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Independents' Day

CMOs' opinions differ over informed dissent for MMR

The first indication of a difference of opinion has emer-ged between the UK's Chief Medical Officers over informed dissent for MMR.

The CMO in Wales is 'sympathetic' to GPC anger that thousands of GPs are missing out on higher vaccine target pay.

But the English and Scottish CMOs appear to have

vetoed any deal to allow informed dissenters to count towards uptake targets.

In an exclusive interview with Pulse, Dr Ruth Hall, CMO for Wales, said she understood GPs' concerns and would open talks with GPC Wales on vaccine target pay. She said: 'We need to make sure we have the right way forward. We do realise it's important to GPs.'

GPC Wales chair Dr Andrew Dearden welcomed the 'sympathetic' comments but added: 'If it were senior managers in a hospital losing several thousands of pounds a year you can be sure it would change a lot quicker. GPs are the only people in the health service whose income is affected by patient choice.'

Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, CMO in England, ruled out any special treatment for GPs in Wales and effectively closed the door to informed dissent. He told Pulse: 'The existing [target pay] system works in ensuring that many children are offered and accept immunisation.' He added: 'The new GMS contract is a UK-wide contract. All four countries have a common policy.'

Scotland's CMO, Dr Mac Armstrong, said the current pay system was the best way to maintain high vaccine uptake. He added: 'I have not had any feedback from Scottish GPs feeling disadvantaged.'

Northern Ireland's CMO, Dr Henrietta Campbell, was on holiday.

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