Doubts over funding for Scottish HPV programme

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has raised concerns about whether the Scottish government has allocated enough resources to roll out its HPV immunisation programme.

From 1 September girls in S5 and S6 will be offered the HPV vaccine in Scottish schools. The programme will also include a three-year catch-up campaign for girls aged 13-17, including those who have already left school.

The Scottish government said NHS boards will receive an extra £1.5 million in 2008/9 in recognition of the ‘scale and complexity' of delivering the programme.

However, RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe questioned whether the funding was sufficient and if there was enough school nurses to deliver the campaign.

She added: ‘At a time when the school nursing workforce faces an uncertain future as a result of proposed changes under the review of nursing in the community, we would question whether the government can effectively deliver this programme.'

The Scottish government said that 180,000 girls in Scotland will be offered the HPV jab in the next two years, in what was ‘one of the biggest and most complex immunisation programmes ever undertaken in Scotland'.

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