THE British Medical Association (BMA) says a decision by NHS England to significantly reduce the fee that GPs are paid to deliver Covid vaccines undervalues general practice and threatens the safety of vulnerable patients.
The decision comes after a series of talks between the Association and NHS England, in which the BMA made clear that many practices would find it difficult to deliver the Covid vaccination programme this autumn, with a 25 per cent fee reduction.
Responding to the news Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, chair of the BMA’s GP Committee for England said: “During Covid, GPs and their practice teams demonstrated that they could deliver an effective world beating vaccination programme in challenging circumstances. Patients and GPs alike will despair that NHSE has announced substantial cuts to funding and resource of this national vaccination programme on the same day as news stories detail the arrival of a fresh Covid variant.
“At a time when we should be learning from history, particularly around the importance and value of protecting our patients and minimising hospital admissions this winter, it is disappointing that practices will be put in a position where they are no longer able to deliver this, though no fault of their own due to short-sighted cuts.
“The Covid vaccine delivery process is twice as long as administering ‘Flu jabs, and NHSE knows this. Our patients and communities need to be protected, and our practices resourced and supported to undertake this important work.”
* Source: British Medical Association