NHS England is ‘confident’ that GPs delivering this year’s flu programme will ‘have the PPE they need’, it has said.
Flu clinics have been planned to ‘take into account’ PPE supply, it added.
It comes as last month, PHE downgraded the PPE requirements for GPs delivering flu jabs – which some GPs felt was ‘just about saving money’.
NHS England’s medical director for primary care made the comments on PPE yesterday in response to a written question from Pulse at a virtual press briefing hosted by Public Health England on this year’s flu programme.
Pulse asked: ‘Are you confident that GPs – and others delivering the vaccine – will be supplied with adequate PPE? If not, will they be reimbursed for purchase of PPE?’
Dr Nikki Kanani said: ‘We have got updated guidance for colleagues who are delivering the flu programme and we’re confident that colleagues who are delivering have the PPE that they need to.
‘And obviously the clinics that have been planned to deliver the flu vaccination programme are taking into account the supply as well – making sure that the clinics are well-planned to cover the hand-hygiene needed, social distancing and ensuring the right PPE is in place.’
PHE medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle added that it has been ‘working hard’ on PPE.
She said: ‘We’ve had a lot of good work done together with the NHS on PPE and what is appropriate to use in which circumstances and what constitutes risk.
‘That will be very much around aerosol-generating procedures but also risk in the environment.’
Dr Doyle added: ‘It’s another important issue to protect our healthcare workers.’
It comes as the BMA has called for the Government to provide GPs with an adequate supply of PPE, after at least 34 doctors have died.
At the same briefing, PHE also revealed that those with flu symptoms will have to ‘stay at home and self-isolate’ this winter.
Meanwhile, it was announced last week that GPs in Wales will be remunerated an extra £1.75 per flu vaccination this season on top of regular reimbursement.