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Flu jab frustration

I keep seeing in the newspapers, on TV and radio to get your flu jab - be sensible, be proactive to beat the flu, if you’re at a certain age it’s a must to get it done. So yes, I listened to the advice being shelled out by the NHS, by the central government and off I went to the local pharmacies - three different ones, even the pharmacy inside a well known north Swindon store and then finally I ended up at my local surgery. The reason I left the surgery to last was knowing how busy they are with treating people who really need their services.

This trek started three weeks ago; my wife being a tad younger than me managed to have her flu jab straight away in the first pharmacy we went into. Me? I got told sorry, no booster vaccines available we’ll take your name and number and call you. This same scenario happened in every place we went to. I have now been told the earliest I am likely (not confirmed) to get it done is the 17th November. So from start to finish I may get a flu jab in about five or six weeks.

I am not trying to lay any blame on anyone but I really would like to know why it’s taking so long. Could someone out there enlighten not just me but others out there in the same situation, just trying to be proactive by not getting the flu and being a burden on our brilliant local surgery.

John L Crook, Haydon Wick, Swindon

Relevant action?

There are certain inconsistencies and illogicalities in your report “Rape claim prompts care action plan” (SA 2nd November).

We are told that “A teenager known to Swindon social services claimed that she had been raped while staying in emergency housing”; yet it would appear that this claim has not been proven.

We are then told that she “was staying at a so-called crash pad in another council area when she was assaulted”. As a result of which “an action plan was put in place after a review of the case was ordered by Swindon Safeguarding Children Board” which then “published new guidance for social workers” – all of which sounds reasonable.

The report and guidelines all relate to the dangers of moving “vulnerable young people” to a different council area or away from family and friends (which appear to be sensible). However, the report told us that this particular teenager had been moved to a different area “to be closer to her family”.

So, was the investigation and ‘action plan’ relevant?

Malcolm Morrison, Prospect Hill, Swindon

Canal adds quality

Russell Holland, deputy leader of Swindon Council, in his column last week, mentions that the canal is part of the “high quality housing” at Wichelstowe.

It is worth noting that a restored length of the Wilts and Berks at Morningside Farm, near Royal Wootton Bassett, is an integral part of the new nature reserve there which you reported on earlier in the week and demonstrates, again, just how much a fully restored canal can add to the quality of life of the residents of Swindon and North Wiltshire.

NJ Bailey, Swindon

Thanks to customers

I would like to thank all the customers who have visited the Cats Protection charity shop in Swindon over the last six years.

Cats Protection’s shop on Regent Circus was part of a national network of over 110 shops. As well as the retail units, the charity has over 250 volunteer-run branches and 36 centres that help around 200,000 cats and kittens each year. The charity’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.

Although the shop has now closed we are looking at other potential venues and hope to reopen at a nearby location in the near future. Until then we would like to thank all the volunteers and staff as well as everyone who has visited and supported our shop.

Emma Knott, Area Retail Manager, Cats Protection

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