Covid vaccine invitations a priority for Royal Mail, says MP

A Royal Mail postman empties a postbox near the SEC Centre in Glasgow which is being turned into a t

Royal Mail will prioritise invitations for the Covid-19 vaccine amidst delays which have affected multiple postcodes across Redbridge. - Credit: PA

Royal Mail will prioritise the collection and delivery of Covid testing kits, PPE deliveries and vaccine invitations, amid worries about delays to the service in Redbridge.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting met with Royal Mail's national service delivery director this morning to discuss the delays after a number of readers got in touch with the Recorder

In an update posted on Facebook, Mr Streeting wrote: "I know lots of people in the high priority categories are really worried that they might not get their vaccination letter in time for their appointment.

"The good news is that vaccination letters are invitations to MAKE an appointment, not a letter giving you a specific date, time and venue. So there's no risk of you MISSING an appointment."

ROYAL MAIL UPDATE - PLEASE SHARE This morning I met with Royal Mail's National Service Delivery Director to discuss the...

Posted by Wes Streeting on Thursday, 14 January 2021

As an additional measure, Mr Streeting raised concerns directly with the minister responsible for vaccinations and local NHS leaders earlier this week.

They assured him that they will be contacting people by telephone about appointments for the Covid vaccine as well. 

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A spokesperson for NHS England told the Recorder when it is someone’s turn to have the coronavirus vaccine, they will get a letter, phone call, email or text inviting them for an appointment.

Mr Streeting added there are conversations between the government and NHS England about having NHS mail even more clearly marked - possibly in a blue envelope - to prioritise all post from them, since a number of people have complained about delays in getting notices about prescriptions and medication.

The delays to service, which has caused some residents waiting more than a month for their post is due to staff absences, with some significant Covid outbreaks at some Royal Mail centres.

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If a single staff member at a sorting facility tests positive it can cause a chain reaction where many others need to self-isolate as a precautionary measure.

Things might be turning around though with one Goodmayes resident and another in Hainault telling the Recorder they received their first delivery today after not receiving anything for weeks. 

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