The exact number of practices that have registered in Kent and Medway has not been revealed, but NHS England said a “large number of designated sites” have been identified across the country.
Guidelines on general practice surgeries – agreed between NHS England and the British Medical Association – indicating how they should work will take effect on Tuesday.
The enhanced service specification for coronavirus vaccination also defines the criteria that surgeries must meet to be registered.
Doctors have until midnight on December 8 to register with NHS England if they wish to be tasked with dispensing vaccines.
Surgeries approved by NHS England will be able to administer the vaccine between seven and ten days later to allow clinics to be set up.
They should list a designated site where vaccinations will be given unless doctors believe it “would be inappropriate for the patient to go there” and provide them at another location.
NHS England says it will work with practices to “identify pragmatic local solutions to vaccinate such patients” such as residents of nursing homes who may not be able to leave for medical reasons.
The document says: “The practices of general practitioners should understand that the availability and supply of vaccines is difficult and may be limited and is likely to change over time. ”
He adds that decisions will be needed regarding vaccine allocation and prioritization of individual practices and partnerships throughout the program.
In a letter to GPs, Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS England medical director for primary care, and Ed Waller, NHS England primary care director, said surgeries should be ready to be done seven days a week between 8 am and 8 pm to deliver the vaccine.
“This will only be needed where the vaccine supply requires it to ensure that all available vaccine is used to immunize patients as quickly as possible,” they said.
“It’s not about creating hope that teams will be available when vaccine supplies don’t make those hours easier, or when the volumes delivered don’t require it.
“Many of you have asked about the possibility of additional sites being part of the program, including individual practice locations.
“This may be possible over time as the supply of vaccines increases and different vaccinations become available, but when it starts, the program will only operate from designated sites, reflecting various logistical constraints around certain vaccines. themselves and the broader supply chain.
“We will keep this position under review to balance logistics and access considerations, communicating any changes as quickly as possible. ”
“A large number of PCN vaccination sites have now been designated and we are extremely grateful for the commitment of general practices to ensure that their patients are vaccinated as soon as possible when vaccines become available.
General practitioners should monitor cohorts, ensuring that the most vulnerable patients are vaccinated first, as outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization.
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