Gransnet forums


Bureaucratic nonsense

(265 Posts)
Luckygirl Tue 26-Oct-21 10:19:38

I am usually fairly even-tempered, but the one thing that really pulls my chain is bureaucratic nonsense.

I am trying to book my booster jab because I will be going away for a few days next month and want to have it and give it time to take effect before then as I will be on crowded trains and in concert halls.

So .... I try and book it via website which tells me to ring 119, which I do. I pass the hurdles of pressing 1,2 or 3 several times and get through eventually to a human being who says I am not eligible because it is not 6 months and a week since my second jab. I explain that it is 30 weeks and she says that it needs to be 6 months. After I spend several minutes trying to explain that this is more than 6 months and a week, I eventually conclude that she is talking in calendar months, which makes no medical sense - but, hey, who am I to argue?

Fine - so that will be this Thursday and she tells me to ring then to make and appointment. I ask her if she could simply give me an appointment for Friday or after, since I am on the phone - and she says she cannot do this - I have to ring on Thursday.

How very bonkers is that?

On the one hand we have the government urging us to come forward for the booster, and on the other we have these barmy rules. Grrrrr.

Alegrias1 Tue 26-Oct-21 10:46:14

Sorry, but what I think is barmy is somebody who thinks they should move up the queue because they have a concert to go to.

First world problems.

Rosalyn69 Tue 26-Oct-21 10:51:40

I don’t think it’s trying to move up the queue. It’s typical of so much in the NHS. I rang the number provided by my PCC and was offered on the next day. That’s not queue jumping. There were obviously spaces available.

Alegrias1 Tue 26-Oct-21 10:53:45

Too early to book an appointment, everybody else would be too early too, but because I want mine earlier you should make an exception?

Nah, not on really.

ExDancer Tue 26-Oct-21 11:03:11

I don't think you need fret about it, you don't suddenly lose your antibodies from your first jabs after 30 weeks. You'll still be covered. Enjoy your concert.

AcornFairy Tue 26-Oct-21 11:08:24

Well said Alegrias1

maddyone Tue 26-Oct-21 11:11:17

I thought I’d seen on the news the other day, that the time from the second jab till the time of the third jab is being reduced to five months in order to get people through more quickly. However I might have dreamt it, so apologies if I’m wrong.

Luckygirl Tue 26-Oct-21 11:14:23

No - I do not want mine earlier!!! I do not want to move up the queue! I want it as soon as I am eligible, which I will be on Thursday. But what is barmy is that I cannot book an appointment for a date after that is silly.

Concerts and trains are features of the first world - should we none of us go to them because they are not a feature in some third world countries.

I am simply trying to ensure that I do this with the minimum risk to me and to those around me - does that not seem reasonable? For every person who catches covid, more people are put at risk?

I am frustrated by hitting a brick wall with this every time I get in touch, even though I am doing the responsible thing and indeed doing what the government is urging us to do.

greenlady102 Tue 26-Oct-21 11:16:48


I thought I’d seen on the news the other day, that the time from the second jab till the time of the third jab is being reduced to five months in order to get people through more quickly. However I might have dreamt it, so apologies if I’m wrong.

its being considered and "might happen" as might being able to book appointments for after the six months and one week is passed before that point IYSWIM so that there is no delay in getting the vac. As I understand it, the science says that there is no point getting a booster early because the existing jabs will still be working so you won't lengthen buying eggs when you still have in date eggs in the fridge.

Luckygirl Tue 26-Oct-21 11:19:50

I am not asking anyone to make an exception for me; I am simply asking that when people try to book they are answered by an efficient system. There is a lot hanging on an effective booster vaccine programme, and it should be made as easy as possible for people to book.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 26-Oct-21 11:22:14

Mr Oops had a text message last week about booking the Covid Booster, when he tried they said that he wasn’t eligible.
Why contact him then?

Alegrias1 Tue 26-Oct-21 11:22:19

Well I'm speculating, but this is what I think.

You become eligible on Thursday. So I would imagine that the booking system only allows people to book their appointment when they are eligible, so the person on the phone probably couldn't make your appointment for you anyway because the system wouldn't let her.

The alternative is that anybody can make their appointment any time. So people who are only 5 months out could make their appointments. Or should we make that 4 months? Or should it just be a free for all and people can make their appointments whenever they like irrespective of medical need?

Your immunity won't fall off a cliff, like ExDancer says.

"First world problems" means that comparatively minor issues get blown out of all proportion. Its got nothing to do with trains.

PippaZ Tue 26-Oct-21 11:23:10

I think they have thought about many things maddyone but, as there seems to be a shortage of appointments after they have told you to book I doubt they will want to make it worse.

But maybe that's just my experience.

As for the OP. If you are going to shout about your rights it's probably best to know what they are. Six months - who would think that was anything other than calendar months - plus a week. It's the same for everyone so why should anyone expect to be an exception?

Luckygirl Tue 26-Oct-21 11:40:56

No desire for an exception - just a desire for efficiency in the system.

My MP was chatting to me the other day and he says the whole system is a mess, and the experience of Mr Oops (or similar experiences) are happening over and over again. There are apparently 4 different routes to getting the booster, some of which duplicate each other. There is even a website called Grab-a-Jab, which the local health authority drew my attention to.

maddyone Tue 26-Oct-21 11:41:35

I’m not due my vaccination yet as my six months isn’t up for a couple more weeks. I’m happy to wait till I’m contacted. We’re being careful again now as numbers are up in our area at the moment, after having been lowish for most of the pandemic. However we still have to visit my mother in her care home, which is of course where it’s likely to flourish.

Poppyred Tue 26-Oct-21 11:42:29

I agree with you Luckygirl bonkers! Clearly lacking in common sense but hey ho when you ring on Thursday you will hopefully get through to someone a little more enlightened! 🤣

Alegrias1 Tue 26-Oct-21 11:46:01

Grab-a-Jab is for first and second doses only.

Alegrias1 Tue 26-Oct-21 11:46:46

Enlightened? Enlightened?

God give me strength.....

Luckygirl Tue 26-Oct-21 11:51:12

If Grab-a-Jab is for first and second doses only, then why did the health authority recommend me to contact them to get the booster?

This is exactly what I am talking about - muddle and misinformation over something that is very important indeed.

I have friends in the village who are in their 90s and eligible for the booster on all criteria, but they have been battling for the last few weeks trying to get theirs booked.

Kate1949 Tue 26-Oct-21 11:54:43

I think it depends on the area. Ours was easy. We went online, chose our date, time and venue (church hall 10 minutes walk away). They were vaccinating people with no appointments who had just walked in

Alegrias1 Tue 26-Oct-21 11:55:04

The NHS's right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing is not the same as wanting special treatment before you're eligible and calling the people on the phone unenlightened.

(I know that wasn't you Luckygirl)

Petera Tue 26-Oct-21 12:02:01

I'm sorry, are we having an argument here about whether the NHS should calculate in calendar months or lunar months?

Luckygirl Tue 26-Oct-21 12:03:13

I am NOT asking for special treatment. I am simply asking to be able to book speedily and efficiently in order to protect myself and others.

My wish to be able to book as soon as possible after the agreed eligibility date is simply common sense and for the good of all.

Alegrias1 Tue 26-Oct-21 12:08:33

I'm in Scotland Luckygirl, where we get sent an appointment, turn up and get vaccinated. Or at least that's what my DP and all their friends have done, as they are higher priority than me.

So while I might have some sympathy with issues in booking your vaccination, I do have some problems feeling sorry for you because you wanted to get ahead of the curve and turn up on day 25 weeks + 1, when that is not necessary and not what is being recommended.

We seem to have got into this situation where people are concerned that if they wait an extra week or two, suddenly we'll all turn into high risk, infectious people who need to stay away from others.

Teacheranne Tue 26-Oct-21 12:12:54

I can see where you are coming from Luckygirl, having battled with the phone booking system, it is frustrating to be told to phone again in a few days.

I am not a computer expert but I guess that when a programme is being developed, certain parameters have to be set up and if the system works on dates to ascertain eligibility, it’s likely that appointments outside the set timeframes can be made. I think computer programmes use logic and data so don’t have the flexibility to make exceptions that a human being might have.

Frustrating for users of the system but part of our lives now I’m afraid.