When it was announced that the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board were taking over administration of flu vaccinations for those over 65 I sensed a disaster in the offing. Early rumours and media reports suggested that I was not wrong. Even our MSP had to get involved. Staff at my GP’s surgery started asking if I had had my flu jab yet. Indications were that all was not well with the influenza vaccination programme and a total lack of relevant information on NHSGGC website did not help. But I had failed to take into account one very important fact.
Eventually I received a letter instructing me to report to the Elderpark Clinic in Govan at 9:15am the next Sunday morning. With some trepidation we drove to Govan early on Sunday morning: public transport was out of the question. We arrived at Elderpark Clinic at 9:00am where we were wheeched in, hand sanitised, registered at Reception, jabbed, and wheeched out again. We were back in the car and driving home at 9:08.
The important fact I had forgotten was the ability of the frontline Glasgow staff who were able to take the dog’s breakfast of arrangements cooked up by their administrative bosses and produce an efficient, cheerful and, above all, professional operation. The fact that this was all at the weekend meant they were in no danger of management oversight.
I have spoken to others who attended Elderpark Clinic and they report similar experiences. We all thank the staff for their skills and their courtesy. But these people deserve more than thanks. They deserve working conditions that respect their abilities and don’t demand they work weekends to sort out their bosses messes. They also deserve more money but we all know that and still do nothing about it.
Tommy – Yes Pollok Convener