Health officials have apologised for “significant issues” at some of their Covid-19 community vaccination clinics, after patients were left queueing outside a number of venues today and some did not receive their vaccines.
NHS Fife said that the issue is due to appointments allocated for clinics being overbooked this week, leading to “unacceptable” levels of queuing at five centres.
NHS Fife has said it is working with NHS National Services Scotland, who operates the scheduling system, to understand how this problem occurred and take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again in future.
The clinics affected are:
East Neuk Centre, Anstruther
Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital, Buckhaven
Rothes Halls, Glenrothes
Templehall Community Centre, Kirkcaldy
Meanwhile, work is under way to rapidly expand capacity and staffing at these venues from Tuesday, in order to cover the appointments that have been overbooked.
However, at the Templehall Community Centre in Kirkcaldy, where the physical capacity of the venue cannot be expanded, some patients booked for appointments will have the option of using a shuttle bus to have their vaccination carried out at the nearby Victoria Hospital.
All patients with appointments at Templehall Community Centre are asked to attend the clinic at the time and date on their letter and should not go directly to the Victoria Hospital.
Despite the significant issues facing the health board today, it has been stressed that the supply of vaccine remains good, and the additional appointments can be sufficiently met within existing stocks.
All patients who could not be vaccinated today will be offered a rescheduled appointment as soon as possible. Those affected will be called directly by NHS Fife staff. Patients are reminded this call will come from an 0800 number and staff will be able to verify themselves by confirming the persons details, along with the time and date of their original appointment.
To enable the NHS Fife’s vaccination team to staff the expand the community clinics, it will be necessary to postpone the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme in Fife for the remainder of this week.
NHS Fife Chief Executive, Carol Potter, said: “I want to offer our most sincere apologies to those who had to wait in significant queues at some of our community vaccination clinics today.
“This was entirely unacceptable and we are working with our colleagues in NHS National Services Scotland to understand how this scheduling error occurred and ensure that it does not happen again.
“We know that local people are incredibly keen to get vaccinated as quickly as possible against Covid-19 and we have prioritised prompt actions to expand the capacity and quicken the flow of patients through our clinics.
“Patients who could not be vaccinated today will be contacted directly and will be offered a rescheduled appointment as quickly as possible.
“The residents of Fife have shown a great deal of patience and understanding today, and we want to thank local people for their incredible support they have offered us over recent months.
“I also want to thank our vaccination teams for the additional effort required this week to ensure that we minimise any disruption to our vaccination programme.”