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1,000-1,500 GP Covid vaccination sites to be set up across England



There will be around 1,000-1,500 general practice led sites across England providing Covid vaccines, and GPs will need to confirm these by 16 November under the draft specifications being announced today.

Under the specifications, announced today, state that practices should be ready to start administering the vaccine by 1 December, although this would be a ‘very optimistic’ date for the first cohorts.

The specifications also state that practices will be expected to run their own call/recall process to maximise uptake, which will run alongside a national booking system.

Once patients are notified, they will have the choice to book an appointment at a general practice designated site or use the national booking service to be vaccinated at another centre – including the mass Nightingale centres set to be established.

It is likely that the DES will be delivered on a network basis, although the specifications do clarify that practices who are not part of the Network DES will still be able to take part, working collaboratively with other practices.

The specifications say that ‘it will not be possible to supply vaccine to most or all practices individually’.

In a letter to be sent to GPs, general practice teams and CCGs, NHS England medical director for primary care Dr Nikita Kanani and director of primary care Ed Waller write: We anticipate that on average around one site will be designated per PCN area, but the exact configuration needs to reflect the variable size of PCNs.

‘A few of the very smallest PCNs may join forces to provide a designated centre whilst the largest PCNs may have more than one. We expect around 1,000-1,500 general practice sites to be designated initially.’

They state that such a programme requires ‘all hands to the pump’, and they encourage ‘making every contact count e.g. in relation to housebound patients’.

Practices will need to nominate their chosen site by Monday 16 November. They add: ‘A CCG representative will then undertake a process to assess the extent to which the nominated site meets each of the specified criteria (covering vaccine storage, planning and co-ordination, site safety, vaccine wastage, space, workforce, patient experience, vaccine storage and handling, preparation, administration, aftercare, data collection and reporting).’

Once the CCG has made a recommendation, practices will be informed by Wednesday 18 November. The letter states that additional sites may be designated further on.

It also says: ‘A national call-recall system will be in operation. Practices are expected run their own call/recall process, alongside the national programme, to help maximise uptake. They will have the option of joining national direct booking arrangements if they wish and commit to meeting the additional requirements involved.

‘Once patients are notified they are eligible for a vaccination, patients would have the choice to book an appointment at a general practice designated site or use the National Booking Service to be vaccinated at another vaccination centre.’

READERS' COMMENTS [6]

Patrufini Duffy 6 November, 2020 8:27 pm

A classic Ed Waller contract negotiation. Can we have this Director of Primary Care up on stage Pulse? NK has had her misfortunes, he somehow escaped with his chirades and warped meddling. I do truly appreciate how Pulse gets the news before NHSE or any CCG let’s us in on anything!

Patrufini Duffy 6 November, 2020 8:31 pm

Also…you’re slyly using GPs and their nurses, their “uselessness and laziness” and their mediocre negotiating skills as the scapegoat for an unknown vaccine. That is the Ultimate mastery trick, I commend NHSE on that chess move.

Reply moderated
Turn out The lights 7 November, 2020 9:30 am

More abject failure for the BMA and NHSE.Need to do again you are pathetic.You have a lack of respect of primary care staff and do not value us or our time.Shove you offer.

Reply moderated
Hello My name is 9 November, 2020 6:56 am

We need to develop a backbone and just start saying NO. No to extra work, no to poorly funded schemes. We are not a charity and if NHSE hasn’t noticed we are rather busy providing essential services they have undervalued and undermined for years. Our patients deserve better and we need to recognise our worth. We are being bullied at every turn into delivering a substandard service- I for one have had enough of it.

Robert Caudwell 9 November, 2020 10:18 am

A week to decide when next to nothing is known about how this is(n’t) going to work. A combination of a local and national call/recall system; what could possibly go wrong? “all hands to the pump” is an insult – what do they think we have been doing?

Subhash Chandra Bhatt 9 November, 2020 4:19 pm

Seems fine to me. Small practices may have problem and May need to opt out. They may not have work force to do 200 vaccine a day as 1000 vacc need to used in 5 days. I am not sure of availability of fridge to store vaccine at -70 C