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The waiting game

GPs to get £5 extra per child vaccinated under new MMR catch-up scheme

GPs will receive an extra £5 for every child aged 10-11 they vaccinate with the MMR vaccine from April, under the new GP contract.

The five-year deal, agreed by NHS England and the BMA, includes the extra payment as part of an MMR catch-up campaign, which aims to reduce the current number of measles outbreaks.

This comes as a recent surge in measles cases led PHE to urge patients ensure if they have had two doses of the MMR vaccine, to check with their GP before going on holiday.

The contract, which was released last week, said practices will be expected to carry-out a number of tasks to encourage children to get the MMR vaccine, in return for the payment.

This includes actively inviting 'all those missing one or both doses of MMR to have the MMR vaccine at a vaccination clinic held in the practice or to make an appointment'.

GPs should also 'continue to follow-up, recall and update computerised records for patients who do not respond or fail to attend scheduled clinics or appointments', the contract said.

Other immunisation changes in the new deal include:

  • From April, GPs will see a 26p increase to the childhood seasonal influenza, pertussis, seasonal influenza and pneumococcal polysaccharide fee. This means the current fee will rise from £9.80 to £10.06
  • From April, the HPV vaccine programme will be extended to all women aged 18-25, with a fee set at £10.06
  • From September, all boys aged 12-13 will be included in the HPV vaccine scheme. Although NHS England said the HPV catch-up will not have to be delivered through general practice in 2019/20, it expects all boys to be added to the scheme from April 2020

Last month, Public Health England called on the Government to add MMR catch-up elements to the GP contract in order to tackle low uptake levels.

This came after NHS Digital found the number of children getting the MMR vaccine last year dropped to the lowest level since 2011/2012.

All the headlines from the 2019/20 GP contract at a glance 

MMR catch up for 10 and 11 year olds

From April 2019 NHS England and GPC England have agreed an item of service payment of £5 per patient for the extra cost of a catch-up campaign for the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine for 10 and 11-year olds in the light of the current measles outbreaks. Payment will be made for each child recorded as unvaccinated.

In return for receiving payment practices will be expected to:

i. Check patient paper/electronic records (Electronic Patient Record) and if necessary correct computerised record

ii. Confirm that patient is still in the area - if not, remove from list and inform the local Child Health Information Service (CHIS)

iii. Actively invite all those missing one or both doses of MMR to have the MMR vaccine at a vaccination clinic held in the practice or to make an appointment – priority should be given to patients missing both doses as this is where most clinical value /value for money can be gained

iv. Invites should be by letter, email, phone call, text or digital personal child health record ‘red book’ as appropriate. NHS England expect as a minimum three invites per payment per patient and a record of practice activity to go local teams:

  • First invite can simply offer appointment
  • Second invite - offer appointment, confirm receipt and/or check if parent/guardian has record of vaccination already e.g. Personal Child Health Record
  • Third contact should be a practice healthcare professional discussion, either face-to-face or via telephone, with the parent or guardian - with the expectation that all staff participating are adequately trained. Practices to make use of the Public Health England (PHE) designed resources to aid call/recall discussions if required to support informed choice and improved uptake and coverage. (,- mumps-and-rubella-(mmr) At this point also check – offer/update any other childhood immunisations missing.

v. Ensure that those parents/guardians of patients who need second dose are invited and attend for the second dose (three invites);

vi. Continue to follow-up, recall and update computerised records for patients who do not respond or fail to attend scheduled clinics or appointments and offer opportunistically as and when

vii. If there is no response after the following the process outlined above, practices to notify school nursing service to follow up/offer at school

viii. Inform local team of outcome

Source: A five-year framework for GP contract reform

Readers' comments (5)

  • fee wont even cover the postage stamps!

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  • Cobblers

    A fiver?

    Dear me, that shows how much GPs are valued doesn't it?

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  • I'll try not to spend it all at once....

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  • Your time, staff time, clinical risk and postage for a fiver. That is how much we are valued.

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  • Fiver is also not tax free. What an incentive from some clever person ? 3 stamps for 3 invitation letters, do they know the cost of stamp?

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