Autumn/Winter booster programme 2023/4
The latest update to the Enhanced Service specification for the CVP (COVID-19 vaccination programme) is now live. As with the previous phases, it is delivered by groups of practices, generally covering PCN (primary care networks) footprints.
This is focused primarily on the provision of booster doses to vulnerable cohorts as announced by JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), though practices can still provide vaccination to patients in other cohorts who missed previous vaccination.
Practices should be aware that the Item of Service fee for the Autumn/Winter COVID booster programme has been reduced from £10.06 to £7.54. GPC England has condemned this reduction in funding for the programme and strongly advises practices to consider if delivery of the vaccination programme remains viable.
There remains a £10 supplement for vaccination of housebound patients.
On 30 August NHS England announced time limited additional funding for the Covid vaccination programme. These are:
- Vaccinations to care home residents will get an extra £10 between 11 September and 22 October.
- £200 per care home ‘completed’ by 22 October, regardless of size. These should be confirmed to the Commissioner by the submission of a live time survey no later than 29 October.
- £5 additional on other covid vaccinations between 11 September and 31 October, excluding care home & housebound (because they already get a bonus payment).
Further information can be found in NHS England’s letter setting out the additional payments for the programme.l
Cohorts for the Autumn/Winter 2023 booster campaign are as on the gov.uk website.. These currently include:
- residents in a care home for older adults.
- all adults aged 65 years and over.
- persons aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as laid out in the Immunisation Green Book, COVID-19 Chapter (Green Book).
- frontline health and social care workers.
- persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of people with immunosuppression.
- persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers (as defined in the Green Book) and staff working in care homes for older adults.
Other changes to the programme
Practices now only sign up to the COVID programme if they are also signed up to the to provide flu vaccinations via the flu enhanced service. If practices decide to continue participation in the COVID vaccination programme they may wish to co-administer COVID vaccinations with flu vaccinations where clinically appropriate.
Key continuing requirements for practices include the need to:
- have the ability to administer any adult vaccine type to ensure resilience across the network
- ensure that delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations will not negatively affect their ongoing delivery of other services, recognising current pressures on general practitioners and pharmacy contractors
- record COVID-19 vaccinations on the day that they are administered due to the clinical risks associated with data latency
- agree with their commissioner their role in the system to respond to a surge where an increase in capacity is required both in terms of increased volume and/or timeframe.
PCN Groupings are also required to agree with their local commissioner how many COVID-19 vaccinations they will deliver per week before the start of the programme to support local planning and ensure appropriate additional capacity is commissioned where required to meet local population needs.