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PCTs demand ‘unfair’ information about pertussis vaccinations

The GPC has intervened after PCTs demanded information from practices on the uptake of the pertussis vaccination that went beyond agreements made in the National Enhanced Service (NES).

DH guidance for PCTs released in October advised that practices should provide the PCT with the number of women with an estimated date of delivery (EDD) that month, and how many had received a dose of pertussis vaccination Repevax.

The GPC said this work went beyond agreements made in the NES for the Government’s £10 million temporary vaccination programme, and have written to NHS Employers asking for urgent clarification on the issue.

The NES only required practices to provide the PCT with the number of patients over 28 weeks pregnant and the number of women in that cohort who have received the vaccine. Any additional work should be arranged as a LES, the GPC said.

GPC negotiator Dr Richard Vautrey said PCTs demands were unfairly increasing practice workload and practices should not provide PCTs with the additional information.

He said: ‘PCTs underestimate how much work it will be for practices. Estimated delivery date is quite difficult to get. It’s held in hand-held records or in maternity records. It’s not recorded in practice records, and it’s not easily searched for.

‘Practices shouldn’t feel under any obligation to provide this data, that is why the GPC got in touch with NHS Employers.’

However Dr Canning, chief executive of Cleveland LMC said the extra information was something GPs should be routinely recording as a matter of good practice in immunisation administration.

He said: ‘It’s not something I’d fall out with the PCT about - on this occasion. It’s information GPs should be recording anyway. I don’t think the extra work is notable.’

An NHS Employers spokesperson said: ‘If PCTs or PCOs wish to vary the NES and\or secure additional information from GP practices, NHS Employers view is that this becomes a local matter which commissioners will need to discuss with, among others, GP practices and the relevant Local Medical Committee.’

They added: ‘However, the NES did include some requirements in relation to data capture and sharing by GP practices.’