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BMA announces GP Covid vaccination DES revealed by Pulse

BMA announces GP Covid vaccination DES revealed by Pulse

The BMA’s GP Committee has agreed plans with NHS England for a Covid-19 vaccination DES to be rolled out for GP practices for 1 December, it has announced.

The BMA said that GPs are ‘absolutely the right people’ to lead the campaign to protect patients from ‘this deadly virus’, adding that practices ‘can choose’ whether to take part in the vaccination programme.

Pulse exclusively revealed on Tuesday of this week that a Covid vaccination DES was being discussed for a December rollout.

Full details on the DES will be published today, according to the announcement, but the BMA said it is expected practices ‘will work together in their local area, initially with vaccinations taking place at one site – most likely a nominated practice’.

Writing directly to BMA members following the announcement last night, GP Committee chair Dr Vautrey said: ‘Because of the unprecedented nature of this programme, the timescales are very challenging and practices will need to make decisions quickly, not least whether to take up the Enhanced Service, and if so to prepare for potential implementation from 1 December.

‘It may be that this implementation date is delayed due to vaccine supply, but we must be prepared to ensure our patients can access the vaccine as soon as it is available. It will not be an easy task, and we will require much greater support from NHSEI, CCGs and local health providers, but it is the right decision that general practice leads this programme.’

Meanwhile, in a press release, Dr Vautrey said: ‘GPs and their teams are uniquely placed to ensure that their communities are properly protected from this deadly virus. And with their proven track record in delivering widespread vaccination campaigns, such as this year’s flu programme, they are absolutely the right people to be leading this Covid vaccination drive.’

Referencing the ‘complex storage conditions’ – Pulse also revealed one of the two vaccines being prepared for UK rollout needs to be stored at -70C – Dr Vautrey added that the BMA is ‘under no illusion that this will be an easy task’.

He also acknowledged that ‘a campaign of this scale will be a huge undertaking for practices already struggling to cope with the impact of the pandemic, as well as supporting the large number of patients with other healthcare concerns’.

‘GPs and their teams want to protect as many of their patients as quickly as possible, doing so safely and focusing on those most in need first. We can only do this with the help and support of local partners, and if everyone is patient and understanding as practices embark on this unprecedented campaign,’ he said.

To facilitate that there ‘must also be clear communication from the Government and NHS England, clarifying what patients can expect and when’, Dr Vautrey said.

‘The campaign is likely to lead to changes in the way practices operate as they prioritise this vital work for our nation – but to be clear, all GP surgeries are open, as they have been throughout this pandemic.’ 

‘Practices can choose to take part in the programme and NHS England will need to work with us to ensure that suitable arrangements will be made for all eligible patients to be vaccinated and that we have the flexibility necessary to meet local needs,’ the BMA GP Committee chair added.

Pulse’s revelation made a splash across the UK media landscape earlier in the week, including being reported on the front pages of the Mirror, the i, the Metro and the Express newspapers.

Vaccines pre-procured by the UK Government are already being manufactured, with the NHS set to be able to start administering them as soon as they are approved for use, the chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce told MPs and Lords on Wednesday.

This includes four million doses of the UK leading vaccine candidate, and 10m doses of a vaccine being developed in the US, which should be ready to go ‘by the end of the year’.


Visit Pulse Reference for details on 140 symptoms, including easily searchable symptoms and categories, offering you a free platform to check symptoms and receive potential diagnoses during consultations.


Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Dr N 6 November, 2020 9:34 am

Dear BMA and the world. Where do you propose we are going to get the staff to do this? Yesterday five requests from secondary care to check wounds, do bloods etc etc.

Today a nurse off sick, vague sore throat , cant return to work until Covid tested and proven negative.

David Banner 6 November, 2020 9:58 am

Expecting a quid pro quo with the DES here.
QOF suspended, but you only receive payment if you divert QOF work to delivering Covid vaccine.
Lucky we all have those minus 70 degree freezers in our practices though…….

Mark Leonard 6 November, 2020 10:08 am

The BMA have once again royally shafted us. There is no way General Practice should be leading on the delivery of this vaccine; it’s a Public Health England responsibility and they should be the ones tasked with the logistical nightmare of rolling it out – with the help of the military if necessary. Leaving us to get on with the everyday job, oh and let’s not forget the small task of vaccinating the 50-64 yr olds against flu too.

‘Practices can decide whether to take up the DES’ – What utter b***s**t; they will roll this out via the PCN DES which means refuse and lose PCN funding.

Reply moderated
David Jarvis 6 November, 2020 11:10 am

Show me the money and the regs. I will not do this as a charity event but if funding is reasonable we can do it. I want to move on from COVID and if this is the way then providing the funding is adequate and the regulation sensible then it can be delivered. As a full time GP who also does out of hours I still have spare time. This has a value but to say no capacity is just wrong. It is how much value you put on that time surely Lets be frank can’t actually do bugger all at present due to restrictions.

The resistance to seeing GP’s profit from something whilst giving money to their mates at deloitte and serco is holding them back.

So as a GP if you came in to do vaccines and provide cover for 10 other trained staff vaccinating what is a reasonable value. If the money doesn’t meet that say no. But if it does what are you going to do?

And finally being involved in this is good for primary care cementing our position in the community. For some in the government that is going to really bother them. Money = resources=delivery+ profit.

David Jarvis 6 November, 2020 11:11 am

Also unlike many things this is clearly not something that we will be paid for initially and then snuck into the base line like so many things.

Turn out The lights 6 November, 2020 11:47 am

I think we are going to get covered in the splatter of Boris’ it stinks.Another world beating game changer that will make the virus war a win by Christmas.Lions led by Donkeys.

Reply moderated
Patrufini Duffy 6 November, 2020 12:55 pm

Get out of your PCN-DES when next opt out chance arises – that’s all I can say.

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terry sullivan 6 November, 2020 3:07 pm

why is anyone a member of bma–it has shafted doctors for at least 45 years–just say no to jabs–let govt find someone to do them at that derisory rate

terry sullivan 6 November, 2020 3:08 pm

rubbish–peanut pay so a few monkey gps can get a gong–just say no

ps vaccine is untested–gps will be carrying the can

Robert Caudwell 9 November, 2020 10:59 am

Informed consent is going to be interesting. “It might work”, “It might be safe long term”, “I won’t be having it”, “now, which arm?”

Beaker . 9 November, 2020 11:46 am

where is the DES, where is the detail already a week late and decisions by the 16th !!