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Red tape removed for GP returners joining Covid vaccine effort

CQC vaccination

The Government has moved to remove excessive red tape for GP returners to join the Covid-19 vaccination effort in England.

As of yesterday, they no longer have to be included on the Performers list, nor do they have to demonstrate recent training on matters such as fire safety or conflict resolution in order to become vaccinators.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told Pulse that while all vaccinators will continue to need to be trained on the important clinical aspects including the characteristics of the vaccines they will be using, the following non-clinical modules have been removed:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Moving and handling
  • Equality & Diversity – on induction.
  • Fire safety
  • Preventing radicalisation
  • Safeguarding children – level 1

Meanwhile, a bulletin from NHS England on Thursday said ‘doctors who offer their support in delivering the Enhanced Service (ES) Specification COVID vaccination programme in primary care settings will be exempt from the requirement to be included on the England Medical Performers List.’

It added: ‘The Regulations, which come into force today (14 January), remove previous barriers and mean that any GMC-registered doctor will be able to administer the vaccine and any ancillary vaccine services under the ES Specification in a primary care setting. 

‘We welcome this change in legislation which will support the rapid roll out of the vaccine, allowing more doctors to administer more COVID vaccines.’

The requirements for vaccinators had been criticised for being overly onerous, but the Department of Health and Social Care said there were now ‘no delays in Covid-19 vaccination caused by accrediting volunteers or returners’.

The spokesperson added: ‘We have reviewed the process for experienced clinicians to ensure it is smoother and takes account of their previous non-clinical training.’

Speaking at a House of Commons health and social care committee evidence session last week, health secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘Of course, I understand the workforce pressures, hence we’re trying to bring more people in and I’ve taken out a whole series of the – I thought – overburdensome training requirements. You no longer need to do fire safety training and anti-terrorism training to get back into the NHS to do vaccinations.’

NHS England has provided extra funding to general practice to hire extra staff for the vaccination effort, as well as towards keeping other services running.


Patrufini Duffy 15 January, 2021 4:56 pm

Unbelievable. Is it me, or are GPs utterly pi**ssed off and angry, BUT POWERLESS AND SILENT, (them being the ones sicken-ingly giving the vaccine!), that they won’t get their vaccine at 3 weeks as directed by the manufacturer? That is an utter shocker and we’re fronting this?

End Game 15 January, 2021 7:53 pm

Not in my experience! Short on work as a GP locum. Obviously on the performers list. Applied to be a vaccinator about 2.5 weeks ago after hours and hours of jumping through the many hoops of vaccinator requirements. Still not heard. It just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Dave Haddock 15 January, 2021 9:37 pm

Utter balls!
Spouse been trying for several months, applied nationally and locally, bureaucracy is so bad even those administering it don’t agree. Now needs a second DBS check because first is now too old after six months waiting. Classic NHS.

David jenkins 16 January, 2021 3:27 pm

offered to be a vaccinator over a month ago – heard nothing since. given up. gone back to restoring my classic car. do let me know if you think copies of my o level certificates are no longer needed for this highly technical work !

Honest from Yorkshire 16 January, 2021 7:11 pm

Reminds me why I left aged 50.

John Graham Munro 16 January, 2021 9:36 pm


John Glasspool 17 January, 2021 4:41 pm

It’s why I left at 57 too. Now 64, I don’t really feel that inclined to go back. (I have expressed an interest.) I’d actually want both of my jabs before starting; I mean why commit suicide just to help Hand-Cock and Dildo Harding out of a hole.