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GPs invited to bid for £12.2m fund for ‘additional’ flu vaccination costs


NHS pay rise


NHS England has released £12.2m for GP practices to cover the ‘reasonable additional’ costs of delivering this year’s expanded flu vaccination programme, it has announced.

Funding will be provided to PCNs and GP practices to cover additional venue hires and associated costs such as signage and ‘external temporary shelters’ as well as additional fridges or ‘mobile cold storage’, NHS England said.

An additional £3.2m has been set aside for community pharmacies to cover their additional costs, it added.

In a new guidance document, NHS England said: ‘NHS England and NHS Improvement have made available an additional £15.4m to local systems and primary care providers to cover reasonable additional costs (over and above the usual fee structures) associated with this year’s extended flu programme. 

‘This is in recognition of the fact that considering social distancing, some flu providers may need to adopt alternative delivery models – eg drive-in vaccination or mass vaccination clinics – as well as deliver vaccinations from alternative locations.’

The funding will also cover costs ‘incurred by CCGs on behalf of’ practices, such as where commissioners have hired additional venues and made them available as a ‘free good’ to providers, the guidance said.

However, it added that claims ‘will not be authorised’ for costs already funded by ‘other routes’, including any locally agreed contracts.

Additional staff costs, routine vaccination consumables like syringes or sharps disposal, PPE and ‘communications and advertising’ are not eligible for the funding, it said.

Each CCG has been ‘allocated an indicative budget’, which they exceed ‘at their own risk’, the guidance added.

It said: ‘CCGs are expected to manage the claims from practices and any costs incurred by the CCG on behalf of local providers within this fixed funding envelope. 

‘If a CCG exceeds their fixed funding envelope, this is at their own risk.’

Practices may have to repay ‘an appropriate portion’ of funding given ‘outside the terms’ of the guidance, or have it ‘set off against practice global sum or such other monies due under the GP contract’, it added.

CCGs should ‘consider any exceptional circumstances in making these judgements’, it said.

Meanwhile, NHS England said: ‘Applications from practices/pharmacies that demonstrate joint working and collaborative delivery approaches with other local providers will be encouraged.’

Any claims for costs incurred between 1 and 30 September will be payable ‘at the discretion of the commissioner’, while claims for costs incurred from 1 October onwards will need ‘pre-authorisation’ from CCGs, it added.

Practices should submit claims with ‘any associated evidence or invoices’ to the CCG within six weeks of pre-authorisation and commissioners should ‘aim to’ process claims ‘promptly’, it said.

GPs across the country have been planning innovative flu clinics since this year’s expanded cohort was announced in July, including in a supermarket car park, airport and sports stadium.

It comes as the Government announced yesterday that ‘millions’ more doses of flu vaccine are to be delivered after new laws have enabled the distribution of a yet-to-be-licensed vaccine.

Last week, GPs in England were able to start placing orders for additional flu vaccines from the Government’s central stock – although they were warned not to use it to ‘plug temporary shortfalls’.

The Government is targeting 30 million people in this year’s expanded flu vaccination campaign, with a larger number of patients having been made eligible for free flu jabs.

READERS' COMMENTS [3]

The Prime Minister 23 October, 2020 6:14 pm

I LOVE THE PHRASE “INVITED TO BID”…..I AM GONNA PHONE A PLUMBER AND “INVITE” THEM TO CHANGE SOME BATHROOM TAPS I NEED DOING FOR A 10 QUID AND SEE WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY……………..

David jenkins 24 October, 2020 4:38 pm

invited ?

don’t respond to this invite – it will cost you money and stress. and if you get away with them covering both your money and stress, it will certainly cost you time.

this is downtime, aka “me time”. it is time you need to spend with your family and friends, doing things that YOU want to do to keep your sanity and/or health.

surely you don’t think that politicians, civil servants, etc etc spend their own downtime wondering whether to “bid” for extra work for very little reward ?

they have made it very clear the low regard in which they hold GPs.

this is THEIR problem, NOT yours.

if we all turn round and say “no thankyou – i would rather spend any free time i have left with my family or friends, rather than knocking my pipe out to earn a few extra quid that i will pay 40% tax on” then they will either have to get some other mug to do it, or free up some of our current working time to fit it in (think appraisals, qof visits, cqc visits, pointless or frivolous complaints etc etc etc).

besides which, i think we, as high earners, have a moral duty to not be greedy and pinch all the extra work for ourselves – we need to leave some tasks to others on lower incomes who must be struggling with bills in these strange times !

Nick Hutchinson 26 October, 2020 9:05 am

What would be really nice is if NHSEngland would let us have our flu vaccs back that they seconded 2 weeks ago – 5 day’s before proposed clinic !
We now have to bid for them back !
Utter madness – it’s like they want us to fail ( and not reach QOF targets ) .
Then they’ll want us to help with COVID vacc delivery. Good luck t*ssers !