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GPs convince 70% of patients who refused Covid vaccination to reconsider

GPs convince 70% of patients who refused Covid vaccination to reconsider

Exclusive GPs at a practice in Leicester have managed to convince almost 70% of patients who refused their Covid jab invitation to reconsider and make an appointment.

The practice called hundreds of patients as part of a pilot programme funded by the CCG, aiming to increase local vaccine uptake by giving patients a chance to discuss their concerns with their GP. 

GPs and other staff spoke with 210 unvaccinated patients from cohorts 1-4 on Saturday 27 February, and convinced 69% to book an appointment, with around 90% of those people turning up for the jab as of the following Tuesday, NHS Leicester City CCG told Pulse.

Around 9% still refused to make an appointment, and 22% said they needed to think about it, according to the CCG, while GPs also had to reschedule around 200 calls with patients they could not reach.

NHS Leicester City CCG said it is planning to roll out the pilot scheme to practices across the city from next week.

CCG chair Professor Azhar Farooqi told Pulse: ‘The professional group which has the highest trust of patients is probably GPs. So, if people are having doubts about having a vaccine, it makes sense that GPs should be the ones discussing it on an individual basis with them.’ 

He said, at the practice, GPs found that the reasons people were turning down the vaccines were ‘highly individual’, and that some were worried it could impact their medication or condition – questions which ‘aren’t always answered through media advertising’. He added that ‘very few’ talked about conspiracy theories.

Admin staff generally called the patients in the first instance, and if patients were still unconvinced, then put them through to their GP. 

Professor Farooqi said the CCG will provide GPs across the city with the funds needed to free up staff time for the calls – ‘which can take up to 15 minutes’ – and that this will allow them to, for example, bring in locums during the day. The CCG will be investing ‘existing resources’ to do this, he added. 

He said: ‘Not only can this be replicated across England, it should be. If we’re going to get 90% uptake for the population – we need to focus on the areas that have 70 or 80% uptake to get them up to that level. And this is the best way to do it.’

Dr Farzana Hussain, a GP partner in East London, has also been calling patients who have not taken the offer of the vaccine to provide ‘reassurance and reliable advice’.


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

Simon Gilbert 8 March, 2021 12:56 pm

50+ hours of GP work could alternatively be used to vaccinate 500 willing patients or to pay for non GPs to vaccinated 1000 – 1500 patients.
Unfortunately there is always a lag in gaining permission to vaccinate new cohorts, slowing the vaccination scheme considerably and make it less efficient.
A more realistic strategy would be to trust PCNs to open up cohorts at a rate that suits them, whilst committing to working on the vaccine hesitant in parallel, rather than in series, with the rollout to the lower tiers.

Patrufini Duffy 8 March, 2021 3:08 pm

Observation: I realised that 5/7 Pulse headlines start with, “GP(s)” – less naming, more therapeutic and more investigative headlining may heal wounds better going forward.

Keith M Laycock 8 March, 2021 5:22 pm

Utter nonsense and totally impractical.

Chris Dixon 9 March, 2021 8:19 am

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money… but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career….

David jenkins 10 March, 2021 2:41 pm

dear mr handcock
you’re paying me £100/hr
you’re paying the piper, so you can call the tune.
do you want to pay me for trying to persuade people to have the jab – which may work.
or do you want to pay me to give the jab – which will work.

it’s up to you, it’s your money.
you decide which – because i haven’t the hours in the working day to do both.

by the way – i’m a locum, so i can decide who i want to work for, and if you continue mucing me about it, it won’t be you !

David jenkins 10 March, 2021 2:42 pm

sorry – “mucking”