HEALTH chiefs in Lanarkshire have pledged to sort out their flu jab mess - just days after the Glasgow Times launched the Give Our OAPs a Shot campaign. 

Bosses at NHS Lanarkshire have apologised after locals received their letters after their scheduled appointment and promised everyone entitled to a vaccine would get it before the end of November. 

The pledge comes in the same week we called on health boards - NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde included - to fix their "shambolic" rollout of a new system of providing the flu jabs. 

Both NHSGGC and NHS Lanarkshire had chosen to implement the Scottish Immunisation Recall System (SIRS). Originally designed for childhood vaccination, SIRS prioritises appointments from the youngest to the oldest.

READ MORE: Flu jab crisis: Glasgow Times launches Give Our OAPs a Shot campaign

Dr Mark Russell, Associate Medical Director, Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire, said: “We understand people are anxious about when they will receive their flu vaccination and would like to apologise for any frustration or concern the phased delivery of appointment letters has caused.

“We know there has been a number of challenges with delivering the programme and we are working to rectify these.

"As we address these challenges, we are confident that the solutions we have in place will help vaccinate more people as quickly and safely as possible.

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"The programme will take longer than other years to deliver, however our plan is to deliver all vaccinations before the end of November and we are on track to achieve this.

“We know a number of patients have received their letter after their scheduled appointment. We would like to apologise for the frustration this has caused. There have been issues with the national booking system and postal system and these are being resolved.

"As the programme progresses, we are looking at different ways to contact patients, not just by letter.

“We are receiving a high number of enquiries from members of the public about this year’s flu campaign, specifically about when they will receive their letters. Unfortunately, we cannot provide details of individual appointments as this is done nationally.

"However, we will be issuing information in the coming weeks on what to do if people haven’t received their letter.

“Due to the large volume of calls, we are increasing the number of call handlers on our rebooking line. However, we are asking for your patience and support to help manage the number of calls.

READ MORE: Flu jab crisis: MSPs back campaign plea to speed up jags for eldery

“We would also like to clarify that NHS Lanarkshire is not running drop-in clinics this year, as we need to manage the number of people at each clinic. Some clinics have been set up at short notice and people notified by text – but everyone still had an appointment.

"Please do not turn up at a flu clinic without an appointment.

“Since the flu clinics started almost four weeks ago, more than 43,000 people across Lanarkshire have been vaccinated.

"We know there is still a way to go, but would like to offer reassurance that there is still ample time to vaccinate everyone who is eligible before the flu season starts later in the year.”