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The waiting game

GMC calls for PCT dossier on every GP

GPs may be required to attend annual immunisation update training days under new minimum standards set out by the Health Protection Agency.

The HPA is introducing the new national standards after carrying out a survey of English PCTs which uncovered wide variations in training.

Dr Natasha Crowcroft, a consultant epidemiologist at the Health Protection Agency who helped to put together the standards, said: 'We recommended as a minimum yearly updates should be provided for all immunisers.

'It's incredible how much changes in a year and GPs are probably going to see the patients who are most concerned about vaccination.'

The training updates are likely to include a range of issues, including changes to vaccine schedules and new areas of epidemiology (see left).

Dr Crowcroft said she would like to see practices achieving accreditation to prove they have met the minimum standards.

Dr George Kassianos, RCGP immunisation spokesperson and a GP in Bracknell, Berkshire, said: 'We need to be able not only to perform vaccinations correctly but also advise patients and other health workers. But it will not be possible to offer or receive annual updates for all GPs. I would like to see a training session every three to five years with extended training in the first year.'

Areas covered updates

·Current vaccination issues

·Recent epidemiology

·Changes to schedule

·Changes to legislation

·Anaphylaxis management

·Review of current practice

·Areas for improvement

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