NHSE has launched an e-learning module to support GPs in assessing vulnerable patients and prescribing community-based Covid treatments.
The module will ‘help build knowledge on prescribing the oral antiviral nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir (Paxlovid) which is recommended by NICE for highest risk patients’.
At the end of last month, ICBs took on responsibility for delivery of treatments from Covid-19 Medicines Delivery Units (CMDUs).
The BMA advised GPs not to agree to prescribing duties for Covid treatments unless as ‘part of an appropriate commissioned service’.
It is not yet clear who will take on the primary responsibility for prescribing antivirals, however the e-learning module, announced in NHS England’s primary care bulletin last Friday, will ‘support NHS clinicians, including GP teams and community pharmacists’.
And in a letter sent to high-risk patients on 5 June, NHSE advised this cohort to contact their GP practice from the end of June if they test positive as the NHS will no longer automatically contact them after a reported positive test.
Medical secretary for Mid Mersey LMC and GPC representative Dr Ivan Camphor told Pulse that general practice has the capability to deliver antivirals but there must be funding and resource to enable this.
He said: ‘If NHS England and the ICBs are just thinking of dumping it on general practice then there’s no chance of doing that because we’ve got enough to do as it is.’
Dr Camphor added: ‘General practice can deliver it. But the issue here is, in the current climate where there are issues around workforce, workload and funding of general practice, all I’m asking for is that we need to make sure that there is funding that is properly resourced, properly identified, that follows this into general practice. Otherwise the uptake will be very poor.’
In April, an updated list of patients eligible for Covid treatments was published by an independent advisory group and extended to individuals with certain respiratory and neurological conditions.