A RETIRED GP in Cardross has slammed the move by health bosses in the area to strip responsibility for administering Covid booster vaccinations from local practices.

Dr Patrick Trust told a meeting of Cardross Community Council this week that NHS Highland and the Argyll and Bute health and social care partnership (HSCP) had made a "very poor decision" in taking on third vaccine doses themselves, rather than continuing with the service successfully provided by community surgeries so far.

And Dr Trust said the situation has added to the confusion which remains over when and where the booster jags will take place, particularly in Cardross with residents split between the Argyll and Bute catchment area covered by NHS Highland, and the West Dunbartonshire region overseen by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Dr Trust, of the Lomond Patients Group, told Monday's meeting: "It was interesting that someone up the back of the village, who is 90, was given both immunisations because she's in a West Dunbartonshire practice.

"The majority of people I've spoken to who are elderly and aged over 80, other than those registered in Helensburgh and with NHS Highland GPs, have had both immunisations together at their general practice.

"I think this is a very poor decision by the health board and it will delay the third booster vaccination for everybody."

Resident Julie Lang said: "It seems a shame because it means bringing older people out for two visits rather than just one, and I just wondered what the thinking was behind that.

"I agree [with Dr Trust]. I assumed that when I went for my flu vaccination I would get two vaccinations, but I didn't.

"I don't consider myself particularly high risk but it just seems strange that older people are being hauled in on a Saturday morning and are only getting one vaccination, when they'll have to do the same thing again another time."

The HSCP confirmed to the Advertiser earlier this month that booster vaccination appointment letters will be sent out to eligible Helensburgh and Lomond residents from November, and that drop-in clinics will be set up in some "remote rural community venues", with further details due to be published soon.

Dr Trust said: "That's a month's delay because you're in NHS Highland and it's also two visits instead of one.

"This is inconvenient for patients and I'm worried that it's just a purely financial consideration that the health board are acting upon.

"Receiving flu and booster jags in the same visit is very sensible, in my opinion."