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At the heart of general practice since 1960

HPV vaccine is not a GP's job

I cannot be alone in wondering why the RCGP and Government are 'locked in discussions' over the clinical circumstances for a patient to warrant an HPV vaccine.

Surely we are agreed that all girls, whether they bed at 13 or wed at 30, are to greater or lesser degree at risk of HPV infection? The only blanket vaccination programme of school-aged girls that will be efficient is one based in schools. Getting healthy teenagers to attend practices for preventive health measures of whatever kind is notoriously difficult.

The Department of Health's failure to negotiate with the Royal College of Nursing over this at an earlier stage is quite inexplicable and if more nurses are needed to carry out the task they should be trained and paid for, rather than offloading an inappropriate task onto GP surgeries.

Dr Trevor Stammers, lecturer in healthcare ethics, St Mary's University College, Twickenham, Middlesex

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