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GPs to be ‘compensated appropriately’ to give booster jabs through Bank Holidays

GPs to be ‘compensated appropriately’ to give booster jabs through Bank Holidays

GP vaccination teams will be ‘compensated appropriately’ for delivering Covid booster jabs through the Christmas bank holidays, NHS England has said.

They will be expected to deliver vaccination 12 hours a day seven days a week ‘as standard’.

Speaking at a GP webinar on the accelerated booster programme today, NHS England director of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme Dr Emily Lawson said there is ‘no way to meet this offer target without vaccinating on the bank holidays’.

She thanked vaccination sites that have ‘already put slots up for Christmas Day and Boxing Day’ and added that while ‘some communities may well want to be vaccinated those days’, it is Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 December ‘where we think we need to operate at full tilt’.

She said: ‘We absolutely need to ensure staff are compensated appropriately. Treasury has offered full support to the programme and so our finance team is picking up with Treasury. 

‘As soon as we have clarity on that, which I would expect to get this week, we’ll make sure we write out to systems and make sure they understand what’s on offer.’

Dr Lawson also told delegates that vaccination sites should ensure they can operate 12 hours a day seven days a week ‘as standard’.

She said: ‘Sites need to request resources to enable them to operate 12 hours a day as standard seven days a week. 

‘In every community, there should be slots available at least 16 hours a day and this should extend to 24-hour operations where relevant for local communities.’

Dr Lawson added that a system letter outlining the guidance will be published ‘later this evening’ or ‘at the very latest tomorrow morning’.

Meanwhile, NHSE primary care medical director Dr Nikki Kanani said that NHS England will ‘back’ GPs to ‘make the clinical decisions that [they] need to’, after they were asked to ‘clinically prioritise’ Covid booster jabs over routine care.

She said: ‘It’s really difficult to give a list of things that you need to stop – it will be different from practice to practice [and] from patient to patient depending on what your patient’s need.

‘But what we are saying is that we back you to make the clinical decisions that you need to. We are absolutely behind you because we need you to do this because you are brilliant at doing this. And we need your help.’

She added that clinical prioritisation ‘might include pausing routine and non-urgent care’ or redeploying practice staff into other practices that are delivering vaccinations.

All practice teams, not only those who are delivering vaccinations, should ‘clinically prioritise services to free up as much capacity as you can to support this vaccination programme alongside delivering the urgent care that you deem appropriate’, Dr Kanani said.

The BMA and RCGP will be ‘providing some additional prioritisation guidance shortly’ that NHS England ‘will of course support’, she added. 

NHS England also set out that:

  • Vaccination sites should be ‘demanding’ the financial support they need to increase capacity and uptake 
  • Sites should request ‘extended’ estate if needed, such as portacabins, and consider using schools for vaccinations during the Christmas holidays
  • They should adjust their capacity uploaded to the national booking service based on DNA rates
  • CCGs, local authorities and ‘all local partners’ should redeploy administrative and clinical staff to support the vaccination effort
  • Trusts should make staff available and ‘consider alternative arrangements’ for prescriptions and other paperwork that ‘sometimes ends up in general practice’
  • General practice will be offered workforce support ‘as a priority’
  • There will be ‘maximal flexibility’ for ‘mutual aid’ movement of vaccines between practices
  • The programme is ‘not constrained in our workforce’ in terms of volunteers and the redeployment of staff
  • There are no vaccine supply challenges with Pfizer or Moderna booster stock

In a statement published today, the BMA has called for the introduction of wider measures to combat Omicron, aside from offering all over-18s a Covid booster by the end of the month.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘Despite describing the current situation as an “emergency” with a “tidal wave” of infections on the horizon, the Government’s response relying entirely on the vaccine booster programme is missing the wider measures required to control the spread of Omicron, including protecting millions of people who will not be eligible for the booster programme by the end of December.’

The BMA is calling for the Government to introduce ‘robust infection control measures in the community’ such as mandatory mask-wearing in all hospitality settings unless eating or drinking, the reintroduction of two-metre distancing in all indoor public settings and for it to ‘rethink its policy on vaccine passports based on being double vaccinated’.

It is also calling for infection control measures to be reintroduced in healthcare settings, including high-grade FFP3 masks where healthcare workers are ‘seeing patients suspected or actual cases of patients with Covid’. 

Dr Nagpaul added: ‘General practice in particular is facing significant workforce shortages, meaning GPs and their teams cannot do everything for everyone all at the same time. 

‘There are significant backlog pressures within the NHS and large volumes of urgent unmet need that simply cannot be delayed, we are discussing with Government and NHSEI how we can ensure patients get the care they need now and in the coming months.’

GPs must not be ‘blamed, scapegoated or subject to abuse for the reduction in access to routine services; in general practice, he said. 

It comes as UK chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said during the same briefing that the requirement for patients to stay behind for a 15-minute observation period after their Pfizer or Moderna Covid vaccination could be scrapped in the ‘next few days’.

And Pulse has today been told that the Government’s relaxation of the 10-day isolation requirement for contacts of Omicron cases does not apply to GPs and other health and care staff.


David Church 13 December, 2021 5:46 pm

Do they mean that GP vaccination teams will be paid a good multiple of the hourly rate for an MP for a bank holiday?

Or do they mean that, they will give a good indication of how little they actually really value GPs and Staff time ?

Kevlar Cardie 13 December, 2021 6:08 pm


I went into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ” We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, go away ” ;
But it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, wait outside “;
But it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap.
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul? ”
But it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes ” when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes, ” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be’ind,”
But it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! ”
But it’s ” Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees

Reply moderated
The Prime Minister 13 December, 2021 6:54 pm


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Bonglim Bong 13 December, 2021 7:06 pm

Do patients really want to come to have a jab on Christmas Day? surely not?

Just My Opinion 13 December, 2021 7:56 pm

After all the abuse, now we are supposed to give up our Christmas and come save the day?
But as David says, lets see how much they really value general practice.

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Cameron Wilson 13 December, 2021 8:49 pm

Why was the post of the poem “Tommy” taken down? I thought it’s a very appropriate observation of the relationship between us troops in the trenches and the dictats of SJ,NHSE and the others who have given GP a malicious kicking recently. The amount of posts being removed recently seems to be excessive and disproportionate! Will see how long this one stays visible!!

Reply moderated
The Prime Minister 13 December, 2021 8:49 pm

Pulse magazine-look this is getting silly ! I urge you to stop deleting all my posts. The magazine is happy to tolerate fake GPs but appears intolerant of real ones !

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The Prime Minister 13 December, 2021 8:56 pm

Thanks Cameron ! What will happen is that the magazine will end up losing its readership if this policy continues…..alienating the GP workforce is about as strategic as NHS England ! Never heard of a “free press” ? Something is going badly wrong. Trouble is this post will also get deleted…..Were I an editor and got “leaned on” I would not budge and would have to be escorted off the premises…..

Reply moderated
The Prime Minister 13 December, 2021 9:01 pm

Free speech cannot be suppressed permanently. Short term yes by dictatorships usually but history always tells us that free speech will win in the end. Let us all take a moment to think of those brave journalists across the world that take these risks for freedom and democracy!

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Slobber Dog 13 December, 2021 9:03 pm

Compensated appropriately?
No, it won’t be.

Some" Bloke 13 December, 2021 9:07 pm

Surely the only reason Nikki&rest of them would want to be “absolutely behind” us is so they can stab us in the back.

Michael Mullineux 13 December, 2021 9:39 pm

With you CW. Kevlar Cardie’s posts are insightful, considered, often acerbic but always thought provoking and amusing. Joining a recent noticeable increase in moderated removals. Time to reconsider voluntary contributions to Pulse methinks?

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Turn out The Lights 13 December, 2021 9:47 pm

Just ready through the Tommy poem,describes exactly the relationship between Us and them now.Censorship is very sinister however well meaning it is meant to be.The truth will always out.

Marie Williams 13 December, 2021 11:25 pm

I think when this is put to my staff they are going to cry……………………
Money doesn’t compensate for time with your family

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John Cahill 14 December, 2021 12:31 pm

Where are all the vaccinators going to come from? Surely active GPs should be left to do the front line job [ which nobody else can do so effectively] instead of being diverted to vaccinating [ which almost anybody can do]. Request retired nurses, doctors, pharmacists, medical students, vets to step up and get trained on the basis of see one , do one and teach one. You don’t need hours of on line training or Biology A level- I suspect the Army vaccinators probably won’t have science degrees but you can be sure they will be efficient.
The process needs to be more like Flu vaccination if we are going to get through the huge numbers, no more than 2 minutes per patient.

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Patrufini Duffy 14 December, 2021 1:07 pm

Compensation with 40% taxed effort. Well played.

Paul Attwood 14 December, 2021 1:13 pm

I have no idea what the “going rate” for vaccinations is over Bank Holidays but I do recall 1995 Christmas day when the local OOH Co-op was paying £150 per hour giving you £900 for a six hour shift. Busy but you knew it would be over and you could go home to excited kids and a wonderful dinner.

Now inflation has averaged 2.7% annually (BoE webpage) making £294.90. How that for a starter for ten?

Paul Attwood 14 December, 2021 1:25 pm

Tommy by Rudyard Kipling?

If is good too and applies to current zeitgeist;

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;


Nigel Rowell 14 December, 2021 3:02 pm

I agree with John Cahill. My wife and I retired from GP a few years ago but are now supporting our old practices and PCN with some very busy vaccination days. We handle all the questions & queries and deal with the fainting etc. And give hundreds of injections too. It’s not difficult. Many more could do this but aren’t . I suspect because of the tedious bureaucracy and the fact that they are thoroughly hacked off with the way GPs are treated.

David Jarvis 15 December, 2021 10:10 am

Nigel you and yours helping is much appreciated. But really none of us want more money because it will be taxed at 60% for a large portion of GP’s. The time off is vastly more valuable than any amount of money. So we have just said no. It is causing a bit of a kerfuffle but when they tried to pressure us we just pushed back with complete withdrawal from vaccinating as it is not core contract work. So getting these jabs done is their responsibility not ours. Weirdly they need us now after slagging us off in the Autumn. How many would come on Christmas day. We have many already waiting until after Christmas in case the Vaccine makes them poorly rather than worried about Covid making them poorly. So our clinics haven’t been full even with walk ins. It is just mad.

Turn out The Lights 15 December, 2021 10:38 am

Spot on David, say no.

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Kevlar Cardie 17 December, 2021 3:20 pm

@Michael Mullineux.

Love your work.