaccinations have been underway for months surely these and any demand peaks can be effectively managed and please consider the needs of the elderly and vulnerable in this process - given cohosting in progress.

In addition consider providing updates as to ongoing time to wait which would be helpful especially for those who require medication at certain times and the wait is over an hour. Our experience today was of a poorly coordinated and managed process.

However, have to positively highlight the nurse in the booth, receptionist and porters for their courtesy and kindness. Nurse Libby especially deserves a mention- my mum was chilled from waiting and Libby  was person centred in her approach. 

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Response from Louise Davies, Patient Experience Officer, Patient Experience Team, NHS Lothian last month
Louise Davies
Patient Experience Officer, Patient Experience Team,
NHS Lothian
Submitted on 29/10/2021 at 17:06
Published on Care Opinion at 17:06


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback with us via Care Opinion. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.

I am so sorry that you and your mother had to wait so long at the Vaccination Centre for her Covid booster and flu vaccine. I am glad to hear that upon request, a porter provided a wheelchair so that she didn’t have to stand. I appreciate your concerns regarding elderly and vulnerable patients having to wait a significant amount of time to be taken for their vaccines. I would like to assure you that your story has been shared with the relevant management team for their review.

I am very glad that you found the staff so kind and helpful. I will ensure this feedback is also passed on to the relevant members of staff.

Best wishes


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