GP pay deal agreed for MMR campaign

GPs will be paid up to £16.78 to identify and vaccinate each child who is unprotected against measles under the government's MMR catch-up programme.

MMR: GPs will receive £1.50 for each at-risk child offered vaccination (Photo: UNP)
MMR: GPs will receive £1.50 for each at-risk child offered vaccination (Photo: UNP)

The deal, struck between the GPC and NHS Employers, will see GPs identify children aged 10-16 who have yet to receive one or both MMR doses and contact their families to offer vaccination.

GPs will be paid £1.50 for each child who is identified as at-risk and offered vaccination. Payment for vaccination of children aged 10-15 is already included in the global sum.

A further £7.64 will be paid per MMR dose administered to children aged 16 and over who present to surgeries.

Practices must also warn parents of the risks associated with being unvaccinated.

Announcing the service specification this week, NHS England said GPs can decide on the most appropriate mechanism to contact qualifying families but expects GPs to send letters as a 'minimum requirement'.

GPs should also make efforts to keep MMR immunisation status up to date in patient records, including a record of any adverse reactions.

Last week, the government announced an MMR catch-up programme to protect unvaccinated children against a record outbreak of measles.

Over 1,000 cases of measles have been reported in south Wales and 587 cases in England so far this year, with high rates among teenagers. 

The catch-up programme aims to prevent spread of the disease and deaths in children as a result of being unprotected.

NHS England expects 'high uptake' of the catch-up service in response to recent outbreaks.

It also anticipates that all qualifying children will be identified and offered vaccination by 1 September, the beginning of the school year.

In a letter to NHS England area teams, Ann Sutton, director of commissioning at NHS England, said funding for vaccination of children outside the 10-16 agegroup was included in global sum payments.

She added: 'This is a key opportunity to show the resilience and responsiveness of the new structures to emerging public health needs and to work collaboratively with GP practices (recognising the other pressures on their time) to ensure successful delivery.'

NHS England will produce a standard claim form that practices can use to claim reimbursement.

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