NHS Lothian sees thousands of vaccination letters returned from wrong addresses

More than 10,000 letters inviting people in Lothian to get their Covid vaccinations have been returned because they were sent to the wrong address.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 4:45 pm

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Nursing director Alex McMahon told a virtual meeting of NHS Lothian board that the huge number of returned letters was "very frustrating" and predicted it could reach 15,000.

He said the addresses used were those on GP registers and the most likely cause of the problem was people living at a property for only a short period and information not being updated when they moved on.

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Letters are sent to the address registered with GPs
Letters are sent to the address registered with GPs

He said: Lothian has such large transient student population and multiple peope go through one property in a year, they are not being updated and therefore we are issuing letters to people who lived there a year or 18 months ago.

"However we are investing time and money opening all of those letters and trying to contact people. It's not a good use of the finite resource we have available, but from an ethical and moral perspective we are wanting to try and follow these people up."

Nevertheless, Professor McMahon reported as of June 22, 976,283 vaccines had been administered in NHS Lothian and nearly 590,000 had received both doses.

He said Lothian had started vaccinating over-18s and that was on track to be completed by July 12.

Nearly 590,000 people in Lothian have had both doses

Asked about non-attendance at vaccination appointments, he said: “The DNA rate goes up and down quite significantly almost on a day-today basis. It's currently around 8 per cent, which is relatively low – it has been much higher – so it's now tracking within the Scottish norm or slightly below.”

He said there had been higher rates of non-attendance when there was good weather a couple of weekends ago and also because people were returning to work and getting to appointments was "more challenging".

"That's where the drop-in clinics have proven to be hugely attractive, for second-dose vaccinations in particular."

A report to the board noted vaccine supply had remained stable in recent weeks with no disruption to delivery. “However, availability of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine is currently limited with additional supply expected in early July.”

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