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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Healthcare assistants to give flu jabs

Healthcare assistants could soon be free to administer flu vaccinations, the Medical Defence Union has announced.

In the latest edition of the In Practice Journal, the MDU advises healthcare assistants could be granted indemnity, providing they undergo training and assessment and operate under a practice protocol.

The advice has been timed to coincide with flu vaccination season, and follows a number of calls to the MDU from practices wanting to delegate the job of administering flu vaccinations to healthcare assistants.

Dr Michael Devlin, MDU medico-legal adviser, said that the measure would not be introduced without suitable checks, but could cut GP workload in the long-term.

He said: 'Healthcare assistants would have to understand the nature and purpose of vaccination, and understand the basic aseptic technique that's involved in giving injections.

'It's part of the increasing teamwork being demonstrated in primary care, and could free up GPs' and nurses' time.'

The new guidance recommends a doctor or nurse practitioner would have to be on the premises while healthcare assistants carried out vaccinations, and advises any system be reviewed on a regular basis.

Dr Devlin added that there was potential to implement the scheme for other vaccination programmes in future.

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