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CAMHS won't see you now

GPC reveals pay deal for pneumococcal campaign

The GPC has thrashed out a pay deal for GPs in England to immunise millions of elderly patients with polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine this year but warned it may be too late to order supplies.

GPs will receive a £6.80 item-of-service B payment and a personal administration fee of £1.65 for every patient immunised over 80 years of age.

PCTs will receive a budget to reward PMS GPs 'commensurate with the level of achievement'.

The Department of Health stopped short of setting targets but urged PCTs to maximise uptake of the pneumococcal vaccine in the over-80s and 'hoped it would be as successful' as the influenza campaign.

The department added GPs would be paid for administering the pneumococcal vaccine to over-80s throughout the year but advised them to offer it when patients presented for the flu jab this winter.

Because of problems supplying the vaccine, the pneumococcal campaign in England will target the over-80s this year and then patients aged 75-79 in 2004/5 and those aged 65-74 in 2005/6. The vaccine will then be provided routinely as patients reach 65.

Information packs on the campaign will be sent to GPs this week.

GPC negotiator Dr Laurence Buckman said it was probably 'too late' for GPs to order adequate doses of the vaccine.

But Richard Stubbins, managing director of Aventis Pasteur, which supplies the polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine, said there should be enough doses for the over-80s and urged GPs to put their

orders in quickly.

GPs in Scotland must immunise everyone over 65 this year. But some GPs have refused to order the vaccine because a pay deal has yet to be agreed. Vaccine orders from GPs in Scotland are some 57,000 doses short of the predicted patient demand.

The Scottish Executive said it was 'a matter of urgency' that GPs order adequate supplies and reassured them

they would be paid for

administration.

The Welsh Assembly is planning a pneumococcal campaign for over-65s this year. Pay details are expected in the next few weeks.

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