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Coronavirus / Don’t contact us, we contact you – NHS vaccination team advises

THE LOCAL health board is reminding islanders to ensure their contact details held at GP surgeries are up to date so the Covid-19 vaccination team can get in touch.

Director of community health and social care at NHS Shetland Brian Chittick apologised that telephone calls from the local vaccination team were not recognisable as coming from the health board or the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

He said he recognised the concern around cold calling and scams and could understand why people would not answer calls from a withheld number.

Drector of community health and social care Brian Chittick. Photo: Shetland News

However, he said there was nothing the health board could do about that at the moment due to the sheer size of the task ahead.

“If you have changed your telephone number, you need let your GP know, so that we get you scheduled in. They will not be able to give you an appointment, but they will pass on the change of your details,” Chittick said.

He added: “People will also be contacted either by an unknown number or not a Shetland number. We are aware of the problems that causes in respect to cold calling, but it is the only way our systems are able to do this at volume.

“So if you are in the age groups or the priority groups and you do receive a call from an unknown number it could well be the scheduling team inviting you in.

“They will not ask for any payment and they will not ask for any bank details, they will just offer you an appointment to come in and get your vaccination done.”

And he repeated the plea not to contact the local NHS or individual GP practices to enquire about vaccination.

“The message with regards to vaccination is: don’t contact us, we contact you!

“We have had some problems with people contacting the main switchboard at the hospital blocking the ability to take emergency calls.”

Anyone with queries as to whether they are able to accept the Covid vaccination for medical reasons is advised to initially check here: https://www.nhsinform.scot