Elderly Glasgow couple forced to wait hours for covid vaccine appointment

An elderly couple in Glasgow have claimed they were made to wait over three hours to receive their covid and flu shots.

The Daily Record reports that Andrew and Lauren Wigton of Riddrie have been given specific appointment times to attend the Glasgow Club on Auchinlea Road in Easterhouse on Friday September 23.

Although the date falls on their 56th wedding anniversary, the ‘frail and ill’ couple made their way to the center only to find themselves facing a slow queue which left diabetic Andrew, 77, ‘shaking’.

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Lauren, 74, also faced huge discomfort in the queue due to her spinal problems and fibromyalgia which causes fatigue and muscle problems.

She said: “It was the worst wedding anniversary I’ve ever had.

“By the time we got home, Andrew was physically shaking due to his diabetes and lack of food.

“I had trouble standing up and was completely devastated after that.

“Asking the elderly and infirm to wait that long is simply not acceptable.

“If I had known what it was going to be, I wouldn’t have left.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has since claimed the delays on the day of the couple’s visit were due to ‘unscheduled staff absences’.

While not looking to blame the individual staff working that day, Andrew and Lauren wondered why their appointment time was not prioritized.

Andrew said: “We ended up standing for three and a half hours in a queue.

“We don’t know how they can arrange timed appointments, but they have such a queue and backlog of patients waiting.

“At the time we received our shots, there were only six people administering them.

“People with health conditions or disabilities shouldn’t have to wait.

“If it was a walk-in service where it was first come, first served, I could understand, but we were given a specific time to be there.

“We also didn’t receive an explanation or an apology, we were just told there was an expectation.”

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An NHS spokesperson told the Daily Record: ‘A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: ‘We have recently experienced some unexpected staff absences and would like to apologize to Mr and Mrs Wigton for their expectations.

“Teams have been working hard to redeploy vaccinators to the site as needed and are actively engaging with people to provide an appropriate alternate appointment as needed.

“We would like to thank members of the public for their patience and support for our vaccination teams, who are working hard to ensure that those receiving their shots are administered both quickly and safely.

“As part of the nationwide rollout, people are invited based on their clinical priority, which means those most likely to be at risk of influenza or Covid-19 are vaccinated first.

“Our teams are working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that waiting time is minimized for this group. One of the main ways to reduce waiting time is for the public to only show up when they have an appointment, and within a few minutes of their appointment time.

“If anyone is concerned about accessing a clinic, we would encourage them to call the national helpline on 0800 030 8013.”

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