Cancer patients miss appointments as residents in Hemsworth and South Elmsall go weeks without post

Cancer patients have missed hospital appointments because of huge delays to postal deliveries around Hemsworth and South Elmsall, it's been claimed.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 5:18 pm
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 5:20 pm
Royal Mail blamed high levels of self-isolation among its staff for the issues.

Local councillor Michelle Collins said some residents had gone several weeks without receiving any letters.

Royal Mail has confirmed there is disruption to its service in the area because a number of workers are self-isolating.

They've claimed that they are delivering to homes with a WF9 postcode "every other day".

Councillor Michelle Collins called on Royal Mail to address the issues urgently.

But Councillor Collins said public feedback suggested this was not the case and called for Royal Mail to address the issues urgently.

She also condemned the reported abuse of postmen and women in the area.

Councillor Collins said: "Despite what Royal Mail have said, the issue is still not fixed.

"One resident I've spoken to said they'd gone five weeks without any post, so what Royal Mail are saying does not match people's experiences.

The organisation has insisted people in Hemsworth and South Elmsall are getting post every other day, but many residents insist that's not the case.

"People have missed cancer treatment because the appointment letter has come two days after the appointment itself.

"For someone in that position to have to start that process of getting an appointment all over again doesn't bear thinking about.

"The prices of stamps and packages have gone up and Royal Mail are making profits, but they're not delivering for people."

In a letter to Councillor Collins, which she posted on her Facebook page, Royal Mail said Covid and self-isolation had had a "direct impact" on staffing levels.

Senior public affairs manager Michael Hogg wrote: "I have spoken with the Pontefract Delivery Office manager who confirms there are disruptions to mail deliveries in the WF9 postcode area due to a number of colleagues who've had to self-isolate recently.

"I can confirm that mail deliveries to addresses in the WF9 postcode area are currently taking place rotationally, every other day.

"This is a challenging time, nevertheless, our aim remains to provide a mail delivery six days a week across your South Elmsall and South Kirkby ward."

Royal Mail has been contacted for further comment.

But Councillor Collins urged people not to take their frustrations out on postmen and women delivering letters.

She said: "People need to treat our posties nicely. They've kept us going throughout the pandemic and they're on the front line.

"I've been told that some are getting abuse and that can't be allowed to happen.

"There's an enormous amount of pressure on their shoulders right now and this isn't their fault."

Local Democracy Reporting Service