NHS apologises over vaccine fridge errors that left hundreds potentially exposed
NHS Shetland has again apologised after hundreds of people – including children – needed to be re-vaccinated because medication had been stored at incorrect temperatures.
Problems emerged in February when a routine check raised concerns about the fridge temperatures at Lerwick Health Centre.
A review identified that “for short periods” since 1st August 2017 some vaccines had been stored above the recommended maximum temperature. A health board probe established 171 children and teenagers and 91 adults’ vaccines had potentially been affected.
Amid concerns some vaccines may not provide the required level of immunity those patients were contacted and advised to get revaccinated at dedicated clinics.
Following a health board review of “processes and practice” NHS Shetland chief executive Ralph Roberts has again apologised to those affected.
Speaking after a meeting of the board’s Clinical Care and Professional Governance Committee on Tuesday he said patient welfare was the priority and he was sorry that there had been any concern raised for patients and their families
He also emphasised that immunisation plays a key role in ensuring long-term protection for individuals against infection and encouraged anyone still to undergo revaccination to seriously consider this.
Mr Roberts said as a result of the two-part review a number of safeguards had been put in place to prevent a repeat.
Committee members were said to be complimentary about the professional way in which the incident had been handled and the work that has been done to learn lessons and put in place corrective action.
The action taken includes adding data loggers to monitor fridge temperature, giving staff additional training and introducing a professional leadership structure.
More details in Friday’s Shetland Times.