The Government has admitted issues with deliveries of Covid vaccines to GP sites but suggested there was no need for ‘poking and prodding’ when things were working ‘smoothly’ for 98% of locations.
It comes as Pulse reported yesterday that GPs across England are experiencing issues including delays to deliveries, and ‘surprise’ arrivals with no patient clinics already booked.
ITV had asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to explain in the ‘clearest possible terms’ why GPs ‘are not getting regular supplies of the vaccine and why they don’t know when their next delivery is going to be’ in the live coronavirus briefing yesterday evening.
Mr Johnson admitted that ‘today, it may be that some GPs aren’t getting the consignments that they expected’.
But he added: ‘Of course in the early phases, there’s going to be lumpiness and bumpiness in the distribution.’
Offered by the Prime Minister to expand on the matter, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said there would be ‘bumps along the road’.
But he added: ‘You will hear in the media from those people where an issue has arisen – perfectly fair enough. What you won’t hear from, of course, is the other 98% of practices or locations where it’s all working smoothly.
‘So I think we’ve just got to, you know, have a sort of sense of gathering round to get this thing done, as a big team effort, rather than the sort of poking and the prodding. And that’s the spirit I know that the whole of the NHS is mobilising around.’
Mr Johnson also used the news conference to praise GPs who are ‘doing an incredible job of getting those jabs into people’s arms’.
It comes as GP leaders across the country have called for more assurance from NHS England regarding delivery times, as GP teams were forced to cancel and rebook thousands of appointments.