An elderly Bucks resident missed a 'long awaited' hospital appointment because of Royal Mail, the Parliament heard on April 19. 

Chesham and Amersham MP Sarah Green criticised Royal Mail delivery problems in her constituency, which hit a peak just before Christmas.

The chaos left many in the area without Christmas cards and presents.

Ms Green said: “One elderly constituent missed two long-awaited hospital appointments as the letters did not arrive until after the appointments were scheduled. 

“Another told me that they ended up in rent arrears and debt after a delay in the delivery of a bank card.

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“The same constituent was left without any form of identification as they waited for a new driving licence and the other identity documentation to be returned to them."

She urged the regulator Ofcom to hold Royal Mail to account, saying it was “desperately needed” but recognised the hard-working postal workers are not responsible for the backlog. 

Bucks Free Press reported concerns around Christmas, after delivery failures in Amersham left residents in postal limbo

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Bucks Council leader Martin Tett expressed concern that essential documents for working from home professionals were not being received, children's gifts were not received and esidents could suffer financially because of delayed bills and fines. 

A Royal Mail spokesperson responded to Sarah Green: "While the vast majority of mail is delivered safely and on time, the impact of the rise of Omicron had a particular impact during Christmas and January, with approximately 15,000 staff members off work due to sickness and self-isolation at one stage.

"Thankfully, the situation has significantly improved.

"The number of offices we have reported as being most impacted by service issues has reduced from 77 to none, as of Thursday 21 April 2022.

"We apologise for any delays that our customers may have experienced. We are working hard to equalise performance and improve service, including spending over £340 million on overtime, additional temporary staff and sick pay, as well as providing targeted support.

"Our postmen and women are continuing to work incredibly hard, as they have done throughout the pandemic, and we are thankful for all of their efforts and determination.”

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