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CAMHS won't see you now

More GPs face delay to opt-out

PCTs are under pressure to

offer GPs compensation over the flu vaccine chaos after it emerged some had offered financial incentives to practices to order supplies from Chiron.

The news came as GPs prepared to defy the Department of Health over exception reporting for vaccine shortages, and as some reported threats of legal action from patients.

PCTs in Norfolk offered points worth £1,000 to practices ordering vaccine from Chiron under a bulk-buy deal. GPs have now had to postpone thousands of appointments until early November after supplies were withdrawn.

Norfolk PCT, one of four implicated in the scheme, said it was examining compensation for GPs 'for the inconvenience' and admitted it had been at fault.

Dr Carl Stuttard, a GP in Aylsham, Kent, told Pulse he chose to defy advice from his PCT and stuck with his old supplier.

He said: 'We were told Broadland PCT could save £26,000 if it went with cheaper vaccines but we didn't want to go down that line as we had a long-standing relationship with our supplier.

'PCTs are under terrible financial pressure and this way of imposing suppliers on GPs seems to be the state of things to come.'

Meanwhile, GPs were adamant they would exception report if shortages hit their vaccine uptake, despite warnings from the Department of Health that such actions would not be appropriate.

Dr Angela Tubin, whose practice in Guildford, Surrey, isn't getting any vaccine until November, said she was prepared to exception report.

Patients had threatened legal action after her PCT played down the risk of shortages.

The GPC said it was reasonable to exception report where there was evidence that delays had hit uptake.

By Emma Wilkinson

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