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Royal Mail delays mean boy, 11, misses hospital appointment

The letter dropped through the letter box five days after the appointment should have taken place.

Royal Mail vans parked in Elgin with Ladyhill and monument in background.
Concerns about Royal Mail deliveries in Elgin have continued for several months. Image: Jasperimage

A Lossiemouth mother has hit out at continuing Royal Mail delays in Moray after a hospital letter for her son arrived late – leaving them waiting a month for a rescheduled date.

Lorrie Walsh’s son George, 11, was due to attend Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin for an assessment about his ADHD.

However, when the letter telling the family the date dropped through the letter box they were shocked to discover they had already missed it by five days.

The family has since been forced to wait a further month for the appointment to be rescheduled.

Royal Mail has told the Press and Journal that staff are working “extremely hard” in the area with posties working overtime to get post out during a nationwide shortage of staff.

‘Worried about Christmas’

Mrs Walsh has been noticing changes to her Royal Mail post in Lossiemouth in August.

What used to be a small but steady stream of deliveries started to become spells with nothing followed by “a lot of mail”.

The minor inconvenience then became more pressing when the day before George’s birthday last month he had not received any cards or presents.

Royal Mail worker from behind looking into post van.
There is a nationwide shortage of Royal Mail staff. Image: Steve Taylor/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Mrs Walsh said: “There’s such a shortage of delivery staff, but it means the deliveries aren’t acceptable.

“Our regular postie is excellent, he’s really spot-on. You notice when he’s not here and he’s now having to cover delivery rounds in other places.

“It was really heartbreaking when George didn’t have any cards before his birthday, especially when we knew people had already sent them from Wales.

“We’re worried about Christmas now, about whether cards and presents will get here.”

‘Not good enough from Royal Mail’

Mrs Walsh is a military wife and her and her son depend on the post to get letters from her husband when he’s overseas.

Royal Mail has stressed homes in the area should be getting deliveries at least “every second day”.

However, Mrs Walsh says the current Royal Mail service in Lossiemouth is worse than that.

Skyline of Lossiemouth with church and RAF Typhoon behind.
Military families in Lossiemouth depend on Royal Mail deliveries when loved ones are overseas. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

She said: “It’s clearly not happening. We’ve never had a problem with our mail before now.

“I know they don’t have the staff. We’re in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis though. They’ve got to ask themselves why people don’t want to work for them.”

Royal Mail hiring extra staff for Christmas

Royal Mail has been experiencing a staff shortage in Lossiemouth, Moray and across the country that has affected deliveries for several months.

Last week the Press and Journal revealed delays have got so bad that one village was only receiving its posts one day a week – on Sundays.

The CWU union says staff have been pushed to “breaking point” this year due to the shortages with some delivery routes “doubled” to cover gaps.

Royal Mail worker putting post in back of van.
Royal Mail has been hiring staff for the busy Christmas period. File image: Dougie Nicolson/DC Thomson

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “Our employees are committed to serving their communities and we are proud of the work they are doing to sort, deliver and collect mail this festive period.

“We can confirm we have mail being delivered to homes daily with the vast majority arriving on time. A local delivery office may, at times, be impacted by a delay and when this occurs we have dedicated teams in place to take immediate action.

“We have hired 16,000 seasonal workers, increased our vehicle numbers and boosted our operational capacity with extra parcel sorting sites to manage demand during this peak period. We are committed to delivering Christmas for our customers.”