More local deals agreed for swine flu vaccination of under-fives

GPs look set to be the sole providers of the swine flu vaccine for the under-fives, as strategic health authorities (SHAs) hammer out local deals with practices.

Deals have already been finalised in London and the north east of England to allow GPs to start vaccinating under-fives.

In London practices will be paid £50 by their PCT in return for agreeing that the service will be delivered to under-fives.

For providing a first vaccination to 25% of under-fives, the PCT will make a payment of £25. PCTs will make an additional payment of £25 in return for providing a first vaccination to 40% of under-fives.

NHS Milton Keynes, NHS Yorkshire and Humber, NHS South East Coast and NHS East of England have all confirmed to Healthcare Republic that they are also close to finalising similar arrangements with GPs.

Ian Dalton, director of flu resilience for England, has said that he expects deals to be negotiated with GPs across the country.

Meanwhile, GPC Northern Ireland chairman Dr Brian Dunn has hit back at claims that GPs wanted more money to vaccinate the under-fives.

The claims were made on a radio show by John Compton, chief executive of the Health and Social Care Board.

Dr Brian Dunn, said: ‘Either Mr Compton does not understand the situation or he is deliberately misleading the public.

‘The breakdown in negotiations regarding this phase of the H1N1 vaccination programme was not over money. It was about the desire of GPs to be able to continue their normal clinical work to look after all patients, in the midst of delivering swine flu vaccinations.'

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