It’s ironic, really, but let me tell you a wee story.

The NHS started 73 years ago. I joined the civil service when the first ever NHS financial returns were arriving for audit with the Department of Health for Scotland.

I became the first NHS auditor and for the next 14 years travelled the country to institutions, many of which no longer exist.

Later, I was responsible to Parliament for submitting for approval the NHS (Scotland) vote. Then, in the 1970s, I ran the NHS building programme, approving the start date for building about half the hospitals now operating in Scotland.

I budgeted for the building costs at a time when the annual inflation rate on building materials was 30 per cent.

After retirement, I traipsed along annually to the local health centre for my flu jag – in and out in five minutes.

Now I am nearly 92 years of age, living alone in Tranent. With the aid of a stick, I can walk for about half an hour, preferably not uphill.

The other day, I received a letter giving me an appointment for my winter flu jag at – wait for it – the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston (that’s out past the airport, isn’t it?). The sting in the tail? It was for 9.45am.

Question: at what time in the morning should I set out to walk up to the bus stop on Bridge Street and catch a bus for Edinburgh, then find a bus which passes Ingliston?

And how far will I have to walk to get to the vaccination centre? Don’t bother to answer. . . I’m not going.

Oh, and there was a telephone number on the letter, so I phoned to cancel. Every 30 seconds, a recorded voice told me the average waiting time was about three minutes and I really should use the website. After 20 minutes, I hung up.

How many 92-year-olds do you know who can find their way around a website?

I await with trepidation what peregrinations are planned for me to access my Covid booster jab.

I think I’m past my sell-by date.

Jim Linn