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Muddle over pay for flu vaccination

The Government has issued conflicting advice over payments for giving the influenza vaccine this year.

The NHS Information Authority sent a letter to all GPs saying item-of-service payments would be based on the cohort of patients who reached the age of 65 by March 31, 2004.

But the Department of Health overruled this decision and said payments would be based on the cohort of patients aged 65 by December 31, 2003, as in previous years.

Jeff Porter, flu programme co-ordinator at the department, said in a letter to GPs he 'appreciated' many campaigns had begun, but for 'consistency and monitoring purposes' the end of December was the correct cohort for this year.

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