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Nurses will have to vaccinate under fives against swine flu


Community nurses will have to vaccinate children aged between six months and five years against swine flu, after a deal could not be reached with GP leaders.

Announcing the latest extension to the swine flu immunisation programme today, the Department of Health said it had “not proved possible” to reach a national agreement with the British Medical Association for GP practices to give the vaccine to under fives.

As a result of the failure to reach a deal with the BMA’s GP committee, the DH said it was asking primary care trusts to put local plans in place.

The DH said it hoped many GPs would still decide to offer the vaccine to under fives but, where this was not the case, PCTs should use alternatives such as their district nursing and health visiting teams. This is in spite of anger in some quarters that nurses are already having to vaccinate housebound patients while GPs pick up payments for it.

Health secretary Andy Burnham said: “It is disappointing that we have not been able to come to a national agreement with GPs. But we are now getting on with the job and asking local health trusts to put local plans in place so that vaccination of these children can begin seamlessly.”

GPC chair Lawrence Buckman said: “We sincerely wanted to be able to reach a national agreement with the UK governments about a process for vaccinating the under fives against swine flu.

“Unfortunately this has not been possible, because the government would not support adequate measures to help free up staff time,” said Dr Buckman.


Readers' comments (10)

  • Yet again nurses have to step in to provide a service that greedy doctors 'couldn't reach an agreement on' well what a shame for them. Try telling that to all the nurses who have to work two jobs because the salary they get is not enough at ANY stage. No wonder nurses (and it seems the public) still view them as 'doctors handmaidens' at their beck and call. I wonder what the public outcry would be if all nurses refused to carry out the ever-increasing 'extended roles' because an 'agreement on pay' could not be reached? Not only is this unprofessional its disgusting and doctors should not only be ashamed they should be struck off for not doing their job

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  • we should all work together in times of crisis.however the bma and the government locking horns again.I am a nurse partner and practice nurse.Myself and my nurse collegues are worn out with qofs seasonal flu and now swine flu vaccines, the doh should be offering support to general practice,not threats. Gps themselves are on the whole hardworking proffessionals.Stop bashing general practice,support us please but stop bashing us lets get on with the vaccination of all at risk patients.

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  • Forgive me if I'm wrong but the practice/district nurses give the vaccine anyway, the GP's only get the obscene money for it. If nurses also refuse what happens then?

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  • You cannot be serious!!!!! Of course they are. It's all very well saying pull together in a crisis, but's that's how they get you every time, through guilt and playing on our good nature's. I for one am an adult nurse in community care and do not have the confidence or competence to advise and reasurre an anxious parent therefore will not be participating in child vaccinations, no matter how much guilt tripping goes on.

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  • Is there any reason why health visitors couldn't be drafted in to help co-ordinate and deliver swine flu vaccinations to under 5's? I'm not saying that they have any more capacity than practice or community nurses but I would have thought they are the ideal choice. Not only are they trained nurses but they also have the skills to support both parent and child. Could established child health clincs where children are weighed and a wide variety of questions are answered be extended to offer U5 swine-flu vaccinations?

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  • People, lets act in an educated manner by asking questions about this horrendous vaccine. How much research has been done on this drug? Why has it been rushed through? Why all the unnecessary panic and fear tactics? And why are we now attempting to vaccinate 5 year olds? Boy this is just too crazy for words. Please read the research before getting embroiled in something that may end up like the Thalidamide scandal!

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  • Nurses, nurses and nurses being treated as usual as maids to do the work while the GPs get the money and credit.

    Well, I guess that's it then? Come on nurses get on and do more extended roles as no one will look after you out there.

    Just talk only.

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  • As a health visitor I have not received training to vaccinate, and do not wish to undertake vaccination if possible as we are already stretched to capacity as due to the short-sightedness of most Pcts we are facing a all time low in capacity. Asda is looking very tempting at the moment because we feel so under appreciated for our work! There has been a 40% reduction in the training of health visitors over a number of years, and also the role of Family Nurse Partnership is taking health visitors away from health visiting in droves (another short-sighted expedition as the trials for FNP only lasted 8 months for this!!!) This whole scenario is getting beyond a joke considering I know of hardly any nurses or members of the MDT team that have had the Swine flu jab (I personally have no intention of having this)

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  • I am sorry but when did Andy Burnham ever give a vaccination!!! the man would attend the opening of an envelope if it got his photo in the paper!!!

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  • As a singlehanded practice nurse I am sick of the whole swine flu saga. We are trying to complete our seasonal flu, vaccinate the patients in the at risk groups for swine flu and now we are slated along with our gps for failing to reach agreement over payment for vaccinating the under fives. When will the public ever be given the facts. Do they not realise that we still have all our regular work to contend with and the swine flu vaccination has come at our busiest time of the year. We are not refusing to vaccinate the under fives we just want to be given a break. Relax the QUOF targets please.

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