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RCGP responds to NHS England letter on expanded booster programme

RCGP responds to an NHS England letter on the expanded Covid-19 booster programme.

Responding to an NHS England letter on the expanded Covid-19 booster programme:

Dr Gary Howsam, Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “GPs and our teams have played a vital role in the Covid vaccination programme since its inception. Booster jabs provide further protection against Covid-19, and it makes sense for GP teams, that are highly experienced at delivering complex vaccination programmes on a mass scale, to be involved in in delivering them, ensuring patients are as protected as they can be against the virus.

“General practice is already under enormous workload and workforce pressure, delivering care to more than a million patients a day, in addition to running the largest ever flu vaccination programme, as we enter what will likely be an exceptionally challenging winter. There are already more than 1,000 GP-led vaccination sites in operation, and GPs are already continuing to deliver millions of Covid vaccinations, but to meet the target of offering all eligible people their booster jab by the end of January next year, capacity needs to expand.

“These are sensible, temporary measures that will address some of the bureaucratic demands on practices and have minimal impact on the care patients receive in general practice, allowing GPs and our teams to focus their efforts where currently most clinically necessary. We hope these measures will support Primary Care Networks to get involved in delivering the expanded booster campaign, if they are not already and feel it is safe to do so.

“GPs and our teams know our patients and will always work in their best interests to ensure they continue to receive the care they need. Whilst working on the vaccination programme, vital general practice care and services our patients rely on will continue to be available.”

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