Shake-up over immunisation pay

DoH plans to split NHS immunisation funds between multiple providers could lead to falling immunisation rates, say experts.

The White Paper says that funds should be kept at the same level but shared between GPs, out-of-hours providers, walk-in centres, children's centres and outreach services on the basis of who does the work.

The reason given was that 'greater numbers of general practices opting out of immunisation service provision in deprived areas could fail those who need them most'.

Berkshire GP Dr George Kassianos, RCGP vaccination spokesman, said: 'It is possible rates will drop. We need to ask the DoH to give evidence that GPs are opting out of providing vaccinations. Children should not have missed out on their vaccinations because PCTs have to find alternative practices if any do drop out.'

Dr Peter Fellows, chairman of the GPC prescribing subcommittee, said: 'If other providers are involved, the money available will be spread thinner and it will be impossible to know who has given what to whom.'

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