The UK LMCs conference has voted in favour of individual practices being contracted for future Covid vaccine direct enhanced services.
The motion said that if an annual Covid vaccination programme is required, the GPC would need to negotiate for it to be ‘contracted with and delivered by individual general practices’, passing with 69% of 123 votes.
In March, the BMA told Pulse that Covid booster jabs could become part of core GP contractual work in the future, which came after the Government warned that revaccination is likely to become a regular part of managing Covid-19 ‘over the longer-term’.
Health secretary Matt Hancock also recently said that he will investigate the possibility of Covid vaccinations being administered from individual GP practices.
Waltham Forest LMC chair Dr Gabriel Ivbijaro, who proposed the motion, said: ‘There have been problems with the current vaccination programme. This is an enhanced service and not a direct enhanced service. And that has caused a lot of problems for practices, and even patients. We need to move away from things that will cause problems, and begin to think about what will work.
‘We want the GPC to ensure that we have a vaccination booster programme that will [allow us to] prepare as GP practices, and then to find a way to work with our teams to determine how best we can deliver it. And we believe a direct enhanced service is the best way.’
He added: ‘We know that we will need a Covid vaccination booster programme. So let’s start the work now, very early, so that GPs and GPC will be able to work with the various Governments.’
The UK LMCs conference is taking place virtually this year, with the two-day programme set to conclude tomorrow.
BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey opened the conference this morning, calling for ‘real and meaningful support’ for general practice during the Covid-19 recovery.
He said: ‘We don’t just need our patients’ understanding, we have often had that throughout this last year, we need governments to act. Not just with letters of thanks, which have been welcome, but with real and meaningful supportive action.
‘We don’t just need short term fixes, but a long-term commitment to investment and development of general practice, to properly redress the years that have left us as we are. We cannot allow another crisis to hit us without being better prepared.’
Read his full speech here.
Motion in full
That conference, with regard to the Covid-19 vaccination programme:
- (i) applauds the efforts of GPs and their teams who are the reason why the UK programme has been successful in rapidly vaccinating our population including those who are most vulnerable.
- (ii) believes that we need to start planning for an annual COVID-19 vaccination programme.
- (iii) requires GPC to proactively negotiate with NHS / DHSC a Direct Enhanced Service so that if an annual COVID-19 vaccination programme is required it will be contracted with and delivered by individual general practices.