Perth GP surgery hits back fol­low­ing row over flu jag queues

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS -

A Perth GP surgery has de­fended its han­dling of the way the an­nual flu vac­ci­na­tion was given to pa­tients.

It comes af­ter a res­i­dent crit­i­cised the Perth City Med­i­cal Cen­tre, say­ing pa­tients had to wait in long queues out­side the surgery at Cale­do­nian Road in or­der to get the jabs on Oc­to­ber 24.

Kelly Camp­bell, 35, vis­ited the surgery that day to hand in a pre­scrip­tion for her step­fa­ther and said she left a let­ter of com­plaint at a sug­ges­tions box in the surgery.

The Perth Col­lege stu­dent said some of the pa­tients were “dis­grun­tled” about hav­ing to queue for around 15 min­utes to get the flu jag – and ques­tioned why so many peo­ple had been told to ar­rive on the same day at the same time.

Wendi Lees, Perth City Med­i­cal Cen­tre prac­tice man­ager, ac­knowl­edged there was a queue on the day in ques­tion, but said the surgery vac­ci­nated hun­dreds of pa­tients over the course of the day.

She in­sisted the queue built up be­cause pa­tients chose to ar­rive early at the build­ing.

She said: “Ev­ery­one was seen within 15 min­utes of their ap­point­ment time. Most pa­tients chose to come early, which did cre­ate a queue.

“How­ever, we ad­vised pa­tients that we were work­ing through ap­point­ments in or­der and apol­o­gised for any un­ex­pected wait.”

Ms Lees said at least three other GP prac­tices in Perth had sim­i­lar queues of pa­tients wait­ing to get their flu jag.

The prac­tice man­ager de­fended the sys­tem used by Perth City Med­i­cal Cen­tre and said the surgery raised money for char­ity on the day of the im­mu­ni­sa­tion.

“An ap­point­ments sys­tem was run where pa­tients were booked in from 1.30pm un­til 5pm – we didn’t ask all pa­tients to turn up at 1.30pm,” she added.

“More than 700 pa­tients were vac­ci­nated, and this was done with­out taking away any nor­mal GP or nurse ap­point­ments.

“We raised money for char­ity by hav­ing a ‘wear pink’ theme on the day.”

The flu vac­cine is avail­able free of charge from GP prac­tices for peo­ple in at-risk groups, preg­nant women, those aged 65 and over, and un­paid car­ers.

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