"Refused flu jab"

About: Nottinghamshire County Teaching PCT

(as the patient),

I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and can find it difficult to find doctors who are knowledgeable enough in connective tissue disorders to offer me appropriate care.

I registered with a local GP upon moving to a new area, and at the first appointment, among other concerns discussed, I asked for a 'flu vaccination. My condition was made much worse by a post-viral illness a few years ago, and 'flu can leave me very unwell for up to a few months at a time - interrupting my work and leading to further cost for the NHS.

I am on disability living allowance and have care organised by the council. Despite all this, my request for a 'flu jab was refused. An NHS doctor has never refused me a 'flu jab before, but this GP was adamant that there is an exclusive list of people who can receive the 'flu vaccination and that, since my (fairly rare) condition is not on this list, I cannot have it.

In this age of government cuts to welfare, one would assume that any measures that can improve productivity (by preventing condition-worsening illness) would be a priority. Were I to catch the 'flu, I could well end up requiring more (expensive) care from my local council, and the long-term effects on my health could lead to further cost for the NHS too. However, apparently this long-term approach is not something all GPs can understand.

I will be writing to my MP for a clarification of the Department of Health's guidance on who can receive 'flu vaccinations, and will be copying in my GP to this letter.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››