Talks fail on paying practices to give under-fives swine flu jabs

The GPC has failed to reach an agreement with NHS Employers to allow UK practices to be paid to vaccinate children under five against swine flu.

Plans should be put in place locally to ensure all eligible children are vaccinated as quickly as possible

In a letter to all GPs, Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the GPC, said it had not been possible to reach an agreement with the UK governments on a national framework.

Instead, plans should be put in place locally to ensure all eligible children are vaccinated as quickly as practically possible.

Dr Buckman said: ‘We sincerely wanted to be able to reach a national agreement with the UK governments about a process for vaccinating the under fives against swine flu.

‘Unfortunately this has not been possible, because the government would not support adequate measures to help free up staff time. At the busiest time of the year for general practice, with surgeries already dealing with the additional work of vaccinating the first wave of at-risk groups, we felt this was vital in order to ensure this next phase could be carried out quickly.

‘We would encourage LMCs and primary care organisations (PCOs) to put in place arrangements that are sensitive to the workload pressures in their area. These should be agreed as soon as possible.'

Health secretary Andy Burnham said: ‘It is disappointing that we have not been able to come to a national agreement with GPs to vaccinate children from six months to five years old. But we are now getting on with the job and asking local health trusts to put local plans in place so that vaccination of these children can begin seamlessly.

‘The supply of vaccine is increasing and we should therefore be able to meet the demand for vaccine and begin vaccinating children before Christmas.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Sign pointing to hospital

NHS England seeks to clarify GPs' responsibilities when using advice and guidance

New guidance from NHS England has set out the clinical responsibilities and medicolegal...

Widespread joint pain - red flag symptoms

Presentations and red flag symptoms that may alert you to potentially serious conditions...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Supporting neurodivergent doctors and staff in general practice

Talking General Practice speaks to GPs Dr Beckie Akroyd and Dr Catherine Bell about...

BMA Scotland GP committee chair Dr Andrew Buist

General practice in Scotland 'in serious trouble', warns BMA Scotland GP chair

General practice in Scotland has reached a tipping point, with demand far outstripping...

Hospital entrance

NHS England issues warning over norovirus and rising winter pressures

Almost three times as many people were in hospital with norovirus last week compared...

BMA Northern Ireland GP committee chair Dr Alan Stout

Northern Ireland GPs face deepest-ever crisis as practices hand back contracts

Northern Ireland's GP leader has warned that general practice in the region is facing...