Some parents in Swindon may have received a letter in the post this week reminding them to take their three year old to have a free flu vaccine. 

Due to a mail merge error, some of the names and addresses included within the letters were mixed up. 

A statement from NHS South Central West Child Health Information Service, which issued the letters, can be seen below.

Sue Trinder, Director of Child Health Information Service, said: “This week we wrote to parents and carers of children aged three across Bath and North East Somerset, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Swindon encouraging them to take up a free flu vaccine at their GP surgery.

"Unfortunately, due to a mail merge error, the addresses and names of the children were mixed up resulting in households being sent an invitation for the wrong child.

“We would like to sincerely apologise to all parents for this error and reassure them that the letter contained no other personal information other than the name of a child.

"We would like to assure parents that all children’s records held by us have not been impacted during this process and nor does it affect records held by your local hospital and other healthcare providers.

“SCW takes our data protection responsibilities seriously and are investigating this matter thoroughly, and are actively amending our processes to ensure this does not happen again.

“We are writing to all the parents concerned and those who have an eligible three year old will receive a follow-up flu vaccination letter shortly. 

We would ask all recipients to dispose of the previous letter in as secure a manner as possible.”

Any parent who received a children’s flu immunisation letter with the incorrect name and is concerned, please contact NHS South Central West Child Health Information Service on 01235 431313.