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GPs may need to record Covid vaccinations on separate IT system, says NHS England

GPs may need to record Covid vaccinations on separate IT system, says NHS England

GPs are unlikely to be able to use their regular IT system to record Covid vaccinations under the new enhanced service in England, according to NHS England.

In a webinar about the vaccination programme held yesterday afternoon, it said said there was a ‘suggestion’ that another system may need to be used.

NHS England said this comes as the currently used IT systems lack the required functionality, adding that work is ongoing to try to rectify this ‘if possible’.

NHS England primary care contracts director Ed Waller said: ‘People have asked why there is a suggestion that we may not use current GP systems to do all of the recording of information. That is something we are going to try and explain to people more clearly. ‘

He added: ‘We need to be able to provide information around the vaccination that you can’t currently record easily in GP systems, and we are trying to just make sure we put in place the clearest possible IT setup in order to do that reliantly at practice sites and, for example, in care homes where people go in to vaccinate off site.’

Dr Jonathan Leach, NHS England medical director for armed forces and veterans health, said it was ‘absolutely essential’ to be able to record who has had the vaccine and which professional administered it.

He said this was ‘essential to the longer term follow up of patients’ and ‘may also be needed for longer medico-legal reasons’.

‘What is slightly more complex… is that this vaccine is not just being delivered in primary care, it is also being delivered for occupational reasons,’ he added.

According to Dr Leach, a retired GP from Bromsgrove, NHS England is ‘working through at the moment’ the ‘specific requirements which are needed to be able to do all of this’.

‘We expect in the longer term that perhaps the GP systems will be able to do it but it may be that they may not be able to at the beginning. We’re certainly working on this and it’s one of the things that I want to resolve.’

‘It may take a little bit of time because of the complexity and scale of it, before we actually get all of the GP computer systems to that place. But that certainly is our overall aim, if at all possible,’ he added.

A BMA report published this week also addressed the issue, saying it will ‘be important to ensure systems are in place that allow for mass notification of patients and recording of vaccination status in the GP record’.


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Mr Marvellous 19 November, 2020 4:55 pm

“‘essential to the longer term follow up of patients’ and ‘may also be needed for longer medico-legal reasons”

Whilst all medical activity should be recorded somewhere, that sounds rather ominous.

So, a separate IT system is required on top of the other vaccine requirements. Does everyone still think the 25% uplift over flu is enough?

Michael Mullineux 19 November, 2020 5:43 pm

Another epic fail in the making – the universal NHS IT aspirations over the years haven’t exactly been a rip roaring success have they? And this is due to start in December according to our ‘esteemed leaders’. Their mates must be rubbing their hands in glee in anticipation of the imminent massive IT contracts at tax payers expense whilst we scrabble around doing the donkey work at cost.

David Jarvis 19 November, 2020 6:07 pm

Strikes me as Bull. Not sure who actually gave the jab is of any importance. We mass record flu without recording which clinician wielded the needle. What outcome difference does it affect? Helping the lawyers being not a function of the medcal record.

Bryan Anglim 20 November, 2020 7:00 am

I think your comparison to the seasonal flu vaccine needs a bit more thought – and you have to look at how the flu vaccination is used in the GPC negotiations. The seasonal flu jab is overpriced, because a fair amount of regular funding is diverted from the core contract in to the flu jab to make sure there is universal uptake of that enhanced service by GPs. If it was funded ‘correctly for the work done’ then practices that are busy would be turning down certain aspects of work and sometimes that would be the flu jab. In reality even the most overworked practices prioritise the flu jab because it is overpriced. That is what the commissioners want, they don’t want GPs picking or choosing to do it or not. However it is not EXTRA funding for GP surgeries – it is just funding diverted away from core funding to flu vaccines.

How do we know that flu jabs are over-funded in this way:
– even practices struggling with workload do flu jabs
– there would be outrage if the flu jab contract was just removed from GPs

Therefore your comparison to the flu jab price is unrealistic. All you are arguing is that the Covid jab is not overpriced in the same way as flu jab, without a further reduction in core spending. What you should really consider is the flu jab is 6 pounds of actual funding and 4 pounds of funding diverted from core funding to give it a higher priority. This is also why it is ridiculous to pay pharmacies the same fee – but that is another story.

That means the Covid vaccine is priced at about double that of the flu vaccination, before the adjustment for core funding. Which is about right. If you really want your figures to be correct -you would expect a 10 pound reduction in core funding next year and a Covid vaccination paid at 35 pounds per patient (2 jabs) – but that will make things much worse for GPs – as much of that funding would be siphoned off to other providers.

It is indeed much better for it to be funded at the correct level.

Iain Chalmers 20 November, 2020 2:08 pm

Yep no concerns with that sort of system.

As stated epic fail in the making again.

As per BBC news website article clearly not learning from earlier regarding setting up a world beating test and trace service.

Bob Hodges 20 November, 2020 5:34 pm

OK. The Enhanced Service as offered is paid for by an item of service fee that was based on that for the seasonal flu vaccine.

They simply stuck 25% on that. That is arguably not very generous given that they are asking us to deliver the largest mass vaccination campaign in human history, in the middle of winter, in the middle of a pandemic that limits our operational flexibility due to social distancing and staff illness/isolation with a vaccine that is novel and has significant logistical constraints with its delivery and need for it ALL to be given within 5 days of delivery.

Now you want US to (pay to) solve YOUR problem as well, by introducing a requirement to use an entirely new computer system for data recording, as well as using out our systems to record activity?

Might be time to rethink how much this is going to cost eh?

Nicholas Sharvill 21 November, 2020 8:25 am

Reply to David . Many years ago i had an attempted lawsuit re an MMR vaccine based on the fact that the child was registered with me even though I had not jabbed him (plainly the case went nowhere but caused anguish) so recording this might be of value.
The question that needs asking is who is benefitting by the new IT system they are planning to use and how it will send information automatically into GP systems and who will record the calls and queries about any side effects/efficacy. One hopes that in the background those representing primary care are ensuring this wont be another blocking of GP phone lines and there will be a patient portal for them to report on line and a work stream dealing with clinical worries a bit like the ccas.