An “error” with the national Covid booster shot booking system caused a Highland man to be given an appointment at 8am on New Year’s Day – in an Inverness Superdrug closed for the public holiday.
The resident in the city called the NHS Inform telephone line to schedule his third coronavirus vaccination.
He was offered an 8.07am appointment for his Covid booster on January 1 at the Inverness Superdrug store on the city’s High Street when it is closed following Hogmanay celebrations.
When he queried the issue with the store directly he was told others had already called with similar concerns.
NHS Highland says measures have been put in place to ensure similar errors are not made again.
Superdrug has advised anyone who is offered such an appointment to contact the NHS.
How did Covid booster appointment in Inverness go wrong?
Due to the rural nature of the NHS Highland area, residents are not able to make appointments through the national online booking system.
Instead, locals have been told to await information directly from the health board about information for appointments.
The same arrangements are being used in the NHS Shetland, NHS Orkney and NHS Western Isles areas.
The man in Inverness initially tried to use the online portal before calling the phoneline when no appointments were offered in the Highlands.
How is Covid booster problem being fixed?
The Scottish Government has said it is aware of “some issues” with vaccination appointments in the NHS Highland area.
A spokeswoman said: “Due to the make up of the area, NHS Highland allocates appointments locally, rather than using the national system, and is undertaking work to address these issues.
“NHS Highland and the Scottish Government will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that all those eligible for vaccination are called forward at the right time.”
NHS Highland said the booster vaccination rollout would continue to prioritise over-70s with others due to be invited by either their GP or the health board itself.
A spokeswoman said: “A number of clinics have already been held and further are scheduled, details of which are on our website. For health board-run clinics, patients will be invited by letter.
“We will soon be in a position to pilot some clinics on the national portal. Messaging will be issued when that pilot is to start.
“An error with the national booking system led to this appointment being made. This has been raised with them and measures are in place so it doesn’t happen again.”
A Superdrug spokeswoman said: “Superdrug is now actively looking into how they can help support getting this corrected with NHS Scotland.”