This site is intended for health professionals only

GP to be on site for all Covid vaccinations, reveal final details of programme

GP to be on site for all Covid vaccinations, reveal final details of programme

A GP will have to be on site at all times whenever vaccinations are taking place at the primary care vaccination sites, NHS England has said.

Last night, NHS England released the final details of the GP-led programme starting next week, which also revealed that GPs will be responsible for carrying out care home vaccinations.

It also stated that the patient group directions will be released in time for the start of the vaccination programme, following fears it wouldn’t be ready.

The letter, signed by primary care medical director Dr Nikki Kanani and director Ed Waller, was sent to GPs last night, on the eve of the deadline for signing up to the enhanced service.

It revealed:

  • A GP will have to be on site at all times when vaccinations are taking place at PCN-led vaccination sites*;
  • PCNs will be responsible for recalling over 80s, and this will be partly based on ethnicity*;
  • The first patients will need to be booked in by tomorrow (Wednesday 9 December) and GPs will need to book them in for the initial dose and the follow up three weeks later*;
  • GPs to start vaccinating care homes soon – they will be provided with mini fridges and gel packs in a bid to resolve the problems around cold chain with the Pfizer vaccine;
  • The patient group directions are to be announced this week in time for PCNs go live;
  • A helpline is being set up for GPs undertaking the vaccinations;
  • All the timings and details relating to the supply of the vaccines and related equipment*.  

This is the first time NHS England has said that GPs will need to be present for all vaccinations taking place.

The letter said: ‘Please note that there is a requirement for a GP to be available on site for each vaccination session/clinic. You must also have a clinical governance process in place, an identified lead practice to manage the workforce, safe staff arrangements and an operational lead for the site.’

‘We recommend that your sites finalise their workforce arrangements and have any new, temporary staff in place by Thursday 10 December.’

It goes on to confirm that care home vaccinations will be undertaken by GPs. It states:  ‘You should start vaccinating patients aged 80 years and over as advised by the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) from 15 December.

‘This excludes any patients within this cohort who are totally housebound. Once further operational advice on vaccine handling has been agreed you should also start to vaccinate care home residents. We will be working with sites during the week of 14 December to ensure safe set up of this delivery model.’

GPs will be provided with a freezer in which to store gel packs. These will then be used for cool boxes for GPs to use when they take the vaccine off-site for care homes and housebound patients.

Yesterday, Pulse reported that the lack of regulatory processes meant that – as things stand – GPs will need to individually approve every patient being vaccinated.

However, the letter said: ‘Public Health England will publish the Patient Group Direction (PGD) for the vaccine this week, and so the PGD will be in place in time for when sites start vaccinating patients.’

*Please note, Pulse will be publishing further stories on this throughout the day


Visit Pulse Reference for details on 140 symptoms, including easily searchable symptoms and categories, offering you a free platform to check symptoms and receive potential diagnoses during consultations.


Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Beaker . 8 December, 2020 9:21 am

Why? So patient has questions… Gave you read the NHS website ? Yes, then you know as much as I do, next.
Patient collapses – much better to have the practice paramedic. What a waste of time for the most expensive part of the human component who would be much better utilized on the coal face as the day job ramps up. Why are we run by these idiots .

Concerned GP 8 December, 2020 9:55 am

So NHSE felt it was appropriate to send this letter late yesterday when many GP surgeries had signed up already not knowing fully what they were signing up to!!? It’s below the belt! Which other profession would accept this sort of behaviour and just acquiesce without any proper discussion or negotiation because of “the common good” ? I understand that GPs want to do the right thing but to be honest NHSE are treating us with contempt. Who do NK and EW represent? Do they have any idea of what it’s like at the frontline? It seems they are only answerable to their political masters. Pathetic. They should be ashamed of themselves.

John Elder 8 December, 2020 11:13 am

presumably for GP read Practice nurse, paramedic, interested passer by who has watched how to give it on TV, someone from 111…….. Who is going to do the day job if we have to give the vaccines as well?

Guy Wilkinson 8 December, 2020 12:08 pm

Underhand and unbelievable.

We need a change of the clinical leadership in NHSE.

David jenkins 8 December, 2020 12:08 pm

if you are the GP on site, then YOU will get shot at when the shit hits the fan and something goes wrong…………which it is bound to sooner or later with a project of this size.

YOUR NAME will be at the top of the writ – not mr pfizer, mr/ms voluntary worker/paramedic/111 receptionist/wiggleywoo or whoever else is there.

two words of warning if you are still seriously thinking about it…………


Kevlar Cardie 8 December, 2020 12:39 pm


John Glasspool 8 December, 2020 2:00 pm

People signed up to something without knowing the detail? In any other profession that would be called stupidity!

David Baker 8 December, 2020 2:12 pm

Utterly ridiculous to need a GP
We have already now told CCG we will now only operate one site not two
Needs changing ASAP

terry sullivan 8 December, 2020 3:21 pm

walk away–you are being dumped on

Patrufini Duffy 8 December, 2020 4:07 pm

GMCs Claire Marx has just stated: you have a “duty to act with compassion, humility and kindness”. At a moment when our profession has never been more valued, we must lead by example”.

Interpret that when you’re sitting in the foyer. With some digestives and a custard cream.

Subhash Chandra Bhatt 8 December, 2020 5:30 pm

There are still single handed gps and working with big list size. Getting them out to inject huge number of patient would mean no gp at practice. What will happen to other patients who need to see gp?
Pcn must provide them with another gp .

John Graham Munro 8 December, 2020 9:25 pm

When was the last time a GP dealt with a major post vaccination reaction?

terry sullivan 9 December, 2020 4:33 pm

need adrenaline ecg defib oxygen ett guedels face masks etcetc

Wendy Kitching 10 December, 2020 7:33 am

2 weeks ago our PCN practices were really excited to think we could be actively involved in getting this vaccine to our populations. Then then documents started arriving outlying the DES and the agreement between practices. They couldn’t have made it more risky to GP practices or more complicated if they had tried. Massively disappointed In the BMA for agreeing this spec. Needless to say none of the practices in our PCN have chosen to sign up .

Rogue 1 10 December, 2020 8:35 am

Good on you Wendy 7.33. All our practices protesteth and then rolled over.
So disappointed to be associated with them