Swine Flu Vaccination Deal Reached With GPs

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Further details of how the swine flu vaccination programme will be administered in Wales were announced today.

GPs will administer the vaccination programme following successful negotiations between the Department of Health, the Devolved Administrations, the General Practitioners Committee and NHS Employers.

The vaccination programme, which is expected to begin in the autumn, subject to the vaccine being licensed, will first prioritise the 750,000 people in Wales who are most at risk from complications. Frontline health and social care staff will also be prioritised for vaccination.

The new deal will mean that GPs will receive ?5.25 per dose of vaccine given. GPs will have arrangements in place to contact patients to receive their vaccine.

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It is currently expected that patients will receive two doses of the vaccine. This advice may change following clinical trials.

Health Minister Edwina Hart said: "Welsh GPs in particular have played a key role in the successful management of the swine flu outbreak to date and I am grateful to them for all their hard work. This deal represents a fair reward to GPs for what will be a crucial element in our efforts to manage a further wave of flu cases.

"When we announced our plans to increase critical care capacity last week we said the vaccination programme would make a difference in terms of reducing the number of people needing hospital and intensive care treatment.

"This deal means that as soon as the vaccine is licensed we can start protecting those most at risk of complications if they contract the virus."

Dr David Bailey, chairman of the BMA's Welsh General Practitioners Committee, said: "I am pleased that we have reached agreement on the delivery of the vaccination to the at risk population. General practice is an efficient and adaptable model that reaches into every community in Wales and is best placed to deliver the vaccination. GPs are used to delivering large scale vaccination programmes that target patients at highest risk and this agreement means that GPs and their teams will have the resources they need to take on the additional workload and run the vaccination programme smoothly and efficiently.

"We are pleased that cooperative working with the Welsh Assembly Government and public health is continuing and we look forward to delivering the protection for vulnerable groups that the people of Wales deserve."

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