This site is intended for health professionals only


GPs given a week to opt out of delivering phase two Covid vaccines


winter plan


GPs have a week to opt out of continuing to deliver Covid vaccinations when the programme moves onto its second phase, NHS England has said.

It remains unclear when exactly the vaccine will be rolled out to under 50s – cohorts 10 to 12 – as part of phase two.

NHS England director of primary care Ed Waller today confirmed that PCNs will be able to continue delivering Covid vaccines when the current enhanced service covering cohorts one to nine comes to an end.

However, they must be able to deliver core contractual services at the same time, he told GPs at an NHS England webinar this evening.

If they would prefer to step back from Covid vaccination, they must opt out by next Friday 19 March, he added.

PCN groupings must decide as a whole whether they would like to continue delivering the vaccine, rather than at individual practice level.

Mr Waller said: ‘Given the role general practice has played in the programme so far, it’s essential that we give GPs and PCNs the opportunity to play a part in the programme going forward. And we want to support as many PCN groupings as possible to be part of the programme on an ongoing basis.

‘[However], we also know that we need to balance the delivery of some of the other work that goes on in general practice with the delivery of the vaccination programme and that’s recognised in the enhanced service proposals.’

‘Very light touch’ conditions will include ‘confirmation that practices are in a position to deliver the requirements’ of the core GP contract alongside vaccinations and that ‘they will be able to engage the workforce capacity that they need to do both’, he added.

Mr Waller outlined that the same terms and conditions, such as item of service (IOS) fees, will apply in phase two, while NHS England is hoping to extend current additional PCN clinical director funding – topped up from 0.25 WTE to one WTE – into the first quarter of the next financial year.

PCNs will be able to vaccinate ‘any patient’ within eligible cohorts – not just those registered at member practices – to encourage uptake by making vaccination ‘convenient’, he said.

But they will not be able to start delivering vaccinations as part of phase two until the Government has announced that the cohorts have become eligible, he added.

Practice-led vaccination sites will also be offered the opportunity to join the online National Booking System, Mr Waller said.

A letter setting out further details will go out to practices shortly, he added.

It was announced last month that phase two of the Covid vaccination programme will not prioritise key workers but continue in age order, starting with those aged 40-49.

Once all cohorts in phase one have been offered ‘at least’ their first jab, JCVI interim advice is for those aged 40-49 to be prioritised, following by those aged 30-39 and then those aged 18-29.

READERS' COMMENTS [7]

Not on your nelly 11 March, 2021 9:16 pm

What are they going to do when we all opt out. Who will jab these cohorts?

Turn out The lights 12 March, 2021 8:43 am

Combine full QOF with an onerous vaccination program and something gotta give.

Patrufini Duffy 12 March, 2021 2:56 pm

Opt out. You have spinal cords. Give Ed Waller one week to organise himself, with some probably required loperamide, and deal with the indestructible youth of today. You are not getting a thankyou beyond phase 1, just more contractual shafting.

Remember, the same ‘man’ who contractually pushed you all into ill-thought, suicidal Hot Hubs en masse last year: “The redeployment of both clinical and managerial staff into ‘new arrangements’ is expected as part of the ‘quid pro quo of guaranteeing income into practices’, he added”.

terry sullivan 12 March, 2021 4:16 pm

run away–you are being set-up

terry sullivan 12 March, 2021 4:17 pm

opt out of nhs–offer your own services?

Richard Greenway 12 March, 2021 6:39 pm

1) Would be good to know if CDs are going to be full time reimbursed -before they leave or get buried under workload in just over 2 weeks- they are going to need this for sure.
2) Would it be too much to ask in return for their conditions, to have guaranteed vaccine deliveries with > 1 week’s notice so that we can continue.

David Church 12 March, 2021 10:27 pm

GPs have performed far too well at this prioritising vaccination fo rthe good of the people thing : we need to find a way to stop them, preferanly by making them look like the bad guys who refused to vaccinate the under 50’s for free whilst being expected to do impossible other tasks dumped by overburdened poor secondary care!