GPs will use pharmacy IT platforms Pinnacle and Sonar to record Covid vaccinations under the new enhanced service, until their own IT systems have been modified.
Groups of GP practices delivering the Covid vaccination programme will further need to nominate a host practice to receive payments, NHS England has said.
The named practice will then need to divide the income and share with other practices within the grouping based on how many patients from each practice have been vaccinated.
NHS England has also clarified that payments for administering just one dose out of two to one patient, which can be done in exceptional circumstances, will need to be claimed manually.
In a webinar presentation to GPs yesterday evening, NHS England said: ‘The existing GP systems require varying levels of adaptation to enable the required information to be captured and flow to/from the relevant linked national systems such as the National Immunisation Management Service and support payment to practices.’
It said this ‘includes data required by MHRA for patient safety such as scanning vaccine barcodes and recording adverse reactions in a standardised way’.
NHS England added: ‘These changes will not be implemented or have undergone the appropriate testing by the time that designated sites are expected to start delivering Covid-19 vaccinations.
‘Designated sites will be required to use long-established pharmacy solutions for capturing vaccination data – Sonar (in London) and Pinnacle (in the rest of the country).’
Practices do not need to also register vaccinations manually onto their own systems, NHS England stressed.
Vaccination data ‘will flow from Pinnacle and Sonar to the GP patient record in a similar way it currently flows from community pharmacies for flu vaccinations’, it said.
NHS England aims to ‘implement as soon as possible a fully automated process’ via GP practices’ own IT systems, but ‘this is unlikely to be in place from Day 1’.
PCN groupings will get access to Pinnacle and Sonar as well as training on how to use the systems ‘free of charge and prior to vaccinations commencing’, NHS England added.
Recording vaccinations in Pinnacle/Sonar ‘will generate payment’, NHS England said.
However it added: ‘GP practices must make arrangements within their PCN grouping for the nomination of a host practice which will receive payments due under the ES for and on behalf of the GP practice.’
It said this was ‘necessary to take account of the varying number of practices, PCNs and designated sites within PCN groupings as well as the fact that data recorded on Pinnacle and Sonar will be used for a variety of different purposes’.
It added: ‘The host practice will receive data which enables it to identify how many patients on each practice’s list of registered patients have been vaccinated by the PCN grouping, for verification and the transfer of funds to the GP practice.’
The PCN grouping will need to decide how payment for the vaccination of patients not registered with practices within the grouping – such as for example care home workers – will be divided between the practices.
‘Payments for a single vaccination dose as per the exceptional circumstances criteria set out in the ES service specification will be subject to manual claims process,’ NHS England added.
NHS England has said last week that practices would be unlikely to be able to use their own IT systems to record vaccinations.