GP practices will be reimbursed for administering some vaccinations that fall outside of the routine schedule under a special tariff being developed in one area.
The tariff, being developed for the Midlands and East of England, will see practices paid to give patients key vaccines which are clinically recommended in special circumstances, but are not contractually funded.
For example, practices are set to receive £9.80 to administer the virilix chicken pox immunisation to children with an immunocompromised family member, according to an update from Norfolk and Waveney LMC.
The LMC raised the issue after practices reported growing numbers of patients asking about chicken pox vaccines, but although this can be funded on the NHS it is not included in the GMS contract.
NHS England’s regional team is now drawing up a tariff for immunisations in other patients with chronic conditions – like hepatitis B for patients with chronic kidney disease – as set out in the NHS immunisation, Green Book.
The update from Norfolk and Waveney LMC says the chickenpox vaccine is not part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule and is ‘currently only recommended on the NHS’ for healthy patients likely to have unavoidable contact with immunocompromised patients – ‘e.g. siblings of a leukemic child, or a child whose parent is undergoing chemotherapy’.
The LMC update said: ‘We have therefore agreed with [Public Health England] that practices can claim £9.80 for the administration of this vaccination.
The vaccine is not available to order from the NHS, so the LMC says practices ‘will need to order it directly from the manufacturer’ and it should be issued using an FP10 form.
The LMC added: ‘There are a number of other vaccinations that are available on the NHS for similar clinical reasons only; PHE have gone through the Green Book and identified all the vaccinations this applies to. Practices will also be able to claim for the administration of these.’
PHE told Pulse the negotiations on the tariff pricing were conducted with NHS England rather than PHE.
Dr Pam Hall, NHS England screening and immunisation lead in the region, said they were taking steps locally to address a nationwide issue.
Dr Hall told Pulse: ‘NHS England, Midlands and East (East) is leading the negotiation to reimburse the cost of delivering these vaccinations, which are outside the routine vaccination programme.
‘While this is an England-wide issue it is not an England-wide arrangement.
‘The arrangement being made in the East is likely to cover chronic conditions for which vaccinations outside the routine vaccination schedule are recommended for clinical reasons.’
An NHS England spokesperson said they were not aware of any plans for a similar tariff to be rolled out on a national level.