Elderly woman 'collapses with hypothermia' in vaccine queue

Elderly woman 'collapses with hypothermia' in vaccine queue

February 9, 2021

Elderly woman ‘collapses with hypothermia’ in vaccine queue after hundreds of pensioners were forced to wait for HOURS in snow and ice due to overbooking blunder – before many were sent home and told to RE-BOOK

  • Scottish pensioners were left queuing in freezing temperatures for a Covid jab
  • Labour MSP Alex Rowley slams NHS Fife’s ‘bad practice and bad organisation’
  • He says one woman collapsed with suspected hypothermia at Lochgelly Centre
  • NHS Fife chief apologises and says the situation was ‘entirely unacceptable’  

A Scottish woman collapsed with suspected hypothermia after hundreds of pensioners were forced to wait for hours in snow and ice due to an overbooking blunder – before many were sent home and told to re-book. 

NHS Fife has apologised after five centres saw delays on Monday, leaving over 70s, including some in wheelchairs and others using walking sticks, standing outside as Storm Darcy hit eastern parts of the country.

Labour MSP Alex Rowley tweeted: ‘I think queues round the block of over 70s some in wheelchairs, some with walking aids to get vaccine at Lochgelly Centre, one lady collapsing with suspected hypothermia is poor organisation.’ 

NHS Fife said it is working to ‘rapidly expand capacity and staffing,’ at venues today, adding it has gone to NHS National Services Scotland for an explanation on the booking error. 

Pensioners in Fife, Scotland, were left queuing for their Covid-19 vaccine in freezing temperatures on Monday after appointments were overbooked at five centres, including the Randolph Weymss Memorial Hospital in Buckhaven (pictured)

Mr Rowley said the local health trust ‘cannot continue with such bad practice and bad organisation whilst those on the front line are working hard doing their best’. 

All patients who could not be vaccinated yesterday are being offered a rescheduled appointment ‘as soon as possible,’ the health trust said. 

NHS Fife assured patients that supplies of vaccines remain ‘good’. 

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.

As over 70s queued in Buckhaven (pictured), a woman at another centre in Lochgelly collapsed with suspected, Scottish MSP Alex Rowley said yesterday

‘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.’ 

NHS Fife’s chief executive Carol Potter offered ‘sincere apologies,’ to patients yesterday, as many faced having to get their jab rebooked. The trust said it was expanding its capacity at all five sites, including the Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital, to meet overbooked demand

The centres affected are the East Neuk Centre, Anstruther, the Lochgelly Centre, the Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital, Buckhaven, Rothes Halls in Glenrothes and Templehall Community Centre in Kirkcaldy. 

A spokesperson for NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) said: ‘An IT issue within the vaccination scheduling system has resulted in delays at a number of clinics within NHS Fife.

‘We are working urgently with our partners and have identified the cause of the issue and are ensuring measures are immediately put in place to ensure there can be no repeat of the problem.

‘We are also supporting NHS Fife colleagues, Scottish Government and other partners to put in place alternative arrangements for those affected by the over-booking.

‘We apologise to all of those affected and greatly appreciate the patience they have shown.’

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