GPC Wales has condemned the last-minute decision by the Welsh Government to reduce the Covid vaccination fee as “ill-conceived and short-sighted”.
With only four weeks to go until the expected first deliveries of vaccines to practices, the fee has been reduced to £10.03 – in line with the flu vaccine administration payment in Wales – from the previous level of £12.58.
The Primary Care Covid-19 Immunisation Service (PCCIS) specification allows for a 4-week notice period for changes to the programme. However, the Welsh GP negotiator notes that practices will have planned their clinic structures based on the economies of co-administration of flu and Covid vaccinations and that there has been no reduction in mandatory requirements within the specification, including use of the Welsh Immunisation System (WIS).
GPC Wales advises practices to review their agreement with their health board, taking into account the profitability of their planned delivery program.
As the terms of the contractual arrangement have been unilaterally altered, there is nothing to disbar practices from informing health boards, at this stage, of a change in their intent to provide the service at this reduced payment level. It adds that ultimately, health boards are responsible for delivering the vaccination through their own mass vaccination centres.
- From 1 September 2023, more age profiles will be able to receive an NHS shingles vaccine . There will also be a phased change to a two-dose regimen of inactivated vaccine Shingrix. Details of phased administration schedule are available in the SFE document. A fee of £10.03 is payable after each administered dose.