Royal Mail bosses say they are prioritising vaccination letters after delays to deliveries across Lichfield and Burntwood.

Postal services have been hit by numbers of staff being forced to self-isolate as part of the track and trace system.

But David Gold, director public policy at Royal Mail, said postal staff were aiming to ensure deliveries of letters telling people to go for their vaccine did get through.

“COVID-19 is having a big impact in Lichfield and elsewhere – less because of infections, but more due to the need for people to isolate on advice from track and trace.

“We are working closely with public health authorities and other letter carriers to play our part in the delivery of vaccination letters.

“We recognise the vital importance of delivering vaccination letters as quickly as possible. We would like to reassure you that these vaccination letters are being prioritised.

“Our people have been instructed to look out for the vaccination letters which are identified by an NHS logo so that they can be prioritised during the sorting process.

“In addition, the mail producer is providing data daily on the number of vaccination letters coming into the network. We meet daily with the public health authorities, the mail producer and access carrier to jointly plan for the delivery of vaccination letters.

“This ensures we can focus our resources to deliver these letters as quickly as possible.

“In areas where Royal Mail offices are experiencing particularly high levels of COVID-related absences, we will draft in extra resource to help prioritise vaccination letters still further.”

David Gold

Mr Gold’s comments come after Lichfield and Burntwood MP Michael Fabricant raised the issue with mail chiefs over concerns from residents that they may be missing out on vaccination letters.

But the Conservative MP said residents should not worry over the potential of missing appointment letters.

“I have pointed out to David Gold that in some areas, deliveries have stopped altogether.

“However, Staffordshire is blessed with particularly good Primary Care Networks. If people eligible to receive the vaccine do not respond to the NHS letter for any reason, they will be contacted electronically – by text, email, or a phone call – from their GP practice inviting them for a vaccination when the time is right. 

“People should not worry about losing out. In the meantime, I wish all local postal workers well who I know are working hard to get our mail delivered and I hope that they can keep safe.”

Michael Fabricant MP

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