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Covid vaccination enhanced service ‘flexible’ to ongoing changes


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The GP Covid vaccine enhanced service will have ‘flexibility’ for the BMA and NHS England to agree changes as ‘necessary’, the BMA has said.

For this reason, the parties have this week agreed that it will not be a DES but an ‘enhanced service directed by NHS England’.

Under section 7a of the 2006 NHS Act, the health secretary’s powers over a DES are delegated to NHS England in respect of an enhanced service, the BMA said.

However, any changes will be made only by national agreement between NHS England and the BMA’s GP Committee for England, it added.

BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey told Pulse: ‘While initial discussions had been on the basis of a DES, we have now been advised that S7A arrangement would provide the most appropriate contractual vehicle for the programme.

‘This will provide the flexibility for necessary changes – only with agreement between NHSEI and GPCE – that is crucial in such a fast-moving environment where we will need to add in new information without delay as more vaccines are supplied with different requirements.’

He added: ‘While we understand there has been unnecessary confusion, practices and patients will experience no differences resulting from the technical change, and the requirements of the programme remain the same.’

Other GP public health immunisation programmes such as shingles catch-up and childhood flu vaccinations are already commissioned in the same way, Dr Vautrey said.

A BMA spokesperson added that the content of the specification will be no different due to it being an enhanced service directed by NHS England rather than a DES.

The enhanced service will be offered to all practices under the same terms and cannot be varied by local commissioners, they added.

It comes as further details of the Covid vaccination programme were last night revealed in an NHS England webinar – including that NHS England will provide extra Covid vaccination clinical staff at cost to GP practices.

READERS' COMMENTS [4]

Slobbering Spaniel 16 November, 2020 1:54 pm

So flexible, it may not happen at all.

Patrufini Duffy 16 November, 2020 5:35 pm

Ah, the NHS Act.

Bob Hodges 16 November, 2020 6:35 pm

Set the desired ‘ends’ i.e the target…….and look away.

We’ll get there, just don’t tell us HOW to do it or ask questions……you’ll only wind us up.

This is REALLY DIFFICULT, but its a straight forward task. Its not rocket science, unless NHS England start sticking their oar in and over-complicating things needlessly.

Finola ONeill 16 November, 2020 6:52 pm

I’ve emailed NHS England, BMA, RCGP suggesting 2 things.
1. just give us the funding to get the staffing we need and cover our costs. Ringfenced funding for it, don’t limit it and we can get on and arrange it. Don’t need profit but do need not to be worrying about making a loss.
2. Let us decide where to give it; one central site for PCN if it suits us, several if it works better.
3. we can do the housebound, only mobile to surgery. Fully mobile and transportable can get to the vaccination major sites planned.
4 Care homes, been suggested army can do. Yep, why not, patients all grouped nicely together, come up with logistics, delivery, a rota for the hospital clinicians etc and all those volunteers you trained up. Tell us if you need us.
5. Army can figure out the logistics of getting the Pfeizer vaccine out to our surgeries in the right amounts so the vaccine doesn’t spoil after its 5 day sell by date.
Any left over patients, ask our help and we can fill in the gaps.
And please NHS England start saying thank you to us and stop treating us like your serfs.
After your last toxic briefing to the press implying we are lazy incompetents, we won’t hold it against you. You are welcome.