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In full: Notification letter for GPs to start Covid vaccines


Dear colleagues,

Wave 1 mobilisation of the Primary Care COVID-19 Vaccination Programme 2020/21

Further to our letter of 1 December, we are writing to update you on the crucial role of general practice in the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The NHS will be the first healthcare system in the world to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to those most at risk. We recognise the scale and the complexity of this vaccination programme make it one of the greatest challenges the NHS has ever faced, and we are grateful for your continued efforts.

It is crucial we start to activate local vaccination services to allow priority patient cohorts to start accessing the vaccine. We expect to stand up a number of designated local vaccination services (the first based on PCN groupings) to start administering COVID-19 vaccinations in the week beginning 14 December. This first wave of sites will be the beginning of a general mobilisation of practices from their designated sites.

Each site stood up would need to deliver 975 doses to priority patients during the week beginning 14 December –those in the over 80 cohort who can attend the site for vaccination, and taking into account other significant factors, clinical or otherwise, which may increase risk. The vaccine would need to be used quickly in the days following delivery. We can guarantee 3.5 days of vaccination following delivery, with storage at 2-8°C.

We are working closely with CCGs to identify sites that will be ready to deliver vaccinations in that week; the number of sites coming onstream initially will vary by CCG according to the proportion of its population over 80, reflecting the priority groups selected by JCVI. CCGs have been asked to consider inequalities and deprivation when selecting sites.

We will be writing to sites identified as part of Wave1on Monday, setting out full details of vaccine supply dates, delivery of other consumables and equipment to the site, and the process for assuring readiness before delivery of vaccines. This will include a delivery of IT equipment necessary to deliver the programme and a fridge for each site. Access to necessary training will be provided and sites will be given full support to mobilise within the timescale. We will provide early sites with logins to the necessary IT platforms as soon as possible; including a management information system called Foundry.

We will keep you informed when we are able to stand up further PCN sites.

We have today republished the Enhanced Service Specification for the programme with two small changes reflecting ongoing discussions with the MHRA,and have published a template Collaboration Agreement which must be in place between collaborating practices in a PCN grouping before operations begin from the site. These documentshave been agreed with the BMA. We would be grateful for your early sign up to the Enhanced Service.

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It remains critical that CCGs offer all possible assistance to PCN designatedsites standing up in the first and subsequent waves. This includes ensuring specific things like clinical waste arrangements are appropriately extended and in place,as well as supporting with readiness and logistics as required to make this programme a success.

The nature of the vaccine being deployed initially means we will need to focus effort to ensure effective delivery. Whileurgent care will need to continue to be provided across general practice, for the days on which vaccine is being delivered from these sites, this programme will be the top priority. Throughout this programme we urge full use is made of additional workforce options and mutual aid is in place between providers across primary care, co-ordinated by CCGs, to ensure that vaccine uptake is maximised with minimal wastage. The £150m capacity funding remains available to primary care to help ensure sufficient capacity is in place across general practice to manage competing demands. CCGs will prioritise its timely use as required to facilitate this programme.

This is a hugely exciting moment for general practice and you who will be playing a key part in this important programme.

Kind regards,

Dr Nikita Kanani

Medical Director for Primary Care

NHS England and NHS Improvement

Ed Waller

Director of Primary Care

NHS England and NHS Improvement



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

David jenkins 5 December, 2020 12:03 am

this was posted on a friday afternoon !

“We would be grateful for your early sign up to the Enhanced Service”.

yeah – right !

lack of planning or preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part !

Vinci Ho 5 December, 2020 7:40 am

Typical of NHS England for a late Friday afternoon release .
Without discerning carefully the caveats of this mad rush , they are following the political wand of the government to push the programme through recklessly.
Well , I suppose this is veracity of ‘command and control’ under the Covid 19 Bill .
Perhaps, this is still consistent with the nature of this government: born by the vagaries of populism but punished by the stark realities of Covid 19 (arguably we see the same on the opposite side of the Atlantic) . Now it is a panic button well pressed ………

John Graham Munro 6 December, 2020 9:06 pm

Now mass vaccination is almost underway perhaps the never ending parade of T.V. doctors will start doing some proper work.

Patrufini Duffy 7 December, 2020 3:05 pm

The 24 year old patient in marketing on sertraline demands a vaccine NOW. Or she’ll complain. She hasn’t had her Ibiza holiday or gym class for a year and it’s riling her up. Maybe we can direct her issue to either directors email address?

terry sullivan 7 December, 2020 8:29 pm


Mark Fentanyl 7 December, 2020 10:39 pm

don’t forget to factor in the extras now- like filling in the Covid vaccine card for each patient including name date and batch number

Patrick Pearson 7 December, 2020 10:59 pm

GPs are required to ‘individually assess’ each patient before they receive a Covid jab under the initial delivery mechanism, NHS England has said.

And they will take full clinical responsibility for all vaccinations delivered by non-prescribers until a national protocol is agreed, it added.

Each vaccination will take three minutes longer than previously planned under this mechanism, according to new calculations.

Peter English 8 December, 2020 10:57 am

“Each site stood up would need to deliver 975 doses to priority patients during the week beginning 14 December…”

The use of the word “priority” there worries me.

If 900 “priority” patients can be found; do you throw away the remaining 75 doses? Or are you permitted to use them on lower priority patients?

Rogue 1 9 December, 2020 6:07 pm

What a patronising load of twaddle!
The country has been talking about vaccines for the last 9months, and they end up dumping this ‘contract’ on us.
If its truly last minute they are incompetent. If its not last minute – well its a well planned poke at general practice with the ‘£$* end of a stick!

Keith M Laycock 9 December, 2020 6:28 pm

Come on chaps. You are experiencing a ‘hugely exciting moment’, Nikita says so.

Simon says ‘put your right leg in’, ‘your right leg out’, ‘in-out and shake it all about.’

Now wasn’t that immensely meaningful?


James Cuthbertson 9 December, 2020 6:57 pm

Sorry but it will take the health secretary in tears on national tv before I get involved in this……

terry sullivan 9 December, 2020 8:57 pm

pfizers drug is not a vaccine

terry sullivan 9 December, 2020 8:58 pm

run away