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No pay, no flu vaccinations for our under-65 patients

It is beyond the pale to renege on what was a clear agreement to pay an item-of-service fee for under-65s flu vaccinations (news report, August 25). If it had really not been agreed, Mike Farrar, the NHS Confederation's lead negotiator, could well have said something much earlier, as the GPC has been publicising this agreement for some time.

This smacks of yet more nasty interference from the faceless men of No. 10. The answer is simple. Work to rule. No pay, no do.

If that means sending back some pre-ordered vaccine or cutting down our orders now, so be it. Large notices must go up in surgeries to say it is not part of our contracted work and if anyone wishes to be vaccinated they will be referred to the local public health department.

Also, on your front page you report the Government wants us to stop 'wilfully misinterpreting' the 48-hour access rules. Oh dear, Health Secretary John Reid should remember that words mean what words say. If you want to score a political point with 48-hour access we will run an access clinic.

I will line up the patients in the corridor and walk past them with my most sympathetic mien, saying good day to each and every one. They will have seen their doctor. Anyone who looks ill ­ not that many, I'll be bound ­ can make a routine appointment for a couple of weeks time. Well, when we have 6,200 patients, two full-time doctors and cannot even recruit locum help let alone a replacement partner, what does Mr Reid expect?!

Dr Peter Swinyard

Swindon, Wiltshire

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