Practices lack time and money to deliver extra vaccination campaigns, LMCs to warn

Practices do not have ‘the time or financial resources’ to deliver large-scale vaccination campaigns over and above those they already carry out, GPs will argue at the Welsh LMCs conference this month.

Doctors' leaders at the Welsh LMCs conference on 21 November will debate a motion criticising the government's assumption that GPs can ‘mop up any urgent vaccination campaigns’ without ‘realistic resourcing’ that recognises the associated ‘costs and risks’.

The warning comes after the government unveiled plans for general practice to deliver the largest flu vaccination campaign in NHS history this year and as plans for a COVID-19 vaccination campaign in England are emerging.

GPs at the conference will argue that non-essential work such as the Quality Assurance and Improvement Framework (QAIF) - the Welsh equivalent of QOF - must be fully paused, with payments made on historic achievement if GPs are to deliver expanded vaccine campaigns.

But GPs will say extra vaccination programmes should ideally be run by public health services  and delivered outside of the GMS contract.

Hospital work transfer

LMC delegates will also warn that unplanned transfers of work from secondary care to primary care following the COVID-19 pandemic are putting patient safety at risk and urge the Welsh government to fund a DES to cover ‘hospital generated workload dumps’.

GP leaders will argue that ‘COVID opportunism’ and the unfettered transfer of work from hospitals has put pressure on GP surgeries.

Delegates will also demand the Welsh government recognises the ‘efficiency and safety’ of remote consultations and debate a move to make it the default consulting method - rather than push for a return to ‘old models of care’.

Welsh GP leaders will ask the country’s government to ‘commit, invest in and support’ public trust and usage of remote consultations, insisting that changes have led to more appropriate and effective consulting, and increased consultation rates.

They will also argue that existing Welsh government access standards are ‘nearly impossible to achieve’ with telephone-first pandemic systems and should be removed so that practices are not penalised unnecessarily.

GP wellbeing

LMC delegates will call for more to be done to protect the wellbeing of frontline clinicians, and could endorse RCGP calls for a new practitioner health programme in line with support in place in England.

GPs will also argue that practices should be given further funding to make premises changes so that surgeries are made safer, and have asked for a national mechanism to recycle PPE and medical waste.

Concerns around the workload demands that the verification of expected deaths place on GPs will also be shared. Welsh LMCs will ask GPC Wales to lobby Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and Care Inspectorate Wales to make the provision of in-house verification of expected deaths a compulsory part of operating a nursing or care home.

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