Charity bosses have urged the government to reinstate injections for north-east sufferers of a chronic condition which were suspended due to coronavirus.
The treatment for pernicious anaemia, which results in a shortage of red blood cells, has been stopped with patients instead being prescribed tablets instead.
However, the Pernicious Anaemia Society has raised concerns about the alternatives to the vitamin B12 injections – arguing they go against guidance from the British Society for Haematology (BSH).
Moray MP Douglas Ross has heard from residents concerned symptoms including tiredness, tremors, memory loss and unsteadiness on their feet may return without access to the injections.
NHS Grampian says patients who have difficulty absorbing the tablets have been prescribed higher dosages and there is “little or no” risk from missing one or two regular injections.
Mr Ross said: “This is a horrible illness which can leave the patient unsteady on their feet, nauseous, subject to tremors, fatigue, memory loss, depression and irritability.
“Those contacting me do not want to go back to suffering from these symptoms.
“The ironic situation here is that those requiring these injections have to attend the surgeries anyway to have their bloods checked.”
The Pernicious Anaemia Society has written to the UK and Scottish governments to urge them to review the situation.
Chairman Martyn Hooper said: “Some government agencies stated that patients should be assessed for the symptoms of Covid-19 by telephone on the day of their injection and, if there are no symptoms, the injection should go ahead whilst other government agencies stated that it’s entirely up to the individual GP practice to decide on what to do.
“No wonder that there is no consistency in response by healthcare professionals – it’s a very confusing picture.”
NHS Grampian says it suspended vitamin B12 injections in March following Scottish Government guidance.
A spokeswoman said: “Patients currently receiving intramuscular B12 will have significant stores in their body, generally thought to last around a year.
“Therefore the general advice that an individual patient can safely miss one or two of their three-monthly injections is appropriate.
“NHS Grampian’s advice is clear that patients are at little or no risk omitting one or two of their regular injections.”